Oct. 10, 2022

Do Not Forget This One Thing

 

2 Peter 3:3b,4,8,9 (See context 3:1-9)

“… Scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? … But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord … is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

This writer admits to having such questions as regards the “end times,” and a desire for the end of the bombardment of information (in the form of an almost perpetual badgering of frustrations, propaganda, and exultation of immorality) constantly shoved into our awareness. How long, oh Lord?

Preterists have even come up with a theology that answers the taunts of the Atheists, in terms of their reasoning that the lack of a second coming is evidence that Jesus did not exist. After all, did He not say, “I come quickly”?

What is disturbing is that we find it necessary to excuse the Lord’s “delay” in the eyes of unbelievers and mockers. One wonders if it is even worth trying to explain this away to those who have no revelation of the Lord in their heart, which comes by hearing the word of Christ, which they simply push away? Does this approach simply keep up the arguing on a mental level, of something that can only be discerned by hearts having been awakened and being recreated anew by the Holy Spirit?

Outer, doctrinal, dogmatic debating of “positions” and “belief systems” have long been the preferred m.o. of Christendom. That is to a point important. Yet these are offered (in my opinion) in place of the revelation of Jesus Christ to the heart, a spiritual experience. 

Head over heart has been preferred for roughly 1700 years, since the onset of government sanctioned religion. This is true of Eastern as well as Western Christianity, since at that time they were not separate. Since then it has become engrained in our assumptions, and things unquestioned, that this “head” emphasis is preferable as a means of “knowing about” God, rather than “knowing Him” through Jesus Christ via the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Head knowledge has had its place, but falls short, since inwardly “knowing” God, and having an ongoing relationship with Him, far surpasses head knowledge and ideas or facts about God, as important as information may be.

“Then [with a deep longing] you will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] and [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 (AMPC)

When the revelation of Christ is given as it was to Peter, one knows it! This is the real faith - which will be challenged and tested by the Lord Himself through circumstances to prove it and strengthen it. Christ not only comes to “dwell in the heart,” but overtakes, cleanses it, and makes its new - as He begins to make our very body His temple. For He does not live in temples made with hands.

When this dynamic is active, it does the work which is promised to be completed in the “Day of Jesus Christ,” the subject at hand. The outer doctrinal knowledge is useful to benefit this interior work, but only speaks of it. When it speaks of it, and that seems a rare encouragement. Subject for another day. 

The times are difficult, challenging, and even treacherous on many levels. But would to God we can remember why we are right here right now, plopped down, as it were, in the midst of highly strange unfolding events, which will serve as the crucible for testing our faith - not with the intent to destroy it, but to enhance it and to mature us!

So, let’s get a scriptural glimpse at what these times are all about: 

“For our light, momentary affliction (this slight distress of the passing hour) is ever more and more abundantly preparing and producing and achieving for us an everlasting weight of glory [beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and all calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease!]” 2 Corinthians 4:17 (AMPC)

Heat, time, and pressure form diamonds. This is not unlike what it takes to make us shine according to God’s design and will for us.

 Wow!

This too we must always recall, although these are times of deep discouragement, when - one could say - the winds of change blow a lot of sand in our eyes, so that we may temporarily lose sight of the “Vision” our Lord has for us. 

We question; we may try to wish the times away. It is then - with a sense of being overwhelmed - that it is imperative to turn always in prayer to God and His Word. And to abide! Especially when it’s the last thing we may feel like doing.

May we never fail to turn to Him! Here is where we gain His perspective on the times - from an eternal vantage point - where we find a loving, immutable God Who desires all to be saved and none to perish… He is working out some aspect of His will for the benefit of all, whether they will receive it, or not (to their peril). Often He uses His own brand of tough love! Times and circumstances.

It’s not necessarily problematic that one “asks Jesus into his or her heart.” Yet the understanding of receiving the Heavenly Guest must be understood clearly that He is being invited for His eternal purposes for us, not our finite ideas about what we “want.” He comes to set up housekeeping, on the heavenly level of a fortress, so to speak. We are surrendering our life, will, and complete being utterly to Him! 

The heart - as the center of the will - must come under the full power of the Holy Spirit Who cleanses it and begins to make the entirety of our being, life, and body into His holy temple, from which it is His intention to shine forth in beauty and glory - drawing others to be likewise refashioned, refit, and repurposed. Not only as individuals but as the gathering of the saints as the very Body of Christ. The beauty of holiness is His presence in us, and among us, not having anything to do with our self righteous “efforts”.

In fact, this is our only real purpose, and is related to everything we do and go through every day of our lives.

We’re given our tiny time slot for this amidst all the aeons which have been and ever will be. We are perfectly placed. At just the right time. In spite of our perceptions or opinions or desire to make it go away.  

Is it thus unreasonable to “redeem the time because the days are evil”? See Ephesians 5:15-17. 

Might such darkness as we behold now be the time wherein “those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever” ? (Daniel 3:12. See entire chapter!) 

The “wise” at the time of the end of “the world” (the systems which are under Satanic captivity / authority throughout the whole earth) are to be provided with an understanding of those days (now? see :10) and - because they can provide applicable wisdom - they will shine in brightness and like the stars forever - for the purpose of turning many to righteousness, which is that of Christ within them, Who desires to dwell in all by the Holy Spirit.

The darkness of the evil one and his followers is in a backlash mode now because his reign, and the hegemony of wickedness, will soon end. God has His own timetable! The evil one is being exposed along with all his servants and sycophants. He has held his illicit reign over the whole world since Adam yielded to him what God never intended the evil one to have: the souls of men and the administration - in the authority of Jesus Christ - of all creation. 

The Serpent knows his end is in process and the outcome that awaits him. What would make us think he will not retaliate, even as his ranks are thrown into confusion? 

Yet things grow darker still.

Therefore, we must be warned. We’re looking at a time not far off (See Daniel 12:7) “when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.”

What?!!! Yes. Read it again.

So we find ourselves asking, “Why do things go from bad to worse? Why are the wicked never taken to task and held accountable for the terrible atrocities and crimes they commit?” The future looks admittedly bleak beyond belief. 

A time arises when all that is of godliness is going to be shattered. Scripture is clear. Does it make sense to us? No. But God’s ways are not our ways.

Let’s think back to another time when all seemed hopeless. It will be, as it was for the Apostles, when all their hopes - according to their limited understanding - were shattered by the death and burial of the Lord. They ran. They hid. They wept. All seemed lost. Even after He appeared to them and sent them on to Galilee, when He found them they’d gone fishing, the life they had always known before He called them from the world. 

Yet this was not by any means the end of what was about to break forth on Planet Earth at Pentecost, after He ascended and left them physically once more for good, yet with the paradoxical promise to be with them / us always. In spite of disappearances.

I would offer that we are facing a time when all will seem lost, more than what we see now. We will swirl and tumble over the event horizon of an instant when everything as we have known it will be completely shattered. The old and the good will be gone. (Remember, old normal?) It will be heart breaking and gut wrenching. Let us gird on the armor of our spiritual warfare, and draw near to God - for this is a time which is coming to pass soon, heralded by a time of high strangeness.

All of the old expectations - based upon our limited and childish ideas about what the kingdom will be like, what life should be like - will dissipate in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. Let us remember that, in order for the will of God to prevail, bringing that which is infinite, eternal, and imperishable, all that is perishable must pass away.

This is not easy to think about, when the collective opinion is looking for some sort of utopia or escape hatch, according to our wishes, according to our dreams. Or a way back to way back! The world is passing away. The old earth and the old heavens must pass away, for Him to make all things new!

Old religious forms and symbology likewise will be replaced by a vital, dynamic Holy Spirit imbued reality beyond anything we can imagine, ask, expect, or think. Vapor will be replaced by substance. There will be a spiritual and real and eternal realm that is as solidly different as the oak is from the acorn it came from. The acorn must die for the oak to begin to break forth and live and thrive.

The wise will arise, perhaps are arising now, to prepare the way for this. As stars they will shine, bringing the radiance of the Christ Himself, with His imperishable gospel. Those being refit for the “new mission” will be seen for who they are. They may currently be in a place like the acorn, hidden from sight, going through a very intense dying to the old. They may not be “important” according to the world standard, but the humble and the unknown in the Earth. 

All else will pale in comparison to Him, as He arises, and the old will fade away like dew on the grass as the hot sun rises. 

This is the time when He is preparing His wise ones, who cry out for wisdom. “When wisdom is pleasant to your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, Discretion will preserve you; Understanding will keep you, To deliver you from evil, From the man who speaks perverse things.” Proverbs 2:10-12 (see entire chapter). And we know that, primarily, Christ Himself is our wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30).

Even Daniel was not given the understanding of this. He was only allowed to know and to make known that a time would come at the end of the ages. Something beyond ordinary comprehension and apprehension was being put into place - exposing, expelling, and supplanting the hegemony of darkness - to bring into being a new heaven and a new earth in which righteousness reigns through the Prince of Peace, to Whom is given all authority in heaven and on earth.

This does not happen overnight but according to the One to Whom a day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day. But that final culmination will come, and it will be a surprising moment, seeming like the twinkling of an eye. 

Perhaps we are closer now than we may realize. 

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from that time and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of Hosts will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:6,7. Soli Deo Gloria! Amen.

 

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