“But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.” -2 Peter 3:8-10 (ESV)Earlier, in Peter’s letter, he warned that there will certainly be doubters, specifically …scoffers, in the “last days” (time between Christ’ resurrection and His return). In the passage above, he gives what must be only the most rudimentary, base, understanding of “God’s time-line”. I cannot even begin to fathom His time-line! Can you imagine a God who knows no “time-line”; certainly not as you or I do? He is free to move forward, backward, wherever He desires within my, as well as your, linear time-frame. With that in mind …it isn’t quite as difficult to understand that one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
So what does this mean to you and I, on a practical level? Well, if we read on …Peter encourages that the Lord is not slack, or slow, in fulfilling the promises made in the written word, which He inspired. He WILL keep His promises. Who would He “lie” to otherwise? Our God is no liar. He has nothing to prove to anyone, nor anyone to “fool”. Either He is not Lord “at all” …or He is Lord “of all”.
Peter encourages that the Lord will come again …like a thief in the night. In my fallible, frail human heart ….I want, quite often, to believe that everyone will be with the Father, in eternity, in His Kingdom. But my heart, which is “deceitful and sick”, according to Jeremiah 17:9, cannot even honestly reconcile this thought with that which God’s own word indicates. Scripture speaks of a hell, which separates us from God for eternity, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Peter describes that the heavenly bodies, and works done on the earth, will be “exposed”. Some manuscripts indicate the word, translated here as ‘exposed’, to be “burned up”!
Whatever it is that God will do with the world as we currently know it ….God’s promises, and His plans, will come to pass. We can bicker, fruitlessly, about how unfair we may think it is that a loving God would even allow His children to spend an eternity in hell. That even feels course rubbing across my emotion and intellect. But rather than trusting “my heart”, which has failed me beofre, I am placing my trust in the One who designed and fabricated my heart. His ways are not my ways. He is coming back ….in all His glorious splendor. But He is waiting, patiently, for you and I to “surrender” to His will.