Why Hasn’t Jesus Returned?

Many of us undoubtedly have mixed emotions now that Christmas is over. Some of us are exhausted. Some are disappointed with the gifts we gave or received. Some of us are worried about having spent too much money during the holiday, and we dread seeing our credit card bills coming in the mail. Some of us have a happy glow due to being with family and friends, and for many of us, this season has been a wonderful experience of revisiting the wonder of the Savior’s birth. On this day after Christmas, may I suggest that the most logical thing for us to do is shift our focus from His First Coming to His Second Coming. He showed up the first time, in the fullness of time and according to prophecy. He will do so again. In 2 Peter 3:1–12, Peter deals with this subject, discussing in some detail the return of Christ to this planet, warning us of a skeptical question and providing a Scriptural answer. Let’s end the year with this forward-looking passage.

A Skeptical Question (vv. 3–7). Here Peter says that in the last days, scoffers are going to challenge Christians with an awkward question. The Greek word for “last” days here is eskatos from which we get our English term “eschatology.” This is a phrase that occurs five times in the New Testament, and it seems to refer to this present age—to the age of grace, the age of the church, the years between the Day of Pentecost when the church was born, and the coming of Christ. Now, Peter says that we can be sure of one thing about these last days—that there will be skeptics who belittle and ridicule and seek to marginalize the teachings of God’s Word. And they will be asking, “Where is His coming? Why hasn’t Christ come back? Why haven’t your predictions come true? Where is He?”

Peter goes on to explain in verse 5 that these scoffers are deliberately rejecting the biblical warnings of the flood of Noah. During those days, people forgot about God. They started thinking about immoral sex all day long and all night long, and their society became very sensual and degraded and violent. If they had had TVs in that day, they would probably have invented some of the programming we’re getting on our televisions today. There was dishonesty and thievery and an overall lack of the fear of God in their culture. For many years, while he was building the ark, Noah preached a message of warning, but nobody listened; nobody responded. Not one. Then the day came, Noah and his family entered the ark, and God closed the door. The game was up. Time was gone. The rain began to fall, the floods came, the ark rose, the people scratched at the door trying to get in, but it was too late. They had passed the redemption point.

Right now is a season of preaching and pleading and warning. Be born again! Get right with God! Come to Christ! Change the way you’re living! Let Jesus Christ be your Savior and Lord! But one day soon, any day now, the door will be closed and judgment will fall. Peter tells us that right up until the moment of His return, scoffers will be asking, “Where is this coming He predicted?”

2. A Scriptural Answer (vv. 8–9). Here Peter provides two answers to the question: “Why hasn’t Christ come back?”

A. God does not calculate time the way we do (v. 8). We view time from the context of time, but God views time from the context of eternity and from that context there isn’t much difference between a day and a millennium. To God, the 2,000 years of Christian history—this age of grace—has only lasted a couple of days.

B. He is giving you and me time to repent (v. 9). God is waiting for you to be saved. He is delaying His coming in order to give some people a little more time to come to Jesus.

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

%d bloggers like this: