“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 slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:8-9
So exactly what does Peter mean pretty much quoting from Old Testament Psalm 90:4? Peter, the preacher is building into the thought that ‘times a wasting’. If the Lord Jesus would return right now, those unsaved could not blame God for not having enough time, because God is not “slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness”.
The Dictionary.com defines the words slack or slackness as: not tight, taut, firm, or tense.
In other words, God has given every opportunity within the time He has allotted for every man and woman to hear the Word of God, understand by it the fallen condition of man, recognize a need to change that condition, and accept the forgiveness of a loving God through Jesus Christ and cause that person to repent, or turn away from what they are to how God sees they could be.
“but is long-suffering toward us”
God is patient towards us, even though we insult Him over time by not accepting His way as the right way of approaching Him. God literally has time on His side.
“not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance”.
God’s desire is that none should be destroyed but that should come to repentance.
There are three Greek words used in the New Testament to describing repentance.
(1.) The verb_metamelomai_ which means a change of mind, that produces regret or even remorse on account of sin…. but not necessarily a change of heart. We see this verb used in the case of Judas Iscariot, in Matthew 27:3: “Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood.”
(2.) Metanoeo, is closer to the meaning defining itself as to “ change one’s mind and purpose, as the result of after knowledge.”
This verb, describes true repentance, a change of mind and purpose and life, to which remission of sin is promised. Using this understanding of repentance we can illustrate true repentance as:
(1) A true sense of one’sown guilt and sinfulness
(2) An apprehension of God’s mercy in Jesus Christ.
(3) An actual hatred of sin and turning from it to God.
- Psalm 119:28– “Therefore all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right; I hate every false way.
- Job 42:5-6– ““I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
- 2 Corinthians 7:10– “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.”
Being repentant is comprehending not only a sense of sin, but grabbing hold of what mercy”s role is in repentance. Without God invoking His mercy, (Not giving us what we deserve) we have nor true repentance.
- Psalm 51:1– “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your loving-kindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.”
- Psalm 130:4– “But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared.”
We can see that God takes our sin serious, enough that He is being patient, that we would take hold of His mercy combined with a genuine change of mind, change of purpose, and a change of life.
Having a notion of understanding, we can see that God has done it all, extending His mercy, calling us to come to Him, and be forgiven of all our sins. God has waited, has been patient, but that time is running out. God does not perceive time as we do here on earth.
One day in God’s eyes may be as productive as a thousand years of events. The Lord may be delaying His return. not because He is acting slowly, but because of His great compassion toward those who are lost.
I believe Peter was encouraging believers to think outside the box because God is not limited by time, space, and human comprehension.
Maybe today you are reading this, across the world, and have come to the point where you really would like to make peace with God. Now is the time to receive His promise and be forgiven of your sins. I would like to help you, simply pray this prayer from your heart and mean it. “God, I accept Your merciful gift of forgiveness, and ask that You would forgive me of all my sins. I repent from all my old ways, and choose to follow and obey all Your ways. Wash me and cleanse me by the blood of Jesus, and fill me with Your Holy Spirit, in Jesus Name, Amen.”
The Bible teaches us that: “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth” Luke 15:10
Maybe, you’re reading this and you are already saved. Thank God for that! But maybe you know of someone; a relative, a friend who you know if Jesus were to return right now, they would not be saved, then maybe you’d like to write me a note and give me their name. I promise I will pray for them. You can do so by pressing the ‘Prayer Need’ icon at the top of this screen.
Time is running out, let’s heed Peter’s encouragement that we not wait or put off the single most important thing we can do for ourselves, or that relative or friend, giving them the gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ!
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