In the third chapter Peter quoted the false teaching in verses 4-5 “Where is the promise of His coming”. Their reasoning was “For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” He calls them “scoffers” in verse 3 as they viewed God unable or inept in intervene in human history. The world is NOT going to get better, but evil isn’t going win this is clear from the perspective of God’s word; God is not slack concerning His promises. We must not focus our attention on prognostication, or we will become discouraged when our predictions don’t happen, and we can also assume that God’s delaying is somehow because He is either “unable” or “disinterested”! Instead, we need to approach our discouragement with regards to what we perceive as “God’s delay” not as a problem with God but instead one of human perspective! God is above time; He does not LIVE at all in the realm or terms and conditions of the process of time! Though God is above time but acts in time! We don’t have to worry about the events of our life, we won’t leave time one second before it is time!!! Everything in this world is operating on the exact same time GST time zone, “God Standard Time”. We often forget that God is not bound to work in the HST or Human Standard Time zone that we prefer. We must not ascribe to Him that He is either “unable” or “disinterest” becauseHe doesn’t work in our time zone. God’s time is delays are not a date on a calendar but based upon Hebrews 4:12 as the Only One that “is the discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”. What causes our seeming “delays” is not incompetence, but instead LOVE for the LOST. We will now focus our attention on the 10th verse where Peter will issue another encouraging truth with regards to GST, that not only is God Standard Time all the right time is a restorative time as it will set all things back as they were designed!
Vs. 10 It’s history
Vs. 10 One of the problems of history is that we look back to see if there is any patterns that can guide us to the purpose and plans of today. It has been said that “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.” But though there is some truth that who drives forward by looking back? We all want to know if there is an objective and purpose to life and people have looked to history to help to answer that pressing question. There are four views of human history:
- Progressive optimism: Things have been bad in the past, but we are gaining progress and as science, education, environment, and government improve there will be a synthesis of utopia where it will all come together, and humanity will reach the 5 dimension an age of Aquarius. It was first put out there by German philosopher Hegel of the human advancement and progress. This philosophy of human history is very popular today and is what is pushing the world forward in thought today. People are basically good and if we can eliminate the things that go against this then we will arrive at a global unity, a one world government ruled by good people all operating in each other’s best interest. This was Carl Marx’s point of view.
- Historical cycles: This was put forth by Greek philosophers as they said that history just goes around and round in circles. There seems to be an advance only to see human history fall backwards. They cite the “rise and fall” of empires and civilizations and there does seem to be some truth this as we can see this in the quote in Eccles 1:9 where we read that “there is nothing new under the sun, what is, has been; what is to be, has already been”. The problem with this view isn’t the view but the lack of understanding that such things are not random or a matter of “fate” but instead are under the hand and control of God. We are not “spinning” out of control we are spinning under God’s control!
- Modern scientific: This view is based upon the 2nd law of thermodynamics that says that things aren’t progressing they are in a state of decline, running down not speeding up. And that eventually the clock will just stop working altogether. Many scientists hold this view that life on this planet is not sustainable and that in time life will no longer be able to be supported and that will be the end of human life. In this view people begin to live only for now as we are all doomed, and history is meaningless, lawless, and shapeless sequence of human events.
- Biblical View: The last view is the one found in Peter’s words in verse 10. This view reminds us that human history is under the control of God and not open to fate. Humanity isn’t going to progress they are going to regress and do so in spite of education, environment, and government. This is why throughout human history we see cycles of advanced development followed by decline of the essentials of the basic needs of people. Humanity is uncapable of self-government and in time no matter what progressions they have made they will oppress and destroy each other. God knows this and is not blind to it and in fact is using humanities failures to point to the need for a relationship with Him. There is a purpose in plan even in the chaotic mess that humanity has made, and God is working out His purposes even through the chaos.
Verse 10 declares three important truths to those of us that hold the “Biblical View” of history:
- “But the Day of the Lord”: First, God’s Word states that God controls history. Human history is on a path that is fully understood and controlled by the Living God. There will be none that will escape the “Day of the Lord”. Though the time of its appearance remains a mystery the certainty of its arrival is a fact! To clarify this Peter describes this as coming as a “thief in the night”. All of humanity is moving forward to a consummation of crisis that is unavoidable and unescapable apart from a relationship with the Living God!
- “In which the heavens will pass away with a great noise”: Second, the Biblical view history includes the disillusionment of TIME. All that has been and all that is and all that will be no more. Peter reminds the scoffers that said, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” It was God that built the watch that all of humanity has ran on GST “God Standard Time” and here we are told that “heavens will pass away”. There is no better way to show fallen humanity that they don’t control their destiny and time then to destroy time itself! The Bible is not the history of the world it is the history of God action towards a fallen creation redeeming those willing back to what He created and controls! In time we see God reaching out to Adam and Eve after the fall and clothing them in a slain lamb skin instead of the self-effort of a fig leaf. We see the ungodly works of Cain that killed the grace of God that Able practiced. We see the preservation of Noah and his family who trusted God instead of listening to the shouts of the world. We see the God working through a man named Abram who though past the time of children promised a multitude that cannot be numbered. God walking through the pages of human history all seen in the Word of God!
- “The elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.” Finally, God’s Word reveals that there will be an ultimate consummation of God’s plan for human history. The clock hands are moving to the exact time when the 2nd hand will be on the hour hand. Sin will be dissolved and right now we see this moving towards this as God is calling people out of the kingdom of darkness into the light. A New Kingdom is coming, Jesus said that it was not of this world, and we are told that this New Kingdom will never cease. What people have placed their hope in apart from Jesus is “melting away” it won’t last, they are all burning up! God is fashioning a new world, a new creation that will be devoid of sin and selfishness. A glorious world of peace, joy laugher and praise! No more pain and sorrow, a place of unity and beauty! Why even death is destroyed and melted away and we are there not based upon our efforts but trusting in God’s!
Biblical History doesn’t promise us an amazing future based upon our goodness, ingenuity, and hard work. No, it says that those things will lead to our destruction. Those things will lead wars and rumors of wars, troubles, and destruction. Christians should be expecting this and not doubt God’s plans as this is what Biblical history tells us will happen. The hope of the follower of Jesus isn’t on the world getting better and better but rather in a new heaven and new earth! Our hope and joy isn’t on this world it’s on a new world! The events and disappointments in this life shouldn’t cause us to doubt God but it should get us to loosen our hold and hope in humanity and to grab a hold of the peach and joy of the biblical view of history!