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Examine Scripture

2 Peter 3:7-9

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A Patient God…

The Lord still hopes that we will change our ways:

“The present heavens and earth have been reserved by the same word for fire, kept for the day of judgment and of destruction of the godless. But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day. The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard ‘delay,’ but he is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” -2 Peter 3:7-9, NAB

The world as we know it will not last forever.  Eventually, the Lord will come to judge the world, and no one will go without being judged.  And, while we deserve that punishment today, we have a merciful God who still waits for us to change our hearts.  Despite our sinful ways, He still hopes that more will turn from their evil desires.

In every way, God loves each one of us.  No matter what our sins against Him and each other may be, He loves us like a father loves his children.  Some see God as a spiritual bully, just waiting to bring the hammer down on us, yet He waits.  Punishing us is the last thing that He wants to do; He desperately wants us to repent and return to Him.  If we do, we will be welcomed with open arms, just like the prodigal son.

If God’s only goal was to bring judgment down on mankind, He would have done it long ago.  The Jews consistently lost their way, but He always welcomed them back home.  We nailed His Son to a cross, but He still loves us just as much.  Even St. Peter turned his back on Jesus, but He was forgiven anyway.  And today, we may have strayed far from God, but He hopes that we will eventually learn our lesson and turn our lives back over to Him.

One day, as it says so beautifully in the Nicene Creed, Christ will come again to judge the living and the dead.  He could come at any time, and we should always be prepared.  But, in the meantime, it seems that God is patiently waiting for us to turn our lives around.  He is patiently waiting for us to give our lives back over to Him, repent of our sins, and escape the fate that waits for the rest of the world.

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