(2 Pet 3:8 NKJV) 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.
Seem that prophets are plentiful around the beginning of a new year. Having just read a long list of "predictions" as to what the new year would hold, I wondered about the wisdom of it. I suppose there is nothing wrong with a little fun, just to see how close you get in connecting the dots and trying to see where trends are going to go.
But we know all too well how quickly trends can change. How many people would have dared to predict that anyone could beat George Bush in a presidential race shortly after the Persian Gulf War? How many people predicted that the Berlin Wall would fall the year it did? I dare say there are things in store for us this year which we would never even dare to predict or ever think of.
One thing that I am sure we will continue to hear predictions of, especially as the year 2000 approaches, is when Jesus will return to take His church away. Seems I've heard one even a month or two ago that it would happen in June. But as another year rolls by and skeptism grows with each passing failed prediction, there are some who might decide that this is one prophecy that will not take place.
Strangely enough, that was an attitude of some back in Peter's day, who expected Jesus to return quickly, many of them thought in the Apostle's own lifetime. Yet it did not happen then, and as far as we know, it still has not taken place although there are many pretenders to the throne, as Jesus Himself predicted there would be in Matt. 24. But even in Peter's day there were some wondering why Jesus had not returned and delt out justice on the world. Peter calls these people "scoffers" who say that He will not return, that things continue just as they always have. If there were scoffers in Peter's day over the return of Christ, think how much more so today.
Peter reminds his readers that it was by God's word that earth and heaven were created, by His word that it was flooded, and by His word that it stands as it does today. Indeed, it has been promised that this earth will pass away, being destroyed with fire. It will come, Peter tells them. There is no doubt about that. God's word always comes to pass.
But then he reminds them of a central truth, that one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day to God. Put in the context of the year 2000 which is now only four years away, it has not even been two days since Jesus died! Going the other way, for God, our 2000 years has been 2,000,000 years! For God it is all the same; 2 days to 2 million years. Time is irrelavent. Time is only relevant from our perspective. So Peter encourages them to not worry about how much time has passed before it happens. That proves nothing as to whether it will occur or not. But the fact that Jesus did say it would happen says it will happen, as Peter says: "As a thief in the night" it will come upon us.
Peter then encourages his readers, in light of the fact that it will happen, what manner of people ought we to be? Another year has passed. We are all another year closer to when we will meet the Lord, for we will all meet Him at some point in time, and for many it will be this year through death. Yet who knows, His return could be this year. It could be on the year 2000. Or maybe it is still another 1000 years away. It really does not matter. What matters to us is that we walk with the Lord as we ought to.
Happy New Year, but the real celebration will be on the first "day" of eternity. Now that will be something to celebrate! So run in such a way to receive that prize. God will aid you by His grace and Spirit. May each of our new year's resolutions be to serve the Lord in even greater ways this coming year, keeping our eyes on Him. Amen.