Living in the Expectation of the Lord's Return

May 2, 2020

2 Peter 3:3-13

We are living in a time of great global uncertainty. People everywhere are worried about the threat of being infected with a deadly virus. Our lives and regular routines have radically changed.

Who would have imagined grocery shopping with face masks? Who would have predicted school closures across our Nation? What sportscaster would have forecasted the cancelation of professional sports and even the 2020 Olympics? What economist would have guessed that the best economy of our lifetime would be followed by the highest unemployment rate in American history.

Everyone’s personal life has changed too. While our government takes drastic steps to curb the spread of the virus, our personal freedoms are curbed too…freedom of association, freedom of movement and freedom to gather and worship.  

Living through this Corona virus is like sailing on uncharted waters on troubled seas. There’s a saying that I learned years ago that points me in the right direction whenever my life is sailing through uncertain times.

“You cannot know the strength of your Anchor, until you have felt the power of the storm.”

As believers in Jesus, we know that God is our unmovable Anchor and His Word is our infallible map to guide us through any storm. His promises are like the links in the chain that bind us to the answer.

So, what does the Bible say that gives us guidance and hope in these troubled times?

READ 2 Peter 3:3-13

Four insights that relate to you.

The Second Coming of Jesus will be mocked by the world but is guaranteed by God. Vs. 3-4, 7

Expect to hear from globalists that the hope of the world is central planning by a few world leaders to benefit humanity and save the planet. Every year 3000 global elite meet at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland to set goals global economy, geopolitics, healthcare, climate change, technology and the future of planet earth.

In their own words they say that this new decade “signals a fresh start – a change to be brave, take and stand and make the decisions we know are good for us, but are hard to swallow. Leaders can embrace a different approach to address the significant global challenges we face. Emergent trends in leadership suggest they must.”

The hope of the world is not man’s plans to save himself or the planet. The hope of the world is the return of Christ! Did you know that the Bible has four times more prophesies about the second coming of Christ than it does about the first advent?  In other words, God wants us to pay attention to our blessed hope.

There is no better time to trust in God’s guarantee of Christ’s Second coming than now, when the world order is shaken.  There is an anchor that holds, there is a way through these troubled waters, and there is one glorious promise of hope for everyone who puts their faith in Jesus…Jesus is coming again!  Jesus said, “I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am, you may be also.”(John 14:3)

The timing of Christ’s coming is in God’s hands for His saving purposes. Vs. 9

Why has Jesus not come? Why has God not judged our sinful world? Answer: God is patient with sinners, and He loves them.  God desires that all people around the world turn from their sins and turn in faith to Christ Jesus His only Son.  

In 2 Corinthians 6:2, the Bible calls our time the age of God’s favor on the earth: For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, nowis the favorable time; behold, nowis the day of salvation.

This is the day of salvation! Now is the time to share the good news. Now is the time for people everywhere to come to Christ as Savior and Lord.

Now is the time for every Christian to fulfill the Great Commission.

Now is the time for you to share your testimony with all who will listen.

Now is the time to call the world to repent of their sins and believe in Jesus.

The day when sinners can receive God’s gift of salvation is now!  

The present material world will be destroyed. Vs. 10

The coming of Christ will be a welcome relief for Christians but a complete shock to the world. Like a thief in the night. The Anti-Christ and world’s elite ruling class will be surprised when Jesus comes to take His place as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Christ’s first coming was humble. He was endowed with salvation for sinners. He came to live a perfect life, die a substitutionary death, raise to life and ascend back to heaven.

Christ’s second coming will be in power and great glory. Jesus is coming to judge the earth in righteousness. He will put an end to Satan and sin’s destructive rule over humanity.

The earth and the material universe that people think is permanent will be suddenly vaporized.

God expects me to live a life of holiness in expectation of Christ’s return! Vs. 11, 13

How should a believer in our troubled times prepare for the coming of Christ?  Answer: We ought to live a life of holiness and godliness.  We are called to be different than the world because we are not of this world. WE LOOK FOR THE COMING NEW WORLD!

One day Jesus will wrap up the current heavens and earth and destroy them like an old shabby garment to be burned in the junk yard. (Hebrews 1:12) Then, He will create a brand-new heaven and brand-new earth. (Revelation 21:1-5)

What will be the biggest contrast between that coming world and the present one? The new world will never again face the destructive ravages of sin or of Satan. No tears, no sorrow, no war, no disease, no death! It will be a perfect environment because Jesus is King, and His kingdom is perfectly righteous and holy.

The new heaven and earth will need no Sun nor moon. The new heaven and earth will shine with the glorious light of Christ’s presence.

What will be the greatest joy of the coming new heaven and new earth? Revelations 21:3 Behold, the dwelling placeof God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.

The great hope that you have today is not preserving the present earth with your present life but looking forward to the coming new heaven and earth where God will be your God for all eternity.

Application Questions

1.        Is the hope of Christ’s return in sharper focus for you during this time? Why?  Why not?

2.        How does the promise of Christ’s return help you through these hard times?

3.        What opportunities do you have now to share the good news of Jesus?  Family? Friends? Neighbors? At work?

4.        If the present material world will be destroyed, do you need to change any priorities?

5.        If righteousness reigns in the coming new heaven and earth, what sins do you need to confess and forsake to be ready?

About The Author

Jerry Rueb

Dr. Jerry Rueb is the Lead Pastor of Cornerstone Church, Long Beach. God has blessed Jerry’s visionary leadership, biblical preaching, energetic shepherding and the trusted reputation to successfully lead churches in Littleton, Colorado, Santa Cruz, California, Vancouver, Canada and Long Beach, California. As the founding pastor of Cornerstone Church, Jerry began with eight couples in a spiritually-resistant area near one of the largest college campuses in America. Within ten years the congregation grew and quickly became known for its commitment to world missions and creatively ministering to the local community. Jerry is a persuasive preacher who speaks honestly and powerfully from God’s Word each weekend.