The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
— 2 Peter 3:9
Today I want to encourage you to remember something about the patience and longsuffering of our Lord. Jesus Christ is still on the throne as King of kings and Lord of lords, regardless of the events that are occurring around the world. We may not see exactly how He is moving — or know everything that He is doing — but Christ is fully in charge and is moving by His Spirit around the planet to take us toward final prophetic fulfillments. As we will see in Second Peter 3:9, God is presently holding back His judgment until one last person repents. Just think of it. One last person will repent before that moment on God’s prophetic timeline begins, and then judgment will fall on this planet and God will deal with a world gone astray.
To our natural eyes, it seems like society is degenerating at an ever-increasing rate. Laws are being implemented that are antagonistic toward people of faith, and Christians are increasingly labeled as intolerant because they refuse to endorse the activities of a morally bankrupt world. Therefore, it is important for us to remain aware that Christ is still seated on His throne in Heaven, ruling over the affairs of mankind. No matter how turbulent the waters around us may seem, Christ has never moved from His highly exalted seat of authority. The Day of Judgment is near, but Christ waits lovingly and patiently for one more soul to repent before that prophetic moment occurs and judgment falls.
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While we wait for that final moment of God’s reckoning with the affairs of men, it can be discouraging to see ungodly men run the transactions of government. So we must remember the fact that God’s Word promises a day will come when every man will stand before the throne of judgment. We must pray for ungodly men to come to the knowledge of the truth, but we must also never forget that those who resist and oppose the truth will not escape the consequences of their actions. A time will inevitably come when every man will be called into Christ’s high court of reckoning.
Only mercy restrains Christ from taking immediate action against evildoers. He is well-equipped to eliminate those who oppose the truth, but His mercy endures forever. This truth is very clear in Second Peter 3:9, where Peter wrote, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
I want to look at that word “longsuffering” with you. It is the Greek word makrothumeo, which is a compound of the words makros and thumeo. The word makros depicts something that is long, and thumeo is the word for anger. When compounded, the new word makrothumeo is the picture of the long restraint of anger — thus the reason it is often translated as patience or longsuffering. But it is actually the picture of God holding back His anger.
Why does God hold back so long when it seems that judgment should come more quickly? Peter wrote the reason: God is “…not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” He is holding out for one last person who will repent before the clock stops ticking and time runs out.
From the signs around us, it would seem that this event will happen during our lifetime. I personally expect to see the Rapture — the “catching away” (see 1 Thessalonians 4:17) — of the Church during our lifetime. Afterward, great bowls of God’s judgment will be poured out upon the earth. But God is loving, patient, and kind. He longs for one more person to repent before that prophetic moment in history begins, so He restrains His anger toward the godlessness in the world as He patiently waits.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you were the one who led that last person to the Lord before the judgment cycle begins on the earth? Consider the joy of knowing that God used you for such a historic moment. Don’t say it couldn’t be you, because it’s going to be someone who brings that last soul into the family of God! And when this grand moment occurs and the very last person repents in this current age, the long-awaited judgment will begin. To be honest, it could happen anytime.
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Heavenly Father, my heart is stirred today to pray for my unsaved friends, family, and acquaintances. The Bible has long foretold that a day of judgment is coming, but I’ve never thought about it so deeply as I’ve thought about it today. Thank You for being patient with the world — and for being so merciful that You are waiting for more people to repent before the clock stops ticking and time runs out. Father, I want to be open and available for You to use me to share the witness of Jesus with those who are unsaved. And if I was the one You used to bring the last person to Christ, I would be overwhelmed by the privilege of doing so!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that we are living in the last days. The time is soon coming when the prophetic clock will stop for this age. When it does, the Church will be caught away, and the judgment cycle will begin on the earth. I declare that from now until then, I will do all that I can to share Jesus with my unsaved friends, family, and acquaintances. God’s longsuffering causes Him to wait for one last person to repent, and I will do all I can to bring as many souls as I can to the Lord before this age ends and the next age begins.
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Have you ever wondered why the judgment of God is often delayed for so long? After reading this today, how would you now answer that question?
- Have you ever thought about the fact that every man will be called into Christ’s high court of reckoning one day? How does that realization affect the way you conduct your own life?
- What friends, family, and acquaintances are you concerned about because they are unsaved? Have you ever tried to share Christ with them? Why don’t you ask the Holy Spirit to open a door so you or someone else can share Jesus with them?