Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”2 Peter 3:3-4
Here’s a term some of you will not recognize – “Watch Night Service.” Growing up, we never experienced a New Year’s Eve party. Instead, we spent the evening at our local church for a watch night service. I remember lots of singing, a message from the pastor, an invitation to pray in the new year, but mostly I watched my new digital watch that displayed the date as well as the time with the push of a button (the latest technology at the time).
I rarely hear of those kinds of services these days, but they were marked with the idea that this new year could see the return of Christ. We were encouraged to live expectantly. Some today are scoffing at the idea just as others did nearly two thousand years ago.
Peter reminds us that God doesn’t necessarily operate on the same concept of time. He isn’t restricted by chronological time, so “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day”( 2 Peter 3:8).
And then Peter assures his readers that God’s compassion for the people of the world is at the root of what we see as a delay – “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”(2 Peter 3:9).
For nearly two thousand years, followers of Christ have been anticipating His return and we can be assured that He will be right on time – watch night service or not.