Sunday, November 1, 2015

Trust in the Lord: The Day of the Lord

November 1, 2015

Trust in the Lord
The Day of the Lord
2 Peter 3:1-10

(Advance Slide #1)

So the church was packed and the preacher was wound up to a fever pitch speaking on the 2nd coming of Jesus.

(Advance Slide #2)

  • Quoting Jesus’ promise, he shouted out “I am coming soon!’”
  • He preached some more and said even more loudly “I am coming soon!!”
  • He preached a little longer and threw his arms up in the air and cried out “I am coming soon!”
    • At this point, he lost his balance and tumbled off the stage into the lap of a gentleman in the 1st row.
    • The preacher got up and apologized to the man, but the man replied: “Oh, that’s ok, you warned me three times.”

(Advance Slide #3)

In August of 2005 the 11th named storm of the season made landfall covering more than 400 miles.
  • Winds beat upon the land at speeds up from 100 to 150 miles per hour.
  • Hundreds of thousands of people in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama were displaced from their homes.
  • Hurricane Katrina caused more than 100 billion dollars in damages and is still affecting people today.

(Advance Slide #4)

In the text this morning we are going to read of another destructive time that will come.
  • As we think of ‘trusting in the Lord’ we need to trust that the Lord’s words are true.
    • More importantly we need to be ready for this day.

(Advance Slide #5)

8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 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. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. 2 Peter 3:8-10

Peter tells us that God’s judgment is coming.
  • It’s coming upon our world in a breadth and scope that will make any destruction from natural causes seem to pale by comparison.
  • It is a real fact that we must take seriously, and also be ready for.
    • Seeing as how God’ judgment is imminent and inevitable, as we study this passage, there are a few things that we need to understand:

What can we learn from this text?
  • I am going to point out 3 lessons that will help us trust the Lord and prepare for the ‘day of the Lord.’

First lesson…

(Advance Slide #6)

People who desire to run their own lives without the restrictions of God’s standards will always find a way to ignore God & the potential of His judgment.
  • Notice what vs. 3 tells us.
    • “knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.”
      • From this we learn that ‘in the last days’ we will be visited by a certain group of people.
        • Scoffers, what is a scoffer?
        • Scoffers are doubter...those that laugh at, demean, and make fun of things that are holy.
      • These scoffer are going to ‘follow their own desires.’

Second Lesson…

(Advance Slide #7)

Those people who ignore the potential of God’s judgment do so at their own peril.
  • Just read vs. 5-7:
5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
  • God has a reputation for judgment, right?
    • There are several instances, “Noah’s Flood”, Sodom & Gomorrah, the 10 plagues upon Egypt.
    • There should be no doubt that God has a reputation for judgment.
  • God is not to be trifled with...His judgement is real!

Talk to an insurance agent about an “Act of God” and he’ll tell you it means a catastrophic destruction of lives and/or property.
  • When Peter speaks of Noah’s flood, he’s saying: God’s judgement has happened before and will happen again.
    • In other words, it doesn’t matter whether or not you think He’s coming again or not...He Is!
  • And while it seems crazy to us, people ignore these warnings.

Third Lesson…

(Advance Slide #8)

God takes no pleasure in judgement.
“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.” - vs. 9
  • Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? No!
    • Ezekiel explains this way, "… if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die. None of the offences he has committed will be remembered against him. Because of the righteous things he has done, he will live.” 18:21-23
    • What truly pleases the Lord is when we turn from our wicked ways and live for Him!

We are good with this but only up to a point.
  • There does come a point at which we’re not sure certain people ought to have the chance to repent.
    • People who’ve done things – so evil, so foul, so unspeakable… we just know there’s special place in hell just for them.
      • We would not be nearly as merciful to them as God would.
      • And yet, if God weren’t willing to be merciful to them His promises would be empty.

(Advance Slide #9)

If God weren’t able and willing to be merciful to the worst of sinners how could we be sure He would show mercy even to us?

God didn’t want us to wonder if He was merciful so we can find examples in the Bible:
  1. To a corrupt brother named Jacob
  2. To a prostitute named Rahab
  3. To an murderous/adulterer named David

God showed mercy to those the world would reject:
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Cor. 6:9-11

(Advance Slide #10)

God’s judgment is coming!
  • Importantly, the Lord’s coming should influence how we think & how we live.

If you don’t realize what you could have faced at the judgment, what your sins deserved, you’ll never appreciate the grace & mercy you’ve received.

  • But if you do realize what you might have faced in judgment you’ll live & think differently than just about everyone else.