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2 Peter 3:8-13

 
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. 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. 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.
 
Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. (ESV)
The Time of the Lamb
Wednesday of Easter 3
13 April 2016
The German theologian, missionary, and philanthropist, Albert Schweitzer, after studying the New Testament's end times statements simply opined that Jesus and the apostles were just mistaken in their views. Schweitzer thought that Jesus and the apostles expected the end of the world immanently, perhaps within a few years of the ascension of Christ. According to Schweitzer within a few years that expectation was disappointed. The apostles, like the endlessly revising theologians of our modern times, had to scramble to cover their tracks. They rationalized the delayed reappearance of the Messiah to judge the world as though the end times were now thought to be far distant in the future. To this day many Christians spend endless time and effort disputing about what time it is now: "post-tribulation," "pre-millennial," and so on.
 
Perhaps by looking at the "time" itself, we are missing the point. Time is merely the context into which is set the revelation that God was in Christ who as the Lamb shed His precious blood for us. The work of Christ to redeem the world is the message that has come upon is in these last days (Heb 1:1). So the incarnation of Christ marks out the fullness of the times (Gal 4:4). The ministry of Christ and His death and resurrection bring to fulfillment the promises of the last days. The last days are marked out by the life and death of the Lamb of God. Christ Himself is the apocalyptic vision of the church. Let's not get caught counting days and seasons while ignoring the Lamb's blood. 

 

Martin Luther

"[Christ] was destined before the foundation of the world but was made manifest at the end of the times" (1Pt 1:20).
"That is, we did not merit this and never asked God that the precious blood of Christ be shed for us. Therefore we have nothing to boast of. The glory belongs to no one but God alone. God promised us this without any merit on our part; and He also revealed or made known what He ordained and decreed from eternity, before the creation of the world. To be sure, this was also promised in the prophets, but in a veiled manner and not openly. Now, however, after the resurrection of Christ and the sending of the Holy Spirit, it has been preached publicly and has resounded throughout the world.

"St. Peter calls the era in which we are now living, the period from Christ's ascension to the Last Day, 'the end of the times.' Thus the apostles, the prophets, and Christ Himself also call it the last hour (1Jn 2:18). This does not mean that the Last Day was to come immediately after Christ's ascent into heaven, but the reason is that after this proclamation of the gospel concerning Christ there will be no other proclamation and that it will not be revealed and set forth better than it has been set forth and revealed. For of this there has always been one revelation after the other. Therefore God says, 'By my name the Lord I did not make myself known to them' (Ex 6:3). For although the patriarchs knew God, yet at the same time they did not yet have as clear a proclamation from God as was made later through Moses and the prophets. But now no more glorious and no clearer proclamation has come into the world than the gospel. Therefore this is the last one. All the times have come and gone, but now the gospel has been revealed to us for the last time.

"In the second place, the end of the world is not far away so far as time is concerned. St. Peter explains this in 2 Peter 3 when he says: 'With the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day' (2Pt 3:8). He wants to give us this guidance concerning the reckoning of time in order that we may judge according to God's way of looking at it, namely, that 'the end of the times' is already at hand. But the fact that there is still some time left means nothing before God. Salvation has already been revealed and completed; but God permits the world to continue to stand in order that His name may be honored and praised more widely, even though in His own eyes it has already been revealed most perfectly."

Martin Luther, Sermons on the First Epistle of Peter
 
Prayer
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world. Have mercy on us. Amen.
 
For the family of Dodie DeYoung and Robert DeYoung, whom our Lord took to Himself, that they would be comforted that those who sow in tears will reap in joy
 
For the pastors of the church that they would confidently proclaim the life of Christ to God's people
 
For all those who need to hear the gospel because they are slaves to their sin, that God's Word would lead them into the true freedom of the baptized life
Art: RUBENS, Peter Paul  The Resurrection of Christ (1611-12)

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