"Has God Failed?" by Matthew Meek, 12 December 2010, 2 Peter 3

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Danny

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Dec 12, 2010, 4:45:56 AM12/12/10
to Sermons from Wollongong Baptist Church
Intro
What makes you laugh?
We laugh sometimes at people do stupid things.

Last month police caught Salvatore LaRosa who at gunpoint stole what
he thought was a bag of money from the owners of Brother’s Pizza Shop
in New York.

The bag had dough in it, just not the money kind, but dough for making
pizza.

If you thought the robber was stupid, the owner got shot twice in the
leg as he resisted the robbers knowing they were taking just pizza
dough.

Sometimes we laugh because we think people can’t do something. But
it’s dangerous to laugh at them because sometimes they prove us wrong

When JK Rowling started writing Harry Potter 12 publishers laughed
saying she would fail.

Bloomsbury finally agreed to publish Harry Potter but told Rowling
‘she would never succeed in writing children’s books.

But no one is laughing at Rowling now, because she is a billionaire
with the fastest-selling books in history.

Some people laugh at Jesus because he promised to return to this
world, but hasn’t.
It looks like God has failed to keep His promise to send Jesus back

But today we’ll see it’s dangerous to laugh at God, because God hasn’t
failed.

1. Don’t laugh, God keeps His promises (1-6)
Read 1-4

Before Jesus left the world he promised his followers that he would
return to bring them to heaven + judge the world.

Peter is writing to warn Christians about scoffers (3) who laugh
because they doubt Jesus will come back.

2,000 years later, for many people, Jesus’ failure to return seems
like a broken promise.

These people say (4) that from OT times, life continues as it always
has: the sun rises & sets, people are born, work, eat, sleep, die +
the cycle continues.

If Jesus hasn’t come today, or yesterday, or the day before that, then
he won’t come tomorrow, or the next day, or at all.

But look how Peter responds to them:
Read 5-6

God is boss of this world – the world doesn’t just run by itself.
God created the world by his word (5) - He said: Let there be light &
there was light.

God also promised to destroy the world with a flood at Noah’s time
(6).
He said “There will be a flood to destroy all living things” + there
was a flood.

Have you ever promised to meet s.o, but couldn’t because you got sick
or the train was late?

You & I make plans about the future, but we can’t control if they will
happen or not.
But God created the whole world, so he controls everything that
happens.

So if God says: Jesus will return, Jesus will return + nothing can
stop that happening.
So don’t laugh, because God keeps His promises.

2. The Day of God’s final judgment is coming (7-13)
Read 7, 10

God promised to judge the world in the past with a flood + did (6).

So, if God has promised to judge the world in the future, then by that
same trustworthy word (7) God will send Jesus back to judge our world.

The day Jesus returns is called the Judgment Day (7) for ungodly
people. An ungodly person is someone who doesn’t live God’s way.

At Easter Christians celebrate that God raised Jesus from the dead to
be ruler over the world.
So, if you say Jesus is not ruler of your life, then you are ungodly.

And watch out! Because God’s final judgment Day is coming
If you don’t let Jesus rule your life, God will destroy ungodly people
like you (7).

So why hasn’t Jesus come back yet?
Is it because God’s iPhone calendar is not working or is God old +
can’t remember the date?
Read 8-9

We live in a world where we want things to happen straight away. If
our computer takes 1min to download an email, that’s too long! We want
lightning fast broadband.

If we have to wait 5 mins for a McDonalds hamburger – that’s too long.

So, waiting 2,000 years for Jesus to return seems like a long time!

But (8) shows us that God’s view of time & ours is very different.
For God 1,000 years is like 1 day, so 2,000 years is like 2 days!
That’s just a weekend!

(9) God is not slow in keeping His promise – rather God is being
patient.

God is delaying Jesus’ return to give people time to repent, to give
people a chance to turn back to follow Jesus as the true King, before
Jesus returns to punish them.

God doesn’t want to see people perish, to punish them forever (9).
That’s why he sent Jesus the 1st time to die to take away our
punishment.

But if God is slow to anger, we must be quick to ask Jesus to forgive
us before he returns.
Read 11-14

(13) God has promised a brand new world in heaven for us to live in.
So for Christians, Jesus’ return is exciting.

Heaven will be a perfect place, where God will make right everything
that’s wrong with this world … no more death, cancer, swine flu,
exams, mobile phone bills, interest rate rises.

But if heaven is perfect we need to work hard to be perfect, spotless
& blameless (14) also for at least two reasons:

1) It will help reduce our culture shock when we get heaven.
2) Jesus’ return is like a wedding day.

Ephesians 5 tells us that He is the groom and we, the church, are His
bride:
Read Ephesians 5:25-27

When Jesus died on the cross he washed our hearts totally clean of our
rejection of God.
So when Jesus returns to judge us, we can be totally spotless,
forgiven + have peace with God.

People do lots of things to make themselves perfect & spotless:
They work out in the gym, put on make-up, use Botox to have smooth
skin like mine.

But the problem is not our outside it’s inside us, our hearts.
Our hearts are full of hate, jealousy, sexually impure thoughts, lies.

What makes our hearts unclean is living life our own way without God.

We hate or gossip about people who hurt us.

We are jealous of people who have things we don’t, or who do things
better than us, or who look more beautiful.

We have sex or imagine sex with people we are not married to or watch
porn online.
We lie to save ourselves being embarrassed in case people find out
what we are really like;

OR we lie/steal to get what we want, when we can’t get it legally or
truthfully.
Our hearts are dirty before God + only Jesus can make us clean

If we have placed our trust in Jesus, then thank God we are already
considered perfect through his cleansing death for us.

So, (11-12) we are to live out, what we already are in Christ, holy &
godly lives as we look forward to the day of God.

But what (12) does it mean to speed its coming?
If God has already set a day for Jesus’ return how can we speed its
coming?

Very simply if non-repentance is the reason for God’s delay in sending
Jesus, then repentance, ours & others, is how we speed up that
process.

The false-teachers of chap 2 didn’t repent because they had distorted
God’s word.
Read 15-16

Misinterpreting Scripture here has led the false teachers into error –
their wrong belief has led to wrong behaviour.

Peter takes up several points to pick up here:

Firstly, Peter calls Paul’s writings Scripture.
So Paul’s word carries the same authority as God’s OT word & Jesus’
word.

Secondly, if you find God’s word hard to understand, at times that’s
to be expected, Peter did.

Thirdly, the false teachers twist or distort God’s word to their own
destruction.
Our post-modernist age says we are free to interpret meaning however
we like.

Peter warns us we are free to do that to our own destruction.

Lastly, those who twist its meaning are “ignorant & unstable” or
literally “un-discipled & un-strengthened”.

But Rom 16:26 reminds us that strengthening comes by hearing the
gospel.

One of the best ways to ensure we are not like them, but correctly
understand G’s word is to keep studying it – at church, in Bible study
groups, Uni
Read 17-18

For many of you, like Peter, I’m preaching to the converted – you know
all this.

The key to not losing our stability, but remaining sure-footed is
growing in the grace & knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

You’ll remember before I said Jesus’ return is like a wedding day.
So firstly:

3. Are you at peace with God? (14-18)

When Jesus returns how will he find you?
Spotless? Blameless? At peace with God?

Not just feeling of peace, but in a true relationship of peace with
God through Jesus.

Are you still fighting against Jesus’ right to rule your life?
If so, then you are still an enemy of God, and will be punished.

If you are like that, maybe you would like to pray to become a
Christian.
If you want to do that please speak to one of our leaders after the
service today.

1. Weddings are great, and the greatest wedding is Jesus’ Wedding.
We hope you will be there.

Secondly, if you’ve placed your trust in Jesus you are spotless,
forgiven + at peace with God.

Outside you may still look the same, but inside you’ve changed from
being an enemy of God to being a Christian.

And so you are looking forward to the wedding day?

Brides get ready for their big day, spending hours getting their hair
done, face made-up, wedding dress just right.

2. So, are you daily making yourself spotless for Christ?
In 1 Peter 1:19 Peter uses the words “without spot or blemish” to
describe Christ”.

We show that we continue to live at peace with Jesus (14) by getting
rid of sin + putting on love, joy, peace patience kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

3. When we are going to be married usually you tell people how great
our fiancée is.
So, if you are a Christian, do you tell everyone how great Jesus is?
Is being with Jesus in heaven so great that you want others to come?

4. If so, who is on your list of people to invite?

And who have you invited to come?
Leading up to Christmas think who you could invite to Christmas
services.

Because if Jesus is the greatest person in the world, we will want to
be together with him for all eternity.
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