2 PETER 3
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9 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.
He does not say to this man, "I elect you from all eternity to be saved from the flames of hell, do what you may;" nor does He say to that, "I predetermine you to reprobation, and eternal torture, do what you can."
To affirm this of God is to blaspheme His name.
The scriptures declare, that "He is no respecter of persons; "that" He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way, and live;... (Acts 10:34; Ezek. 33:11; 2 Pet. 3:9).
Such a statement as this, is entirely at variance with "theology," whose traditions are the exhalations of the carnal mind of a fierce and gloomy age...
... everything in relation to the kingdom is ordained upon sovereign principles. Nothing is left to the will of man. Hence, the apostle saith, "It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy."
The call of the Gentiles to take part in the future kingdom is a striking illustration of the truth of this. Had things been left to the apostles, they would not have extended the invitation to men of other nations to become with them heirs of the kingdom of Canaan, and of the dominion of the world.
They were running to and fro among their own nation, calling upon them to become the children of the promise who are counted for the seed; but it was not of their will, but contrary to it, that "the word" was preached to the Gentiles, opening the kingdom to them.
The invitation to our race, as the apostle truly saith, was "of God that showeth mercy."
Elpis Israel 2.3.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
The words of the prophets to which he referred, related to the destruction of the Hebrew commonwealth. His brethren were acquainted with these prophesies, and therefore knew what was about to happen, though not the day or the hour. Hence, this knowledge was to be their caution and security against being led away by the spiritualizers of the time, who wrested the scriptures to their own destruction (v. 16).
Elpis Israel 3.1.
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
Can We Hasten the Day of the Lord?
It is undoubtedly a false idea that we can in any way hasten or retard the return of Christ to the earth. Though the future is an unknown element in human dealings, it is all known to God, as Jesus recognises in saying,
"Of the hour knoweth no man, nor the angels that are in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only" (Mar. 13:32).
"The times and seasons," he afterwards said,
"the Father hath put in his own power."
To Daniel it was said,
"At the time appointed, the end shall be" (Dan. 8:19).
There was a disclosure of this "time appointed" in a certain vague form to Daniel and John. By the joint revelation to them, we are able to form an approximate idea of the subject. We are nearing the end without a doubt, but that end will come without reference to anybody's warmth or lukewarmness.
That the development of a certain number of faithful men for Christ's use in the Kingdom of God is a necessity before he come is undoubtedly true, but we may be quite sure that the wisdom of God has not left this to chance, but has arranged amid all the confusions of men that the requisite number shall be provided against the arrival of the set time.
The only thing that turns on our individual warmth or lukewarmness is our individual inclusion in or exclusion from the happy number who will be considered "fit for the Master's use". The expression
"Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God,"
has reference to the ardour of our own desires and not to the shortening or lengthening the time of its arrival.
The Master will come whether the servants are watching or not. Some will be in one attitude: some in another. He speaks of some who will be smiting their fellow-servants on the indulgence of the sentiment,
"My Lord delayeth his coming" (Matt. 24:48).
Of others, he says,
"Blessed are those servants whom their lord when he cometh shall find watching."
The Christadelphian, April 1898
17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
But experience over a wide and constantly fermenting field shows that unless there is resolute adhesion to the position of Divine wisdom recovered with much difficulty during the last two generations, there is danger of easily losing it all: not all at once, but point by point-one point at a time till all is gone. How many are now drowning in the dark and turbid waters of human folly who were once on the safe and sunny terra firma of Divine truth. They became engulfed through an inveterate propensity for dabbling in the polluted flood. They should have kept away from the dangerous banks.
Bro Roberts TC, November 1896 pages 428/9.