That is how I would summarize 2 Peter 3. What does that phrase mean?
Eschatology is the study of the end times. So “think eschatologically” means to think with the end of times in mind.
As Peter writes it has only been about 30 years since the resurrection of Jesus and His accompanying promise that He would return again. For the first century believers it seems like it has been forever. Peter writes to remind them of several things…
1) “That scoffers WILL come in the last days” (verse 3) – There will always be those who will scoff about our faith. Whether it is regarding the timing of Jesus’ return or something else. Scoffers will scoff. Here is a short list of things that scoffers scoff about in our day:
- How can you possibly believe a book that is as old fashioned and outdated as the Bible?
- How could a God that is so loving send people to a place like Hell?
- Don’t you think it is pretty narrow-minded to suggest that there is only one way to Heaven?
- Christians are so hypocritical!
- Christianity is just a crutch for weak people.
- If God is so good why is there so much suffering in the world?
- In the Old Testament God sure comes across as a moral monster.
- Science proves evolution and dispels the theory of creation. Why don’t you believe the science?
Scoffers will scoff. But as believers we can prepare ourselves for the scoffing and as Peter said in his first letter, “Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” (1 Peter 3:15)
2) “The day of the Lord will come like a thief…” (verse 10) – Jesus is coming back! From God’s perspective 2000+ years seems more like 2 days (v.8). And He is patiently waiting because He does not want ANY to perish but for ALL to come to repentance. Is there anything that we can do to “hasten the coming of the day of God.” (v. 12) You betcha! Matthew 24:14 ays this, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
3) We should “be diligent to be found by Him without spot or blemish, and at peace” (verse 14) – We should live with the anticipation that Jesus could return TODAY. And if He did would He find us ready? Would He find us yearning for His return? Would our first thought be when we see Him ” I’m so glad you’re back” or would it be “I’m not ready can you come back later?”
4) “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” (verse 18) – As we wait and as we anticipate we should make it our goal to draw closer to Jesus. So the question I have to ask myself is this: What am I doing to make sure that I keep growing in my relationship with God?
May this brick help you to THINK ESCHATOLOGICALLY!