Chronology 19 no delay12-04-2016 - Posted by Andre Piet
At the end of his life, Peter points out to his readers, that for the return of the Lord they have to think in terms of millennia. For the Lord is a thousand years as one day and Peter repeats this truth not without reason. Twice he speaks of “one day” and twice about “a thousand years”. Even though, with this, the return of the Lord will take much longer than initially expected (also by Peter himself), tardiness or delay is, according to Peter, explicitly out of the question.
The Lord is not tardy as to the promise, as some are deeming tardiness, but is patient because of you, not intending any to perish, but all to make room for repentance. – 2 Peter. 3:9 (literally)-
The holding off of the promise of His coming is not tardiness (delay) of the Lord. That this holding off is taking so much longer than initially thought is a demonstration of the patience of the lord “because of you”. Peter addresses himself as “apostle of the circumcision” (Gal 2:7) to the Jewish people. The Lord waits for “two days” before coming to them and in this He displays patience. When we want to know more about how and when the delay of the coming the Lord, then, according to Peter, we have to turn to “our beloved brother Paul”. Peter writes:
15 And be deeming the patience of our Lord salvation, according as our beloved brother Paul also writes to you, according to the wisdom given to him, 16 as also in all the epistles, speaking in them concerning these things, in which are some things hard to apprehend, which the unlearned and unstable are twisting, as the rest of the scriptures also, to their own destruction.
According to Peter, Paul has written a letter to the same recipients as to whom he is addressing himself to, i.e. the Jewish people. The only letter that qualifies is the letter to the Hebrews which, in the original manuscripts are found among Pauls’ epistles (between 2nd Thessalonians and 1st Timothy). But according to Peter, Paul deals in all his letters about matters concerning “the tardiness of our Lord”. The Lord who “doesn’t intend any to perish but is making room for repentance”. Isn’t this a beautiful characteristic of Pauls’ ministry and of the content of all of his letters? In the two days or two millennia in which the coming of the Lord didn’t happen, we should especially get our light from the letters of this apostle. For he declares as no other why the coming of the Lord is delayed. In Romans 11:15 he writes as “apostle of the nations” about Israel’s enmity towards the Evangel:
For if their casting away is the conciliation of the world, what will the taking back be if not life from among the dead?
While, as a nation, the Jews reject the Evangel, God has called Paul to preach “the conciliation of the world”. A message in which the all-embracing scope of the conciliation, salvation, vivification and justification is trumpeted (Col. 1:20; 1 Tim. 4:10; 1 Kor.15:22; Rom. 5:18). A message which we can rightfully consider as salvation! However, if this is the message to be proclaimed during the two millennia in which Israel is as dead, “what will the taking back be if not life from among the dead”?! After all, that is the third day in which Israel will rise and in which the Lord will come to them (Hos.6:1-3)! HB