In 2 Peter 3:9-13 Peter reveals that disciples of Jesus have a role in hastening or delaying the Day of the Lord. It is an amazing concept to consider but notice what is says in this passage,
“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.”
The dramatic and graphic description of the end of the world as we know it is hard to get our minds around. The text describes the universe as it melts and falls apart! In verses 8, 9 and 12, we see that God is waiting to bring an end to the world and the creation of a new world until as many people repent or change their minds about Jesus as possible. God’s patience is probably both a reference to the conversion of unbelievers and a reference to believers who are not living faithfully.
How can you and I “hasten” the Day of the Lord? Kenneth Gangel says, “The godly lives of the Lord’s people, their praying, and their witnessing help bring others to repentance.” You and I can hasten the Day of the Lord by living faithful lives and by seeking opportunities to share the Gospel with others so that they may change their minds about Jesus and embrace him as Savior and God. We also can hasten the Day of the Lord by helping fellow believers who have strayed to return to the Lord through repentance as well.
Father, as much as we desire to see you Return, it will be a terrifying time. You have chosen to work through disciples of Jesus as they model and live out their faith and share the Gospel with others so that they may embrace Jesus as their Savior and God. Help me to live a life of faithfulness and be a witness to help people come to know you. Thank you for being so patient with us.
Following Jesus with you,