Wednesday, September 17, 2014

THE PREPARING OF ZION

Peter was given awesome warnings to stir up pure minds, to bring to remembrance the warnings of the prophets (see 2 Peter 3:1-2). Peter went on to say, “There shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying [teaching, preaching], Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (2 Peter 3:3-4). Peter calls these scoffers liars! Things have not continued being “business as usual” from the beginning of creation! These preachers are willfully ignorant of God’s past dealings of judgment. “They willingly are ignorant . . . that . . . the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished” (2 Peter 3:5-6).

This is a serious charge by Peter! He is saying, “They know there was once a preacher of righteousness named Noah, who warned of judgment for a hundred and twenty years. They know that God has already shown the world that He will judge wickedness and violence. They know God sent a raging flood and destroyed all that breathed on the earth!” We have teachers and false prophets who know that the Bible is full of warnings, full of examples of how God judges sin (e.g., the destruction of Sodom), but they willingly ignore it all. Why? Because they are walking after their own lusts! Their desire for acceptance or popularity has made them willingly blind to all God’s righteous judgments.

These preachers are preaching the very opposite of the message of Peter and the apostles. Peter warned, “We, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless” (2 Peter 3:13-14).

Why have we been spared until now? For the same reason God waited patiently for a hundred and twenty years in the day of Noah. “When once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was [being prepared], wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water” (1 Peter 3:20). The Lord gets no pleasure out of the death of the wicked. Even now, He is “longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

God is waiting now for the preparing of Zion, His holy people of the last days. He is pouring out His Holy Spirit, calling out a people wholly given to Him, without spot or wrinkle and blameless.