Some Of The Best Days Of Your Life Haven’t Happened Yet!
II Peter 3:1-13
“Isn’t it reassuring to know that some of the best days of your life haven’t happened yet?”
That line did not come from the Bible—it came from an ad for a cruise line. However, it could have come from the Bible. In fact, when you read II Peter 3:1-13, as you finish reading the words Peter wrote, you might well be moved to say: “Isn’t it reassuring to know some of the best days of my life haven’t happened yet?” You see, Christians always have a forward lean to their lives.
It’s like the story I heard some time ago. A ten-year old boy was traveling on the train in England. An older man, noting how young the boy was, said to him: “You’re rather young to be on a journey like this, aren’t you?”
“How far are you going?”
“All the way to the end of the line.”
“Well, aren’t you afraid to make such a long journey alone?”
“And why aren’t you afraid?”
“Because, Sir, my father is the engineer.”
That’s the way we are as Christians. We do not have to be afraid of what’s ahead in the journey of life. We do not even have to fear the end of the journey. Why? Because our Heavenly Father is the Engineer. He is in charge. Peter spells that out so beautifully in his second letter.
Peter reminds us that as Christians we know about the future of the world.
Here are his words: “The day of the Lord will come like a thief and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise and the elements will be dissolved with fire and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.”
Halford Luccock once received in the mail a printed program for a performance of Handel’s “Messiah”. It was sent to Luccock because an error was made in printing the words to the “Hallelujah Chorus”. Instead of “Hallelujah, the Lord God omnipotent reigneth”, the program read, “Hallelujah, the Lord God omnipotent resigneth”! Well, printing error or not, that certainly is not true. God is in control of this world and everything in this world and everything which surrounds this world. Amazingly enough, more and more prominent scientists are making that same affirmation. A recent article in our paper had this to say: “Going against centuries of scientific tradition that has been neutral or indifferent with regards to such issues, many physicists today are proposing that the universe has been so perfectly and intricately designed and so superbly maintained for the support of life that it could not have happened by chance. Such a design implies a designer.” The article then cited a number of prominent scientists and scientific publications which support that approach to understanding our universe.
Of course, Christians all along—beginning with Peter and coming right down to us—Christians all along have affirmed that God’s “got the whole world in His hands”, that God’s in charge of the world and the universe and therefore, we have no reason to fear what the future holds for we know who holds the future.
And Peter reminds us that Christians also know about the future for individual believers.
Listen again to Peter’s words: “Since all of these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of person ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God.”
I read of a young sailor who went off to war. His mother wrote him a letter expressing her worries for his safety. His reply was remarkable. It was written on a postcard. It read: “Mother, my ship may be hit and I may go down on it. I may go down in the midst of flames and explosions. But if I go down, it will only be down into the arms of my Lord and Savior.”
That’s the handle on the future every believing Christian has. You know, when I go into a home where death has come, it takes only a moment to see by their attitude of heart, mind, and spirit whether the members of that family know that their loved one is with Jesus. Dear friends, this is where the Christian faith rises or falls, lives or dies. For those who are truly Christian know beyond the shadow of a doubt that the moment our eyelids close in death they shall then re-open to behold the face of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
So you and I have no reason to fear what the future may hold for our individual lives because we know who is holding our lives in the future.
Something else. Peter reminds us that as Christians we must share with others what we know about the future.
He writes: “In accordance with God’s promise we wait for new heavens and a new earth where righteousness is at home.”
These are scary times. I don’t need to tell you that. These are times when the only news seems to be bad news. But in the midst of such a time we as Christians must shout from the housetops
that God is in the process of making a new heaven and a new earth where right-living will be the watchword.
I know that it’s not easy for us to see God in this world in which we are living. But then it wasn’t easy to see God in a baby born in a Bethlehem stable. And it wasn’t easy to see God in a carpentry shop in Nazareth, and it wasn’t easy to see God on a cross on Calvary. But God was in all of those places. And God is in the world now, working out His will in His way. That’s the reason we can say: “We know about the future of the world—God is making a new heaven and a new earth. We know about the future of the individual believer—that person shall be with Jesus in the Kingdom of Heaven. And we know too, that it is our task to tell that to everyone who does not yet understand it and believe it.”
So…Margaret Higgins won a Pulitzer Prize for her reporting of the Korean War. In one article she told of being with a division of marines on a terribly cold winter’s day. The temperature was well below zero. This division of marines, some 16,000 men, had been in combat. They were covered with mud. Their clothes were frozen stiff. They were exhausted. Margaret Higgins approached one of those marines. A coarse beard covered his face. Ice clung to his beard and his eyebrows. He was eating beans out of a can with a trench knife. Margaret Higgins said to him: “If I were God and could give you anything you asked for, what would you want?” There was a moment of silence. Then looking at her through weary eyes, he said: “I would ask for tomorrow.”
My beloved people, sometimes the battle is hard. I won’t deny that. Certainly the Bible never denies that. But the Bible does have this to say: “God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Therefore, God will give us tomorrow!