Life has a few guarantees of which you can be certain. Death, taxes, to name a few and “…the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night!” (1 Thess. 5:1,2) I cannot tell you the day or the hour, but I can declare it will happen. “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thess. 4:16-18).
Peter warned about “scoffers” who walk after their own lusts (2 Pet. 3). Ignoring God’s well-known intervention in the days of Noah, these unbelievers were asking: “Where is the promise of His coming?” Like those who raised similar questions in the days of Jeremiah and Malachi, these mockers were speaking from their own lusts, not any objective basis (Mal. 2:17 f; Jer. 17:15).
Peter answered the scoffers. “For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,” (2 Pet. 3:5-11).
Christians should not worry or even be concerned that evil men and seducers which shall wax worse and worse, mocking those who look forward to the coming of the Lord (2 Tim 3:13). The preacher wrote, “Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him” (Eccl 8:11-12). As Job reasoned, “Why do the wicked live and become old, yes, become mighty in power? Their descendants are established with them in their sight, and their offspring before their eyes. Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them. Their bull breeds without failure; Their cow calves without miscarriage. They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance. They sing to the tambourine and harp, and rejoice to the sound of the flute. They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave. Yet they say to God, ‘Depart from us, for we do not desire the knowledge of Your ways. Who is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? And what profit do we have if we pray to Him?: (Job 21:7-15).
The psalmist David also reasoned how the wicked prospered while he and his army starved. Eventually, David understood that the wicked, who verily prosper on the earth, will be taken without warning. (Ps 37 f; 73). This is the same way that Jesus will come with his mighty angels in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God and obey not the gospel of Christ (2 Thess 1:7-9).
Christians should not hate God for waiting for sinners to repent. Paul wrote, “Do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” (Rom 2:4). No one knows how long God will wait, but the delay reflects His mercy, not His slackness.
God’s longsuffering disposition is not unending. In essence, there will come a time when God will say- “Enough is enough!” At that moment, time and opportunity to repent will cease. Then God will judge the world by Jesus Christ according to the gospel preached by the apostles (Rom 2:16). There will be no respect of persons with God, for all shall be judged by their conduct according to His Word (Jn 12:48 f; 2 Cor 5:10). “Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men” (2 Cor 5:11). “Watch!” (Mk 13:33-37)