Bible Study from 2 Peter 3:1-9
Expect the Unexpected!
by I Gordon
 ↩ In the Bible the doctrine of the Lord's return is hugely, hugely important. So before we even start looking at this passage, I just want to dazzle you with some startling statistics, just about the Lord's coming just to get things into perspective. Do you have any idea of how many references there are in the Old Testament to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ? Come on! It's easy... There are over 1800 references to the Second Coming of Christ in the Old Testament. In the New Testament there are over 350 references. So just to put that into perspective - I read this thing that said there are around 20 verses to do with baptism and even the topic of repentance, which is quite big in the New Testament is only about 70. But when you come to the Second Coming there are over 350 references to the Lord's return. 23 out of the 27 books in the New Testament specifically talk about the Lord's return and out of the four that don't, three of them are just single chapter books - 2 nd John, 3rd John and Philemon . Galatians is the only larger book that doesn't mention the Second Coming. One other thing that I found is that for every prophecy in the Bible concerning Jesus' First Coming, how many do you think there are concerning his Second Coming? Yep, that's right! There are eight. So the whole theme of the return of the Lord, and His coming, is really, really, important. So as well as having some 'startling statistics' I have got some 'quality quotes' -
There was a man called R. A. Torrey - he was a great Bible teacher and President of Moody Bible Institute after D. L. Moody died. He said 'the Second Coming of Christ transformed my whole idea of life, it broke the power of the world and its ambition over me and it filled my life with the most radiant optimism , even under the most discouraging circumstances.' Dr. Torrey was asked - 'Is not the Doctrine of Christ personal and near coming one of practical power and helpfulness?' To which he replied - 'It is transforming the lives of more men and women than almost any doctrine that I know of'. This was quite a radical statement , here was a guy who devoted his life to teaching the Bible in a Bible college. But he said the truth about the Second Coming of Christ was actually transforming the lives of more men and women than almost any doctrine that he knew.
John McArthur said that 'The Second Coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ and our hope in that glorious event is the greatest motivator of our joy, the greatest motivator of our service and the greatest motivator for our holiness- we live in anticipation of the coming of Jesus Christ.
So it is not just a doctrine or a theory - it has real practical relevance for our lives.
 ↩ As an example, there was a man by the name of William Miller and he said that the Lord was returning October 22nd, 1844. And he had really convinced people! He had looked at some prophecies in Daniel and said 'On October 22nd 1844, the Lord will return' and he had thousands of followers and they started leaving their jobs, started selling things to people who they thought possibly were not going to make it. Some of them even dressed up in white robes and were on the roof tops of their houses in America. And October 22nd came and went and it is known in history, especially American history, as the 'Great Disappointment' because they were just devastated. They really were devastated because they thought that it was the day. Now that is just one example, and you can name a whole lot of different dates that people have said 'this is the day - this is the day of His coming'. There is a book, which I have mentioned it before, that came out with 88 reasons why the rapture is in 1988. Other dates were common through the 90's and especially as the year 2000 approached. So in some ways, some have given reason for the scoffers to mock because of all the dates. But make no mistake - He will return!
 ↩ Thinking about this verse, I remembered that in the Chinese language, which is over 4,000 years old, there were references to parts of Genesis and creation, and the Chinese language even goes back before the Bible was written. The first five books of the Bible were written by Moses in around 1500 B.C. The Chinese language goes back to about 2000 B.C. The Chinese language is all in symbols - it is not an alphabet like a,b,c,d. And this article was just showing how the different symbols that they have for different things are a testimony to Genesis. To give an example, the symbol for 'desire or greed' is made up of a woman and trees, because in the garden of Eden that was where the desire and greed came from. There are a whole lot of examples. The symbol for a boat is made up of a vessel with eight mouths, which if you know anything about Noah's Ark, you will know that there were eight people in the boat. So they must have had this in their culture. So these are really interesting things. I was reading another article concerning as experiment on DNA and they took 146 different people from five different continents and examined their DNA. This was back 1987, and they established from that they had all proceeded from one woman. They all had a common part in their DNA and they could trace it back to one woman of whom all these people descended. Fascinating! That's Eve. In 1997 they did a different experiment and they were shocked because they said that the woman, although they don't want to believe it, lived 6,000 years ago! Which is basically what the Bible says! Of course they would rather believe that it was hundreds and thousands of years ago so they can hold onto their precious evolution. So there are some interesting facts coming out.
 ↩ This is a bit of side issue really but in the second half of verse 5 it says: 'The earth was formed out of water and by water'. When I read that, I thought - what is all that about? The earth was formed out of water and by water??? I didn't really understand it so I looked it up in Big Blue, which is the name of the 'Bible Believers Commentary' we have at home, and it said that there are parts of this that we don't understand but it pointed back to Genesis 1:1-2, in Genesis 1:1 it says 'In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth' and in verse 2 it talks about how the earth was void and formless and there was darkness over the deep. And it says that the Spirit of God was hovering above the waters. It is not until a couple of verses later that God created all of the actual land. We think that when he created the world he created the water and the earth at the same time, but verse 2 shows that it was a watery mass to begin with. It wasn't until later that He separated the water and created land. When we come to the judgment of the flood in chapter 7:11
'In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, on the seventeenth day of the second month - on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.
So we find that the flood wasn't just caused by masses of water falling from the sky. The great wells of water underneath the crust of the earth also burst forth - these waters of the great deep spoken about in Genesis 1:1-4. So God created this earth with its ability to destroy itself as well.
 ↩ I had to take the Sunday school at my church a few weeks ago and we were studying Noah's Ark and the rainbow. We all coloured in the rainbow and I was explaining to them about the promise that God will not flood the earth again. It's a great promise but in the back of my mind I was thinking - yeah, but next time it will be by fire!! I did not tell that to the children!