Their question reminds me of the Psalmist's cry: "How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?" (Ps. 13:1 ESV) No doubt, some do feel forgotten by God, thinking that He will not come to our aid, not rescue us from our particular situations, or never return and set things straight. But remember why Jesus is delayed: "The Lord isn't really being slow about his promise [to return and establish justice], as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent." (2 Pet. 3:9 NLT) Christ's delay is gracious, merciful, and loving. But the appointed time will arrive and that is certain.
The apostle Peter continues: "But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief." (2 Pet. 3:10) A thief, however, does not grant signs of his approach; whereas Jesus teaches that there will be signs of His soon return (cf. Matt. 24:1-51). For whom, then, will the return of Christ appear as a thief? For the unbelievers and the disobedient the return of Christ will happen by surprise. The apostle Paul teaches: "For you know quite well that the day of the Lord's return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. . . . But you aren't in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won't be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief. For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don't belong to darkness and night." (1 Thess. 5:2, 4, 5, emphasis added) Still, from a heart that longs for His return, to see Him face to face and to be delivered from the effects of the Fall, we ask, How long, O Lord, until Your return?
This post was written by William Birch