Grace Protestant Reformed Church

Longsuffering to Usward

Date: PM
Text: II Peter 3:9
Psalters: 306, 78, 396, 201
Series: Common Grace Revisited
  1. God’s promise.
    1. The context treats God’s promise of Christ’s return (II Peter 3:4,10,12).
      1. Jesus’ return would end the challenges of false prophets (II Peter 2:1; 3:3) and introduces the everlasting kingdom (II Peter 1:11,19; 3:13).
      2. Christ’s return is the one great hope of the church and every Christian matures unto an increasing longing for it.
    2. But scoffers have always ridiculed the believer for having this hope of Jesus’ final appearance.
    3. Such mockers challenge every believer.
  2. Inspired Peter points to God’s virtue of “longsuffering” (text, 15) as the explanation for the apparent “delay.”
    1. Longsuffering is the perfection of God’s love for His people, according to which He constantly wills their final perfection in glory, but in the way of suffering (as the wicked develop in their wickedness).
    2. Peter presents three truths concerning God’s apparent delay in returning Jesus.
      1. First, the scoffers’ charge that nothing has changed since creation is untrue, for a great change already took place (II Peter 3:5-7).
      2. Second, God does not count time as we do because He is eternal (II Peter 3:8).
      3. Third, God is not slack concerning His promise as men count slackness.
  3. God’s love demands the apparent delay because of His desire that all should come to repentance.
    1. If God would have Jesus return sooner than planned, then some of the elect would perish.
    2. The interpretation adopted by the CRC in 1924 declares that “all” refers to every person, head for head.
    3. God’s longsuffering is a great comfort to us (15).
      1. The apparent “tarrying” is exactly evidence that God is saving and gathering His elect people.
      2. While we may have to suffer, we may take comfort that God is “suffering” with us.