The Preacher writes in Ecclesiastes 8:11, “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.” If a criminal successfully eludes being caught, he is certainly going to be more willing to commit the crime again. Unfortunately, man has this same outlook on their spiritual life. Because God does not come quickly, man is inclined to commit evil. Man says, God has not come yet, so I’m safe to continue in sin. They waste their life in sin, forgetting the day of judgment
Consider the argument Peter makes in II Peter 3 against the “scoffers” who “will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts.” (v. 3-4) These men will ask, “Where is the promise of His coming?” They will see our existence as proof that there will be no judgment or resurrection. Therefore, they willingly continue in sin.
Peter admonishes these scoffers, and us, to consider God. Verses 5 and 6 explain, “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.” Our God, who created all things by His word, flooded the whole world by that same word. Rain came down from heaven and up from the ground for 40 days and 40 nights. Fifteen cubits (nearly 25 feet) of water covered the highest mountain. Genesis 7:21-23 tell us that the flood destroyed everything (birds, cattle, beasts, creeping things, and man) from the earth. So much water prevailed on the earth that it took nearly eight months for the tops of the mountains to be visible. Noah and his family remained on the ark for over one year waiting on the earth to dry. This is the greatest flood the world has or will ever experience. No man escaped its waters save those who heeded the voice of God. This is the power of God when He enacts vengeance on those who do not heed His will.
God promises us that a much greater fate than the flood awaits those who do not heed His will. Verse 7 explains, “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.” The same word that created and sustained the world before the flood, sustains the world now. There is coming a day, though, when this world will no longer be sustained. God will destroy it “…and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.” (II Peter 3:10)
Much to the appreciation of late night comedians, a vain prediction was made stating that judgment day would come in the first part of 2011. This prediction was amended, and now says the world will end three days after this article is posted. While the prediction was not truth, and by its fruit we know it is not from God, the inability to predict judgment ought bring fear to all of us. None of us know when the judgment will come.
God may allow this world to continue for many years. We cannot know. What we can prove is that God’s word is true, and what has not been fulfilled will be fulfilled at its appointed time. “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 long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (II Peter 3:8-9) Judgment has not come, because God wants to see all men live. He is patiently waiting; desiring that one soul will come to Him and receive from Him the promise of salvation. One day soon that patience will end. Therefore, do not set your heart to do evil because the sentence does not come immediately. Rather, repent of your evil, and prepare yourself for the judgment to come.
“Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation…” (II Peter 3:11-15)