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[Sin & Forgiveness]:
[Lost & Found]:
Yahweh's Patience
Written on January 2nd, 2007 - 8:39PM
Last Updated: January 3rd, 2007 - 3:18PM

The apostle Peter, in his second letter to the Assembly, warns them of things to come:

knowing this first, that in the last days mockers will come, walking after their own lusts, (2 Peter 3:3)

Most ancient versions of the Greek text also add "in mockery." Although it may seem redundant, it is a word-play that describes both those who are doing it as well as in what spirit they do it. In the last days, these mockers will come—in mockery—walking after their own lusts.

Mockers & Mockery

What is mockery and what is a mocker? They both come from the root εμπαιζω, meaning to play or trifle with, mock, delude or deceive. That root ultimately comes from a base word meaning "child" or "servant," and thus, "to play as a child, sport, jest;" and the preposition meaning "in, with." So to mock would be to play childishly with or in something. Not just the jesting by itself, but it is done with something as its subject.

In this case, Peter says these mockers will come mocking the promise of the Lord's Coming.

and saying, "Where is the promise of his coming? For, from the day that the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation." (2 Peter 3:4)

Read in context, these are not self-proclaimed unbelievers, but ones who admit God's role in creation and even his promise to the fathers. Peter says they willfully "forget" the truths of scripture; as deception does, it mixes truth with error. They confess the truth of creation and the Lord's Promise to return, but they do not confess the delays for promises already given in scripture. This goes along with mocking, as its root can mean to deceive or delude (as children's games often include).

What does Peter say they have willfully forgotten?

5For this they willfully forget, that there were heavens from of old, and an earth formed out of water and amid water, by the word of God; 6by which means the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished. (2 Peter 3:5-6)

He refers to the days of Noah. God waited patiently to see if the children of men upon the earth might turn from their evil ways unto the truth; but He found no one except Noah. After giving them ample chances to repent, He finally sent judgment that His creation might be somewhat restored to its original intention; for the Lord is faithful to do what He has promised. But why the delay?

The Reason for His Patience

7But the heavens that now are, and the earth, by the same word have been stored up for fire, being reserved against the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. 8But don't forget this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but is patient with us, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:7-9)

He waits because He doesn't want any "to perish." This is our study word as we seek to understand where and how creation has fallen and become lost, needing to be found. Not wanting any to be lost, Yahweh waits patiently for all to come to repentance.

So again we see His promise, that Christ did not come to destroy men's souls (as does the thief), but rather to save them (John 10:10)(Luke 9:56). He waits for men to come to Him for that salvation before He comes to judge the world, not wanting any to perish. Again this word is in the middle voice, indicating that their perishing is something they are doing to themselves. He doesn't want any "to destroy or ruin themselves." This has always been his desire:

Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked? says the Lord Yahweh; and not rather that he should return from his way, and live? For I have no pleasure in the death of him who dies, says the Lord Yahweh: therefore turn yourselves, and live. (Ezekiel 18:23, 32)

Tell them, As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn you, turn you from your evil ways; for why will you die, house of Israel? (Ezekiel 33:11)

However, falling away to their own lusts, these mockers become weary and in mockery ask where the promise of His coming is. They willfully forget the examples of Yahweh's patience, not realizing He delays His coming for their own sake—that they might repent and live righteously before the Day of Judgment comes!

Fleeing Mockery

How can we be sure not to be one of those mockers? By not walking according to our own lusts. "Walking" is in the present, middle participle form, meaning it is something we do to ourselves continually. These mockers were causing themselves to continually walk according to their own lusts. It didn't just happen by itself or from others or an outside influence, but they played the active role in it happening to them.

This verb translated "to walk" comes from the same word as "trial, temptation," which has a base root of "to cross over, to pierce." More accurately, these mockers were carrying themselves over, or causing themselves to travel, according to their own lusts. This word picture describes the way of those who come to a knowledge of the truth but fall away. Jesus described these as the thorny ground, which began to grow from the seed of the Word He has planted, but were choked out by the cares of this age and "the lusts of other things" (Mark 4:18-19). Paul said that Demas was carried away for this same reason (2 Timothy 4:10), because he loved the present age (see sidebar for separate study).

How were they causing themselves to walk, or to travel? They spent the sojourn of their life upon the earth according to their own lusts. What are "lusts?" The Greek word επιθυμιας comes from two words meaning "upon" (επι) and "passion" (θυμος). The Greek word "passion" ultimately comes from the root θυω, meaning "to kill, immolate, sacrifice:" the kind of passion that leads to taking a life or giving up something dear.

Lusts are the combination of that kind of passion upon or over a specific thing. We have that strong feeling over an object, an idea, etc. Thus, to lust, in scriptural terms, is to have the kind of passion that can lead to killing over something specific. We may lust after a person, after a material possession, after the will of God, after getting revenge, etc.

Our Own Lusts

But Peter says it was according to "their own lusts" that they were walking. Not just any lust, but their own. Not God's. Peter had warned his readers in his first letter to abstain from these (1 Peter 2:11). The lusts and subsequent works of the flesh are evident:

19Now the works of the flesh are obvious, which are: adultery, sexual immorality, uncleanness, lustfulness, 20idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousies, outbursts of anger, rivalries, divisions, heresies, 21envyings, murders, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these; of which I forewarn you, even as I also forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)

This list describes the life in which unbelievers live. They walk according to those kinds of lusts. Those who hear the truth, as Peter says of these mockers, but are caught up in that from which they had been delivered, are in danger of destroying themselves. Peter says it is for this reason that Yahweh waits, because He doesn't want anyone to lose or destroy himself. The end of those works is death. Walking according to them will bring its walker to their fruit: death.

What fruit then did you have at that time in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. (Romans 6:21)

For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were through the law, worked in our members to bring forth fruit to death. (Romans 7:5)

How does walking according to these kinds of lusts cause people to mock God? It is simple—those in the flesh can't please Him (Romans 8:8). Life in the flesh is the opposite of life in the Spirit, or living by faith, which is required to please Yahweh (Hebrews 11:6). When one does not trust God, he will make light of what He has revealed. Why?

14Now the natural man doesn't receive the things of God's Spirit, for they are foolishness to him, and he can't know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15But he who is spiritual discerns all things, and he himself is judged by no one. (1 Corinthians 2:14-15)

Therefore, a sure way to fall into mockery of God and His revelation is to live according to the lusts of your flesh. Walking by them will draw you into that fleshly mindset that cannot hear or understand the things of the Spirit. You will begin to become childish with the things of God, not having the capability to understand why He does what He does. It is a sure path to losing yourself.

Escaping Perishing

Hear this exhortation of Peter.

If you are a believer, walking according to righteousness, then do not be surprised when you see some from within the Church begin to fall away to their own lusts. The prophets of old have foretold it, as have the apostles of the Lord Jesus, just as Peter reminds us (2 Peter 3:1-2). They have been prophesied to do so, to make themselves walk according to those kinds of depraved lusts, in order that God's grace might be had upon all (Romans 9:22-24).

32For God has shut up all to disobedience, that he might have mercy on all. 33Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past tracing out! (Romans 11:32-33)

If you are an unbeliever, or have believed but have fallen back to your old ways, consider your end—walking by these kinds of lusts only bring you to one destination: death. Do not mock His delay in returning, for it is for your own salvation that He waits!

3Do you think this, O man who judges those who practice such things, and do the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? 4Or do you despise the riches of his goodness, forbearance, and patience, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? 5But according to your hardness and unrepentant heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath, revelation, and of the righteous judgment of God; 6who "will pay back to everyone according to their works:"{Psalm 62:12; Proverbs 24:12} (Romans 2:3-6)

God does not want you to die in your sin, but calls you back from that precipice. As long as it is called "Today," there is yet time for you to repent of that lifestyle and come back to Him (Hebrews 3:7-15). The grace of Christ Jesus yet is extended to you, drawing you to the loving embrace of your Father in heaven. Leave behind that old life and be truly born anew by His power, which will give you the ability to walk rightly (Romans 8:1-14).


Last Accessed: January 23rd, 2021 - 9:50PM
Times Read: 1674
 
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The Good Message

As you read this site, you will hopefully come to know Yahweh more fully.

But all of this continuing knowledge is useless unless and until you come into union with Him. I use the word union because it is truly a marriage. It is that deep connection we all seek, for which we most often look in other people. However, the truth is that our hearts will only be fulfilled when we enter that union in fullness with the One Who made us.

This is the grace of God, that He has not stayed distant for us only to worship as Creator. But He has come unto us, even become one of us—in His Son, Christ Jesus—in order to share an intimate union with us. He desires such closeness that it truly will envelope our entire life, transforming us into something new and wonderful.

You may have already entered this union with Him and only seek to know Him better through reading here. But if you have not, as you do read, let this Gospel sink into your heart as you read it now.

God loves you, and has cast your sins into the sea. He has sent His only Son as the Savior of the world—that includes you.

That Son, Jesus Christ, was born as a man through a virgin who had given her life to Yahweh; He lived without sin, reflected the glory of His Father, God, in all His words and deeds, and was persecuted even unto death because of it.

His death upon a cross was the powerful explosion that separated you from your life of death. It remains for you, now, to enter into that death with Him. As you die to the one you are now, a person separated from God from your many sins, you will be born anew, with a nature predisposed to live rightly. This gift is free to you, with nothing you can do to earn it. It is the mercy of God to offer it to you, as He loves you so much! All you must do is receive it by trusting Him to have delivered you. Simply place your life in His hands and embrace the freedom that came through that death on the cross.

The Gospel is that Jesus did not remain dead, but rose again on the third day after His crucifixion! Death could not hold Him, as He was without sin. And so death will not be able to hold you, as you identify with Him fully through your trust in Him. Let go of yourself and confess Him as Lord of your life. The power of His death and resurrection will work in you all that your Creator has destined for you. You will truly enter a new life and experience that intimate union you have been seeking all of your life.

So ponder these words as you read here of this great God—Yahweh—and all that He has revealed to His creation. Let His Spirit testify to your heart that these words are true, that God is Love, and that He sent His Son so that you might receive the life that is unbound by time and space. As you feel that witness in your heart, simply believe and receive what He is offering to you, even now, and begin your new life as a child of God.

Please write to me and let me know when you take this step, as I will be your brother in Christ—we will be one in Him!

 
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