Hasten His Coming

“Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” (2 Peter 3:12)

Exactly how can we “hasten unto the coming of the day of God”? The answer is by bringing its coming closer. In fact, the phrase can just as well be understood as “hastening the coming.”

Although the Scriptures give us many signs to know when Christ’s return is near, Jesus said that no one could determine the exact time—not even He Himself! “Of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father” (Mark 13:32). In His self-limited human nature, He did not know because, apparently, it depended in some way on what His disciples would do to “hasten his coming” after He went back to heaven.

When He left them, He said: “Ye shall be witnesses unto me . . . unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). This was a command, but it was also a prophecy: “Ye shall be witnesses” to the very last tribe on earth. In His Olivet discourse, He had said: “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:14). Sometime, somehow, every tribe will be reached, because John, in his vision, saw a great multitude “of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues” in heaven (Revelation 7:9).

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise” to return, but He does desire “that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9), and we should “account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation” (2 Peter 3:15). No one but the Father knows just when the last convert from the last tribe will be won, but if we “love his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8), we can “hasten his coming” by doing all we can to get the gospel to the ends of the earth. HMM

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