The Will of God, Part 3
by Rev. Randy Brown
Our scripture for the morning is taken from book of 2nd Peter chapter 3 beginning with verse 7. Out of reverence and respect for our Lord, would you stand for the reading of His word.
But by the same word heaven and earth are now held in reserve for fire, kept for the judgement day and destruction of ungodly people. Don’t let this escape your notice dear friends, that with the Lord a single day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a single day. The Lord isn’t slow to keep his promise as some think of slowness and he is patient towards you. If it is not his will that any should perish but for all to change their hearts and lives to experience his salvation. But on the day of the Lord will come like a thief and on that day the heavens will pass away in a dreadful noise and the elements will be consumed by fire and the earth and all of the works done on it will be exposed.
This is the word of God for the people of God. We will pray together. Would you be seated as we pray.
Father we thank you for this time that we can share together from your word. We’ve been blessed already this morning by song, and by prayer, and by fellowship, and by your presence. Lord we look at your word. Come once again and rescue me from me. Hide me behind your cross. Let the words that are heard be your words not mine. The one who is seen be you and not me, above all else may we hear the quiet shuffling of sandaled feet and know that it is Jesus the Christ who comes to walk in our midst. It’s in His name and for His glory that I pray Amen.
I want to ask you a question this morning. How many of you enjoy, I mean enjoy, you just can’t wait, how many of you enjoy waiting? Every time I have asked that question my results have been the same, nobody enjoys waiting. I mean you have an appointment at the doctor’s office and people that got there after you go in before you do, they even leave before you go in. You just get real excited about that, right? The doctor gives you a little note that has been scratched out a little and you can’t read it, you just hope that the pharmacist can read it, and you trust that they did and that you got the right medicine. You ever get in the wrong line at the grocery store? Every time the wrong line!! We get a piece of paper in the mail and we have to call about it and when we do we get put on hold. When somebody finally gets to us they can’t speak a word of English and we wait and say we enjoyed it. Nobody enjoys waiting do they? I heard a conversation that a guy had with the Lord. He was talking to God and said, “God, I want to ask you a question.” “God, how much is a million dollars?” God said, “Well, a million dollars is like a penny.” “Ok, well God how much long to you is a million years?” God said, “It’s just like a second.” “Ok God I got a real good question for you, God can you let me borrow a penny?” God said, “Just wait a second!”
We want quick answers, we want easy solutions, but that just turns into shallow convictions. Everyday you and I, we’re not good at waiting. As it comes to that we read in 2nd letter Peter in the first letter that Peter wrote. He was talking about the trials and persecutions and harassments that people were going through and his 2nd letter is about being vigilant. Right in the midst of the 3rd chapter we discover something else about the Will of God. This is our 3rd and final part of the series of The Will of God. We find ourselves right in the middle of the 2nd letter of Peter in chapter 3. He’s been telling the people to hold fast and safe, not to give in to the heresies? But they’re wondering because by now they’ve been expecting the return of Jesus. They expected that he would already be back walking on earth and had established his kingdom. They didn’t like to wait.
They thought that something had gone wrong, they thought that they had been tricked. They were becoming discouraged. They were becoming defeated and wanted to give up. In the midst of all that we find out another part of God’s will. First line says” The Lord is not slow to keep his promise as some think of slowness, but he is patient towards you not wanting any to perish.” Everyday God waits. It gives us another day to put feet under our prayers. Haven’t we prayed already this morning? “Thy kingdom come thy will be done.” The longer he waits the longer we have to put feet to our prayers. That his kingdom will come, that his will, will be done. The longer he waits the more chance we have to do our Gods will as believers, to go unto all the world and preach the gospel. He is patient that none should perish. That’s the reason he’s waiting. Now I know people ask sometime, ”How can a loving God send anyone to Hell?” I have an answer for that, he doesn’t. He doesn’t! He gives you the freedom to choose the destination of your own life.
In one of Max Lacado’s books, When Angels were Silent, he’s got a story in there about the last week of the life of Jesus and the passion of Christ. He goes through all that Christ went through, through the scurvy, through the sailing abroad, through the mockery of a trial. He goes through all the things that Christ went through. The betrayal, the prayer, the garden where he sweated drops of blood. He goes through all of that. Then he pairs it up with this statement, he says,” The reason Jesus went through the hell of that week was so we wouldn’t have to go to heaven without you.” It is not God’s Will that any should perish. He gives us the freedom to choose the path and the direction that we will take.
This afternoon our youngest daughter is going back to Chattanooga. She’s the manager for the football team there and they start their practices there this week. She’s going back this afternoon. She’s got a choice when she gets out there to the interstate to either go west or east. If she wants to go to Chattanooga she has to go east. If she goes west she will never get there.
You know which way to go…”Right?” “OK!” If she goes west she will go to Murfreesboro, she will go to Nashville, and if she keeps going she will go to Clarksville. But she doesn’t want to go that way. Why, because her destination is Chattanooga. In order to get there she has to go east. It’s amazing in life how we figure that we can get on the wrong road going the wrong direction and end up in the right place. God doesn’t sentence us to hell. We have the freedom to choose which direction and which destination that we will go for. But if we want to go in the way that leads to life and eternity with him, he says there is two roads. There’s a wide road and there’s a narrow road. I used to think that the narrow road was the road on the side. Like on the interstate you will see a road on the side of the fence but you don’t see it traveled very much. Then the wide road is the interstate. You are going down it and you are just flying as fast as you can go. I used to think that was the picture painted in scripture, but I have come to realize that it is not. The picture painted in scripture is that the narrow road is right down the middle of the wide road going in the wrong direction. There is the narrow road. Everybody else is going this way and you are going right down the middle in the opposite direction. That is the narrow road and that is the road that God calls us to go to. Why does he delay? It is not his Will that any should perish but that all would come to eternal life and everyday he is giving us a chance to put feet to our prayers, another day to come home to him, one more day that a wayward child must find their way home. One more day might make a difference. God is not going to force himself on us. God gives us the freedom to choose which road and which direction we will go.
You know the story of the prodical son has always fascinated me and in that story the scripture does not tell us, but being a dad has told me this. When a member of my family and drives away, and a few days later we knew they were coming home, every time I would go by the front door, I would look to see if they were driving by. You have done the same thing. I can’t help but believe that every morning in the story of the prodical son that the dad got up and the first thing he did was go to the door, open it and look for his son. That’s what God does for us. God goes to the door of heaven and looks for us. Thank you. He looks for us to see if we are making our way back home. He’s not going to force himself on us but yet he is there looking, hoping that we will come back to him. I want to say it like this. He is looking for your return. If you are off in the far country like the prodical son, He is looking for your return. If you have not returned to Him, if you have not come home, if you have not accepted him as Lord and Savior of your life then I want to point out it to you like this this morning, You may be the reason that he is waiting. It is not His will that any should perish but that all would come to eternal life. He may be waiting on you.
Sometimes we think God is mad at us and if we come to God he is going to get us. God loves you! God is not mad at you. God wants to restore you, to redeem you, to love you, and to forgive you. That is what he is waiting on. That is what he wants to do for you. That is his patience for you. I have asked you before, do you mean what you pray? You told me yes, that we pray, thy kingdom come thy will be done. So get busy reaching lost people. He is waiting on us to come back home or he is waiting on us to get busy reaching others to bring them home. That is why he is waiting. It is not his will that any should perish but all would come to true life. Everyday is an opportunity to join God in what God wants to do.
We were talking in Sunday school this morning. You know a lot of times we decide what we are going to do, then we ask God to bless us, as if it was our idea. The way things have been happening across the world, if you have been watching the news… the youth day. Wow, what an event! They said, God what are you doing and how can we get involved with you? That is part of God’s Will. Not that we have to re-invent anything, we just have to want to go where God is already doing something and get into it. Every day is an opportunity to work for him. Every day is an opportunity to do his will.
Some of you may or may not like this but it is scripture that as the church we are the bride of Christ. Scripture paints a lot of pictures as to what the church is and we are the bride of Christ. Have you ever known any groom that did not want to go get his bride? For over 35 years I have been doing weddings and a lot of things I can’t tell you about and some things that are funny. We as a church are the bride of Christ. I don’t know which door they come in here but which ever one it is there is some funny things going on outside that door. The groom is just pacing back and forth and he doesn’t know what he is doing, he doesn’t know what time it is. He says I’m just going to stand right here until the preacher tells me to go in. I have had grooms to just about faint when you open the door to come in. I have has one bride to pass out on me. Grooms are anxious, they are looking at their watch and think the battery has stopped. How much longer? How much longer? How much longer? All those things that go on, can I share my heart with you? I think every morning when Jesus gets up he goes to the father and says, “Can I go get my bride today?” Jesus says, “ I know you are anxious but can we, let’s wait another day?” One of those days, one of those days, God is going to grin and nod and say, “Son go get your bride.” But until then we as the bride of Christ are going to keep doing what we are supposed to do. Keep on being patient. Keep on inviting and telling others about this Jesus and this groom for the bride of Christ. We just keep on waiting!
There is a story told about a mansion, and this gardener of the mansion kept for years, kept the grounds spotless. Somebody came by to visit and said, “The owners of this palace must be grateful for you and all you do with keeping things spotless.” He said,” I have never met the man.” He said, “ You have never met the man but you keep the place spotless and perfect?” He said, “Yes.” He said,” Why do you do this?” He said, “Cause one day he is going to come.” He said, “It might be today…It just might be today so I keep it ready for the coming of Christ.” God delays for our benefit but God will not delay forever. The one day he will come. The two ways to make haste to his coming is make sure you are right with him, and make sure your family friends and acquaintances have the opportunity to be right with him as well.
Let me tell you about the patience of God and then I will be through. Two men were talking and they knew each other well. One of the men had a son, his son had given him all kinds of trouble. He had been in trouble with the family, and with the whole community. The man said to the man who had trouble with his son, he said, “Bill, I just got to tell you if that were my boy I would have given up on him.” Bill said, “Jim, if that was your son I would have given up on him too, but he is my boy and I am not giving up on him.” God does not give up on us. His will is that none should perish but all come to eternal life. That is why he is patient. See that His will, will be done. Now that is what the book says, and the book never lies. Let us pray.
Thank you God, that you do not give up on us. When we want to give up on ourselves and we want to give up on each other, you never do. Lord we thank you that it is your Will that we spend eternity with you. That you are not going to force it on us but you are going to provide it for us. In these moments God there is someone who needs to make that decision, someone who says I have made you wait long enough, God I am ready to come home today. If there be one here today whose heart has been touched, perhaps someone who has been away for a while and wants to return, Lord come and do business with us and help us do business with You, knowing that you are a patient and loving God. This we pray in Christ’s name. Amen.