The Apostle Peter wrote, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness, but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the Earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Peter 3:9-10).
These verses hold two emotions — one of thankfulness that God is willing to give all time to obey Him, and one of fear that God is sending Christ back, meaning everyone needs to be ready for the coming judgment. One would think this thought would captivate man’s thinking, but that is not the case.
It is easy to forget the words of Peter. A person gets busy making a life and, soon, forgets God. Jesus told a parable about a man who was greatly blessed, but forgot God had provided the things necessary for his success. “And he spake a parable unto them, saying, ‘The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee, then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God’” (Luke 12:15-21). This man forgot that God provided the rain and sunshine. He failed to realize that God gave him the mind and body to work so he could prosper.
Many today are like this man. They forget God when they should be thanking and praising Him for all He gives to mankind.
When man forgets about God, he forgets about the greatest gift ever given to mankind — Jesus Christ. God’s long suffering is seen in the Bible, as the writers tell the story of how man sinned and how God planned for man’s redemption.
The Bible takes us though history, showing how despite Satan’s many attempts to thwart God’s plan, Jesus was born, fulfilled God’s plan, died, rose and ascended back to the Father, leaving His last will and testament for man to follow. It took only a few words to describe the story of the Bible, but it actually took many years filled with toil, tears and the blood of the Lamb of God. God’s long-suffering love for man allowed all these things to happen.
In Hebrews 11:6, it is written, “But without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” The reward is promised to those who “diligently seek Him;” this means one must seek out what God desires to be done, not what a person thinks should be done.
God’s word teaches that a person should believe in Jesus as the Son of God, repent of their sins, confess Jesus before others, be baptized for the remission of our sins and live for God. He has given the gift, but man must accept His gift as He prescribes.
The gift of Christ was given for all. It includes the salvation of the souls of those who accept the gift given just as God desires them to do so.