But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3:8-9 ESV)
God’s heart is for everyone to repent so that they are spared from his wrath. His anger is directed towards all evil that exists and he has a plan abolish it. He is patient, allowing everyone to live as they choose, while his followers continue sharing the good news of salvation with a hope that more souls will be written in the Book of Life.
God is not affected by time because he is eternal and exists outside of its parameters. With him, there is no such thing as impatience because he acts on his own will and timing. No man has the authority to assign God any deadlines, nor do they have the power to bend his will.
Do you remember the story of Lazarus and how he died before Jesus visited him? Read John 11 again, if you need a refresher. Mary and Martha sent for Jesus so that he may heal their brother from his illness. Instead of hurrying to get to their home, he delayed his visit by two more days. When he arrived, Lazarus had already died. As the story was told, the ultimate outcome was that Jesus brought him back to life, demonstrating the power of God and proving to the witnesses of this event that he is who he says he is, the Son of God.
The historical events of God and the ministry of Jesus were recorded for our benefit, to give us hope and reassurance. Whenever I reread the Scriptures, I am simply baffled by people who dismiss them as myth, who don’t want to pursue God and his offer of eternal life. Yet, here we are today, witnessing the patience of God, as he waits on more people to come to him while the world continues to spiral downward into moral decay. His heart breaks over sin and evil, but he continues to wait until he no longer wants to, not because he is out of patience, but because he is ready to act on his promises made thousands of years ago.
I believe that’s why many preachers say, “Today is the day of salvation!” They are telling everyone to not waste any more time, to hurry and get right with God and acknowledge Jesus as Lord. The reason is that we don’t know when God will stop waiting and start administering his judgments on this world. Yes, it is warning, and he wouldn’t have given it if he did not love us. Oh, but he does, and he wants to give us so much more if only we would believe and obey him.