April 26 Bear in mind the patience of our Lord

2 Peter 3:15 “And regard*~ the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as also our dear brother Paul wrote to you, according to the wisdom given to him,”

Thankfully, the Lord has delayed His return until now. The longer He delays His coming, the more people all over the globe will be turning to faith in Christ as never before in history. Much of the growth of Christianity has been in restricted countries where it cannot be publicized.

In Nepal, there were 25 believers in 1960, but by 2010, there were more than 1 million! In China, there were an estimated 1.5 million believers in 1970, which grew to an estimated 100 million by 2010.

Estimates project that this will grow to more than 120 million in 20 years. The proportion of Christians in Africa is approaching 50 percent. While Christianity is barely holding its own in the West, it is exploding around the world.

Strange as it may seem, a strong emphasis on the second coming of Christ can be a motivation for world evangelism, or it can be twisted to discourage evangelism. The “what’s the use” excuse, or “It’s too risky or difficult in these ‘end times’” alibi, keeps some from the unfinished task of the church.

Peter uses the command regard, which means “to think or lead the way.” The thought that follows in the text should be a dominant motivating and guiding principle of your life. In this text, it refers to the delaying of the second coming of Christ (2 Pet 3:9), the purpose of which is the salvation of millions of new believers. Now is not the time to delay sacrificing to finish the Great Commission.

The only biblical reason for His delay is to give the church the time to fulfill Revelation 5:9 at the opening of the seven–sealed scroll marking the beginning of the tribulation. There will be believers “from every tribe and language and people and nation.” He waits for the church to finish this task.

Peter declares that Paul wrote with the same emphasis, as God gave him wisdom to express the continued passion of Christ for the lost of the world. Let the passion of our Lord for evangelizing the last people group be your guiding principle. Is this a concern of yours?

“Thank You, Lord, for Your patience with me in bringing the gospel to my mind and heart. Why did it take me so long to hear Your word? Are You waiting for me to share Your salvation with my friends? Give me courage today.”

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