Monday, November 24, 2008

The Day of Christ's Return

Carl Schalk's tune CHEOPS was the inspiration for this text based on the passage from 2 Peter 3:3-15a (NASB):  "Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming?  For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation."  For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water.  But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction by ungodly men.  But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.  The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements destroyed with intense heat, and the earth at its works will be burned up.    Since all these things are to be destroyed this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!  But according to His promise we are looking for a new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.  Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless and regard the patience of the Lord as salvation..."  Even so, Lord, come quickly!

1.  The day of Christ's return is still denied
     By skeptics, who in unbelief deride:
          "Where is this coming of your Lord?"
     Their darkened minds are blinded by their pride.

2.  Yes, in the human heart rebellion grows,
     Forgetting what the Scripture clearly shows:
           A thousand years within God's sight
     Are like a day that quickly comes and goes.

3.  The gracious reason why our Lord delays
     Reflects His patience, born of endless days:
          For God would have the world repent
     And turn from futile, selfish, empty ways.

4.  For soon the heav'ns will vanish with a roar;
     The earth laid bare by fire will be no more!
          What kind of people ought we be
     As we await the One whom we adore?

5.  Live godly lives of holiness and peace;
     By word and deed the reign of Christ increase;
          Look forward to and speed that day
     When all will be made new and never cease.

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