Hastening the Day
“Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons 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 dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?”
II Peter 3:11-12 NKJV
Peter instructs us to hasten the day of Christ's return. While God ultimately knows the day and hour which he will indeed appear, there seems to be an element of variability due to the freedom of the human will. God's sovereignty and our freedom of choice are two realities which have a mysterious relationship. It stands to reason, however, that if we can hasten the day that we might also cause delay.
If we are indeed a people specially charged with heralding earth's final cry of mercy, 2 Peter 3:12 should give us reason for pause. Adventist history does not reveal an unbroken progression into the light of God's goodness. A few decades into our existence we had largely lost our way. Jesus had become a background fixture receiving less attention than our charts, dates, and symbols. Biblical revelations intended to point to the goodness of God and the imminence of his return became themselves all-consuming. Some of our most "successful" evangelists responsible for drawing in large numbers of converts did so using worldly methods of public debate. The pride of being "right" displaced love for Christ as the heart of our evangelistic appeal.
The result of this sad chapter in our story was far-reaching. Unconsecrated evangelists attracted large numbers of like-minded individuals shifting the DNA of our movement in a dangerous direction. Revival near the end of the 18th century challenged these worldly methods but the fallout from this period confused entire generations, greatly weakening the work moving forward.
Our history is no reason to despair. Imagine what could have happened if the Hebrews in Christ's day had embraced His invitation to once again be his chosen people. Jesus was able and willing to break the coldness of their national pride and fill them with the beauty of his character. We are not the first people chosen to uniquely herald the glory of God to a languishing world but if we will humble and consecrate ourselves we could be the last.
God has done much to preserve the precious message entrusted to us. God stands ready and able to accomplish miracles in our midst. We can stand and passively watch the world continue to crumble around us, or we can cry out to God to finish what he started. The work to be accomplished within us and around us is staggering, but God is more than up to the challenge. Will we allow God to prepare us for the task at hand?
Still Seeking His Face,