Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.

1 John 2:18 (NIV)

“With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day” the apostle Peter reminds us in 2 Peter 3:8 (NIV). I’ve often thought about what Peter was trying to tell us here. We know that Peter was writing to a church under persecution and anyone knows that time seems to pass more slowly when we’re going through difficult episodes. However, I don’t think that Peter was trying to tell the church to buck up and hope for better days because time flies when you’re having fun. To have a better understanding of what Peter wrote and why he wrote it I think that we need to look at when he wrote it.

If you’re like me then lots of thoughts might cross your mind when you read the Bible. One thought that likes to surface over and over goes something like this, “How could they do that?” What I’ve realized as I’ve read the Bible is that they aren’t that different than us. Although technology will change and it will change the way that the world functions I don’t believe that the heart of humanity changes. If you strip away all that we think we know about the world and look at the base desires of a person you will find that we are the same from age to age.

Before Jesus died He told His disciples that He would come back and the Lord would judge the earth. However, He also told them that no one knows when that will happen, “not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Matthew 24:36 NIV). I don’t think they understood what He had said because we know that shortly after He had risen the people sold “their property and possessions and [gave] the money to whoever was in need” (Acts 2:45 CEV). Some people may look to what the early church did in Acts and think that we, the church, ought to emulate that behavior thinking that what they did in Acts was done according to what Jesus had taught about being rich. That we ought to “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness” and everything else will be given to us as well (Matthew 6:33 NIV) and that it’s difficult for the rich to enter into heaven (Matthew 19:23). However, I believe that the early church sold what they had and gave it up because they thought Jesus would be returning soon. After all, what need of possessions when everything is going to pass away soon?

When Peter writes his second letter to the church, about 37 years have passed since Jesus’ death and resurrection. Many people had hoped that Jesus would return in their lifetime. We know from Paul’s letter to the Romans, 27 years after Jesus’s death, that the church in Jerusalem that had sold everything and gave to those who were in need was now “poor” and in need of contributions from other churches (Romans 15:26). When Peter writes his second letter, the church in Jerusalem isn’t only suffering because of persecution, they are also suffering because they thought Jesus was going to return soon and sold what they had and gave the money to the poor.

We know from 1 John 2:18 that John believed that Jesus would be returning soon. He tells us “we know it is the last hour” because there are “many antichrists” who had come (NIV). In one sense of the word, John was wrong. He looked to a sign, antichrists, and thought that the Lord was soon to return. In another sense, he was right. When God looks at Time, He doesn’t look at it how we look at it. We place importance on days and years that are different than God’s. The glorification of Jesus was an important event, to both God and people, because we are now in the final days before the end of this world. One could say, “the last hour.”

We need to realize that we’re no different than the people we read about in the Bible. Sure, we may get from point A to point B differently and have a lot of other points that we can travel to, we might wear different clothes and do different jobs, but we are the same. If we read the Bible and think that we’re different from the people in it, then we’re missing a big point of the Bible. We think things like, that will never happen to me or I’ll never do something like that, but it does, and we do. One thing that we need to take away from the Bible when we read it is we need to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. When we take them off of Him and do what we think we need to do, like the early church, we may find ourselves destitute, looking to the skies, instead of taking care of the work that needs to be done right now.

Do you know God? God knows you and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so that we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.