Thursday, December 8, 2016
This is my second letter to you, dear friends, and in both of them I have tried to stimulate your wholesome thinking and refresh your memory. I want you to remember what the holy prophets said long ago and what our Lord and Savior commanded through your apostles. Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.” They deliberately forget that God made the heavens long ago by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed. But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. 2 Peter 3:1-9a(NLT)
It is said that the opposite of love is hate; I think that misses the mark. The polar opposite of love is indifference. The line between love and hate is very thin, like a teenager who screams at her mother, I hate you; what she is really doing is crying for the attention of the one whom she trusts enough to let out the anguish of her soul. Love and “hate” are too close to call sometimes.
Indifference is deciding something or someone doesn’t matter…at all!
In the case of the “scoffers” Peter brings to the attention of the church, they have decided to be indifferent about Jesus and conveniently (deliberately) put aside the reality of creation and the whole history of their ancestors who defied God and paid the price for it. They look around and offer: well, I don’t see God showing up lately…he’s either non-existent or taking a nap somewhere…nothing to worry about!
There is a growing indifference towards God in our culture. You hear very little overt “hatred” sentiments about God, except in some fringe elements of society. But those who, when God is mentioned, just shrug their shoulders and go back to their social media games, reveal an indifference that is maddening and just plain crazy.
It also reveals a gross ignorance, if not stupidity, about creation and God’s prior claim on His creation. God made humankind, and that takes indifference towards God off the table! Like it or not, you cannot be indifferent forever when it comes to God.
On the other hand, however, God has left the possibility of temporary indifference on the table; it is called free will. We are free to choose separation from God, but that kind of indifference only keeps the upper hand until that which is greater says otherwise. You can, for instance, afford to be indifferent to an ant at your picnic…but only until the ant informs the other 8-gazillion other ants back at the nest that you’ve got chocolate cake! That’s when you’d better believe it when the ant says “otherwise”!
Someday, according to Peter (Paul, John, Mark, Luke, Matthew and, oh yes, Jesus), God will say otherwise!
The logic of responding to the God who loves us is irrefutable…but there are many who conveniently try to forget that.
A good bit of advice from Scripture is…check that amnesia at the door!