Introduction: Do you sometimes worry about whether Jesus is really
coming again? In a court of law, “gold standard” evidence is when
your opponent admits a fact is true. In Matthew 8:29 two demons
(fallen angels) first admit that Jesus is the “Son of God” and then
ask “have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”
Fallen angels know God has an appointed time when Jesus will return
and bring an end to sin. Let’s jump into our study and discover what
the Bible says we should be doing while we wait!

  1. Peter on Trust

    1. Read 2 Peter 3:2-3. On what is Peter basing his
      statements? (On what the prophets and Jesus have said.)

      1. What can we expect in the last days? (People who will
        scoff at the message of the Bible and scoff at us.)

      2. Why do you think they scoff? Is it because the Bible
        is inherently untrustworthy? (No. They want to do
        their own will and not be constrained by the Bible.)

    2. Read 2 Peter 3:4. Wait a minute. Here is some hard
      evidence to use as a basis to doubt – everything has
      remained the same since the beginning of the world. Do you

    3. Read 2 Peter 3:5-6. How have things changed? (Peter says
      water was part of the creation of the world and it was the
      agent for the destruction caused by the flood.)

      1. Do the scoffers know this? (Yes. “They deliberately

        1. Do we still have the same kind of scoffers?
          (Yes! How many scientists acknowledge a world-wide flood?)

      2. What did God use to create the world and cause the
        flood? (His word!)

    4. Read 2 Peter 3:7. What does it mean that “by the same word
      the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire?” (I
      think “word” is used in two ways. First, the word of God
      promised the final destruction. Second, God is powerful
      enough that He merely speaks the fire into action.)

    5. Peter is making a logical argument here in support of the
      coming judgment. What is it? (God destroyed the earth once
      – and He did it by merely speaking. God can easily destroy
      the earth again.)

    6. Read 2 Peter 3:8-9. Peter directly addresses the issue of
      delay. Why has God delayed? (God is patient with humans in
      the hope they will turn to Him. God has a different
      perspective on time.)

    7. Read 2 Peter 3:10. Peter reaffirms that Jesus will come a
      second time and destroy the old heavens and earth. What
      idea does Peter inject when he says that Jesus will come
      “like a thief?”

  2. Peter on Waiting

    1. Read 2 Peter 3:11-12. Is this the answer you would have
      given to Peter’s question? I think the answer “alert and
      jumpy” makes more sense than “holy and godly.” Why holy
      and godly?

    2. Read 2 Peter 3:13-14. The new earth is the “home of
      righteousness.” Therefore we should work to be righteous
      – isn’t that what Peter is saying?

    3. Read 2 Peter 3:15-16. Now we know why Peter has
      righteousness by faith wrong, he has a hard time
      understanding Paul!

      1. Or, are we “ignorant and unstable people” who are
        distorting Paul’s message of righteousness by faith?

    4. Read 2 Peter 3:17. What error concerns Peter? (Those who
      believe in no law.)

      1. How can a dependence on righteousness by works ever
        be a “secure position?”

    5. Re-read 2 Peter 3:11-12. Does Peter say that we need to
      live holy and godly lives in order to be saved? (No! He
      says that right living will “speed” the time of Jesus’
      Second Coming. If God’s goal to have “everyone come to
      repentance” ( 2 Peter 3:9), is our goal, it makes sense to
      set a right example by living holy and godly lives.)

    6. Read 2 Peter 3:18. What does Peter say about grace? (That
      we should grow in it and in our knowledge of Jesus. It
      turns out that Peter is giving a message of grace without
      tossing out the practical importance of right living.)

  3. Jesus on Waiting

    1. Read Matthew 24:36. How does the fact that we do not know
      the day of Jesus’ return impact what we should be doing
      while waiting?

    2. Read Matthew 24:37-41. Will the world help us to know when
      the end is near? (The world goes on as usual.)

    3. Read Matthew 24:42-44. This is the second time we see this
      “thief” reference. What does it mean to “keep watch?” If
      Jesus is coming anyway, why watch? (The thief reference
      shows us what Jesus means. He is telling us to be alert
      and ready for His coming at all times.)

    4. Read Matthew 24:45-46. What is the work of the faithful
      and wise servant? (To give “food” to those in the

      1. What do you think is meant by the term “food?” Is it

    5. Read John 4:34. When Jesus says that finishing the work of
      God is His “food,” what do you think He means?

      1. Why is food a good analogy? (Food gives us energy.
        What energizes Jesus is doing God’s will. The work of
        the wise and faithful servant is energizing others to
        do God’s will.)

    6. Read John 4:35. When Jesus speaks of “harvest,” what do
      you think He means? (Sharing the gospel with those who
      want to hear it.)

      1. When should we do this work of harvest? (Right now.
        No need to wait.)

      2. When someone accepts the gospel, does that energize

    7. Read John 4:36-38. Have you ever been discouraged when you
      were not able to convert someone? What information does
      this text contain that is encouraging? (It is enough to be
      part of the process of conversion. We don’t need to take
      responsibility for the entire process. What we do to share
      the gospel may bear fruit later with the efforts of
      someone else.)

  4. John on Waiting

    1. Read Revelation 14:6-7. Are angels going to do our work
      for us? (God always works with us. This gives us advice on
      how we can work while waiting.)

      1. What is our message? (God created everything. He is
        entitled to worship and praise and honor. There is an
        urgency to this because the time of judgment has

    2. Read Revelation 14:8. What do you think is Babylon? (Read
      Isaiah 21:9. Babylon represents the worship of false gods.
      Adultery/fornication is unfaithfulness to God. The
      reference to “maddening wine” shows that unfaithfulness to
      God makes no logical sense. Thus, the message is that the
      enemies of God are defeated!)

    3. How would you put these two messages together? (Our
      Creator God defeated sin. The time for judgment is here!
      All humans need to join forces with the God who is

    4. Read Revelation 14:9-12. “Patient endurance” is not an
      exciting term. Previously, we discussed how our work of
      sharing the gospel gives us energy. Why is this an
      appropriate picture now? (The message is to continue our
      work. The end is near, so continue the work of sharing the

      1. Look again at Revelation 14:10-11. What role does
        this information play in our end-time message? (We
        make a mistake when we fail to mention the coming
        judgment. After all, what does judgment mean? Our
        decisions have consequences!)

    5. Read Revelation 21:1-4. What is the positive message of
      the Second Coming? (We will live with God in this fabulous
      place where we no longer have pain, mourning, sadness or
      death. These “old order” problems have passed away! Praise

    6. Friend, will you choose God now? While you wait will you
      share the gospel message? Why not ask the Holy Spirit to
      guide you into your special role in end-time work?

  5. Next week we start a new series on the book of Job.