Last January, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists announced for the third year in a row that the world is on the doorstep of the apocalypse. The organization proclaimed that the Doomsday Clock continues to stand at 100 seconds to midnight.
The clock was created in 1947 as a benchmark to warn about the potential for nuclear annihilation. Today, it incorporates other “threats” to humanity. Still, like other secular constructs, the clock does not articulate man’s true nemesis—his sin nature.
God’s Sovereignty and Longsuffering
Even with all of the chaos created by sin, life is sustained as the globe travels through space at 67,000 mph (a rate more than 873 times Mach speed). Subtly and gently, all of creation is held together not by randomness or by chance, but by an all-powerful Savior who endures with unimaginable patience.
Conversely, men are known to instantly scrap personal relationships or creations if designs become flawed or if “novelty“ wears out. The inconvenience of dealing with something that is broken is frequently avoided. On most occasions, man’s sin nature limits any form of reconciling with damaged goods.
However, God’s longsuffering with His creation is counter to human inclinations. Men do not measure power in the humility of Christ; in secular society, it is measured in pride and carnal brute force. Consequently, we should recognize this reality daily and praise our Lord for His loving mercy. We are so fortunate that the Creator is Holy. To His glory, God gives mercy where it is not deserved...He gives time to the sinful (Psalm 86:15).
As believers in Christ, we are expected to emulate the Father’s longsuffering through the power of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). During His era of common grace, we are required to point to Christ and even die for His name if necessary. His love for us generates deeds and actions that shine as a beacon in a dying temporal world.
His Hand Holds the Clock
In reality, God has held the clock at one second to midnight for thousands of years. However, Scripture conveys to us that the Lord’s longsuffering will not last for infinity
(2 Peter 3:3-18). And although we appreciate His grace, we should never take it for granted…we should always be ready. Such a position is prescribed by His very word, for Christ warns His followers not to become apathetic (Matthew 25:24-30). He encourages us to always look forward to eternity and to be prepared. Knowing this, may we persevere in glorifying Him in this small space of time.
Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose’…
But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger and abundant lovingkindness and truth.
“And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. Later the other virgins also came, saying, 'Lord, lord, open up for us.' But he answered, 'Truly I say to you, I do not know you.' Be on the alert then, for you know neither the day nor the hour.“
Matthew 25:24-30 “Now the one who had received the one talent also came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed. And I was afraid, so I went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you still have what is yours.’
“But his master answered and said to him, ‘You worthless, lazy slave! Did you know that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter seed? Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. Therefore: take the talent away from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’ “For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. And throw the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Luke 18:7-8 “And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?"
What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
1 Peter 4:7
The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.
2 Peter 3:3-18
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 and 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 of 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 will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in 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 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 our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.