“…scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old…” 2 Peter 3:3-5
I wrote about Simeon and the Jews of his day in my novel, The Substance Hoped for. God promised Simeon that he would not die before seeing the Christ. That was when he was younger. When Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the temple for the required rites as a baby, Simeon was led in the Spirit to meet them and see God’s promise fulfilled.
My discussion of this in my novel deals with how blind his contemporaries were. I’m sure they were excited at first, because this meant they were living in the time of the Messiah. But their excitement likely waned as the years went by. They forgot all about it after a while, and resumed the apparently real religion of the Jews; waiting.
They were so busy waiting that, when Simeon died, no one seemed to wonder where the Messiah was. Simeon shouldn’t have keeled over without seeing the Christ. Was there a frantic search to find Him? Not according to the Bible. The Jews just continued to practice their adopted religion of waiting.
When Jesus was standing right in front of them, the collective reaction was “Naw! Couldn’t be! We’re Waiters!.”
That’s what happens when the centuries roll by as you wait for a promise to be kept. Waiting becomes comfortable, an end in itself.
Peter warned his contemporaries – and us – that people lose patience quickly. We will start wandering away from God and His promises, because we don’t appreciate God’s view of time. We will figure nothing’s happening, must be a false alarm, and start following our own lusts.
In the meantime, we should think about the time scale since Jesus Ascension and Peter’s letter. It’s been 2000 years…give or take. Whenever the Second Coming is scheduled to happen, we’ve got 2000 years on the galactic timer. That’s a whole boatload closer than the world was at the start of the promise. Don’t you think we should put our heads on a swivel, start looking around, and thinking, “Any second now…”