17. Delay in the return of Jesus
The following sentence indicates an apocalyptic influence. It voices the belief that a cosmic natural catastrophe must first strike the world before everyone is then resurrected on the Day of Judgment: "But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the godless. But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed. Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of per- sons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God" (2Pe 3:7-12). The following explanation is most commonly used as the reason why Jesus did not return: "So when they had come together, they asked him "Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?" He replied, "It is not for you to know the times or periods that the...
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