2 Peter 1:1-21 ESV
Briefly review previous message.
The importance of this subject: in our witness to unbelievers (3:3ff) and in dealing with depressed believers (3:11ff).
I. Proclamation of God’s plan of salvation
 God has a total plan he is working out (Rm 11:36). We tend to be very self-centered or provincial. We ask, “Is this good for me or for us?” But God is working out all things for his glory and our good.
Illustration: Think of strategy in chess. A player will make a sacrifice in one area in order to win the game. If we don’t understand the chess master’s strategy, we might despair for his cause.
 This plan is built around God’s Son. It is about how God will be glorified through him.
So then, what does the message of the Second Coming tell us about God’s plan of salvation?
A.We must understand that God’s plan is not yet finished. There is more to come!
Illustration: Think of an article in a magazine—“to be continued in the next issue.”
1.We are in a progression: God has done great things; God is still doing great things; and God is yet to do great things!
2.God has worked his plan in the past, and he has overcome the greatest obstacles. This gives us assurance that we will work his plan in the future.
Illustration: Your employer has paid your check every week on Friday for 500 weeks; therefore, you have confidence that he will pay you this Friday.
B.We must understand that evil will be dealt with in God’s plan (cf. 3:7).
1.The history of this present age shows that the adopted sons of God have not been able to defeat and eliminate the evil that is in this world. We may have struggled (Eph 6:12) and fought (2 Tm 4:7) well, but the final victory has not been achieved some two thousand years after the cross.
2.But this victory will come when the Lord Jesus Christ appears (Rev 19).
II. The course of the conflict
A.A study of the church’s history will show that there have been ups and downs. Some times have seemed like heaven on earth; others have seemed miserable.
1.This was true in the earliest apostolic times (cf. Ac 18:9-11 with 1 Cor 3-6). One day looks bright with hope; another looks like nothing has been accomplished.
2.It has been true throughout the course of this age. Revival comes and then spiritual declension. When the hearts of the saints were filled with joy, they first ignored error, then tolerated it, and then accepted it.
Illustration: After the 1859 Revival, unbelief spread.
B.The message of the Second Coming is that the conflict will end with a crisis (2 Th 1:8-10).
1.Armageddon is yet to come.
2.Sin will continue to ruin humanity (2 Tm 3:1, 12-13; 4:2-4).
III. The certainty of the final triumph of Christ and his cause
A.Whatever happens, the Lord Jesus will finally be victorious.
1.“Let me emphasize this. There will be times when it will be almost impossible to believe this.” [Lloyd-Jones, p. 81]
Illustration: Compare the difference between watching a football game live or watching it recorded.
2.But the outcome is sure. Jesus will reign (Rev 19:15)!
Hymn: [Conder, Grace Hymns, #270]
One Lord, one empire, all secures;
He reigns, and life and death are yours;
Through earth and heaven one song shall ring,
The Lord omnipotent is King!
Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
Doth his successive journeys run;
His kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.
B.The sure triumph of Jesus our Lord should direct us to our proper business.
1.Our job is not to make this world better and better; it is not to reform society. By saying this I am not denying that we should live for God’s glory in every way possible. However, our job is not to reform the old creation.
2.Instead, our task is to proclaim the good news of Jesus to all people. God uses the gospel to call men and women out of this world to a better one (Col 1:13; 1 Pt 2:9).