The pseudonymous author of 2 Peter (writing decades after the crucifixion) was acutely aware of the problem of the absentee Jesus, and helpfully offered this biblical nonsense as an explanation:
Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”… But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.In plain English:
2 Peter 3:3-4, 8-9 (NIV)
“Oh sure, everyone’s laughing and mocking because Jesus hasn’t come back but what they don’t realize is there’s a good reason why he hasn’t returned yet. You see, God’s time is different from our time. A thousand of our years is like a day to him. A few millennia, give or take. No big deal. But the main reason is because Jesus is so compassionate and doesn’t want anyone to go to Hell. He’s waiting to give everyone time to repent. Once he saddles up his white horse in the sky, it’ll be too late to change teams.”Jesus’ tardiness is motivated by his benevolence. Aww, ain’t that sweet!
This explanation might pacify the weak-minded faithful who are desperate to cling to their beliefs despite increasing evidence that Jesus will never return, but logically, it is utterly ridiculous.
Why? Because more people are being born every minute of every day on planet Earth. If God was withholding judgment to allow people time to repent, then he would have to put a freeze on human reproduction because otherwise, there will always be a percentage of people who haven’t had enough time to repent, no matter what the cutoff date.
Imagine a cashier at a supermarket, who needs to go on break. The manager tells her that she can take her break as soon as she rings up all the customers in her line. One small problem - the manager doesn’t put the ‘closed’ sign on the register lane. Customers will continue to get in line, and the cashier will never get a break.
This is why Second Peter’s rationale for the delay in Jesus’ return is nothing more than a good example of scriptural nonsense.
Written by J. M. Green