Did the delay in Jesus' second coming give further opportunity for people to be "saved"?
Didn't the delay in Jesus' second coming give further opportunity for people to be "saved" by believing in him?
Answer: Citing 2 Peter 3:9: "The Lord . . . is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance" some Christian commentators offer the excuse that the delay in Jesus' second coming was granted to give further opportunity for people to be saved. However, this evades the issue of how soon Jesus was supposed to return. In the passages promising a speedy return of Jesus within the lifetime of his contemporaries there is no discussion of God's patience in awaiting the sinners repentance.
What is discussed is the time period designated by the New Testament authors for the arrival of the second coming. Let no one be confused as to when the New Testament predicted the appointed time of the second coming. All of the New Testament citations concerning the timing of the second coming promise an imminent return in human terms. This is delineated by its taking place while certain of Jesus' contemporaries were still alive, coupled with the occurrence in that generation of a period of tribulation just prior to the return. The second epistle of Peter is a late attempt to explain away the obvious fact that the second coming did not arrive at its appointed time.
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