Because “last things” center around the establishing of God’s kingdom, attention to “last things” has always been a paramount Seventh-day Adventist concern. So much so that we have drawn attention to the end times in our name: Seventh-day Adventist. The name itself points to our belief in the second advent of Jesus.1
How does Peter express this hope? 2 Pet. 3:13. Why is this hope so central to all we believe? Without it, why do we have no real hope at all?
Our own human expectations and hopes are often disappointing. Many times they fail us because we cannot control future events. Our most ardent hopes often are not fulfilled. We cannot control the future, no matter how hard we might try. Human beings are faced with possibilities and probabilities. Every plan of ours is tentative. The unfolding of history is complicated, incalculable, and subject to too many varied factors to allow us confidence in what we may decide about it. And this uncertainty causes us anxiety.
But the biblical writers assure us that we need not despair; the Lord is in control, and we have the promise of His return and the promise of what He’ll do at that return.
Read the following verses. What hope, and assurance, is found in them? What different emphasis is found in each one of these promises, as well?
In all these texts, and so many others, we have been given the promise, not only of Christ’s return but that a radically different new world and existence await us when He does. Try to imagine what it will be like. We are so used to sin, sickness, death, fear, violence, hatred, poverty, crime, war and suffering, we can’t easily imagine a world without them. And yet, that’s exactly the world we’re hoping for, the world we have been promised.