The game some people play – “The Lord delays His coming” – is a very dangerous game!

You’ve seen the scenario… Children playing a game of “hide and seek”… the one who is labeled “It” hides their eyes and counts to 100 (very quickly) while to others who are playing the game hurry to hide. Finally the words are shouted out… “Time’s up!” … and then “It” goes out to discover where everyone is hiding.
Well, in my Bible reading this morning, I read a passage in which Israel in the time of Ezekiel appeared to be trying to play another very dangerous game with God (you could call it “the Lord delays His judgment”)… a very dangerous game indeed! It’s an old game. People have been playing it for centuries. There are people who are playing it today. But one of these days God’s going to say “time’s up!”
Here’s the account in Ezekiel… “And the word of the LORD came to me: ‘Son of man, what is this proverb that you have about the land of Israel, saying, ‘The days grow long, and every vision comes to nothing’? Tell them therefore, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: I will put an end to this proverb, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel.’ But say to them, The days are near, and the fulfillment of every vision. For there shall be no more any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel. For I am the LORD; I will speak the word that I will speak, and it will be performed. It will no longer be delayed, but in your days, O rebellious house, I will speak the word and perform it, declares the Lord GOD.” And the word of the LORD came to me: ‘Son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say, ‘The vision that he sees is for many days from now, and he prophesies of times far off.’ Therefore say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: None of my words will be delayed any longer, but the word that I speak will be performed, declares the Lord GOD.” (Ezekiel 12:21–28 ESV)
This reminded me of several New Testament passages that address the issue of God finally saying, “times up!”
“They will say, ‘Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.’ They deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief! And then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.” (2 Peter 3:4–10 ESV)
One of these days God is going to say, “time’s up!” … “And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, Who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay!” (Revelation 10:6 ESV)
Yes, the game some people play – “the Lord delays his coming” or “judgment will never come!” – is a very dangerous game! I do not want to play it! I want to live ready for His coming!

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