2 Peter 3:9 - 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.
A race can be a fun thing to watch.
Marathons, sprints, the Indy 500, and numerous contests on sea, land and air can capture our imaginations and transform athletes into super heroes.
Sadly, not all races are innocent competitions.
For example, right now, some scientists are in a race as they try to create a vaccine for the plague. Yes, that's right, the plague, aka, "the black death," the disease that wiped out one-third of Europe's population in the 1300s.
Now finding a vaccination for a bad-nasty thing like the plague is a mighty fine thing to do. I'm sure you agree these men and women scientists are to be commended for their work. But does that work really need to be called a "race"? After all, who are these scientists racing against?
That's an easy question to answer: the scientists are racing against the bad guys.
In this case, the bad guys are terrorists who would love to turn the plague into a bio-weapon.
According to Dr. Ashok Chopra, who is working for the Department of Defense, the plague is a great choice for any terrorist who wants to make a name for himself. Amplifying that idea, Dr. Chopra says the plague
1. is easy to grow;
2. is easy to make resistant to antibiotics;
3. in the airborne, pneumonic form, is very contagious, hard to treat, and has a mortality rate close to 100 percent;
4. is capable of killing millions;
5. has the ability to upset the intricacies of a society and reduce a military's effectiveness.
And that, my friends, is just about as good as it gets for the fanatics and terrorists of some religions.
In contrast to those who are trying to kill millions, we have a Lord who is committed to saving billions... scratch the word "billions" there and substitute everybody. As the passage above says, God does not want anyone to perish. To make salvation a reality, He sent His Son into this world to offer Himself as the Ransom who would save us.
Now, because of Jesus' success, the Lord desires all the world's lost souls to be touched by the Holy Spirit, be given a repentant heart, and brought to saving faith in the Redeemer.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, You have enlisted us in the race to reclaim the lost souls of humankind. Grant that we may witness where we can, to those we can, as often as we can. This we ask in our Redeemer's Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries