Tuesday, August 4, 2015
“And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:15,16 KJV).
What can the Apostle Peter teach us about dispensational Bible study?
In early Acts, Peter preached that Messiah Jesus would return to destroy those Jews who incessantly rejected Him (Acts 2:32-40; Acts 3:19-26). The Prophet Stephen said he saw Jesus Christ standing at His Heavenly Father’s right hand in the third heaven, ready to come and judge apostate Israel (Acts 7:55,56). In a fit of rage, unbelieving Israel killed Holy-Spirit-filled Stephen… with Jesus-hating Saul of Tarsus encouraging and approving (7:57–8:3). Saul, along with the other Israeli Jesus-haters, should have been immediately consumed, burned up in God’s wrath. Yet, no wrath came! Why?
Thirty years later, Saul, now the Apostle Paul, reflecting on his salvation experience in Acts chapter 9, wrote in 1 Timothy 1:12-16: “ And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;  Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.  And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.  This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save [not punish!!!!] sinners; of whom I am chief.  Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”
As Peter learned (cf. today’s Scripture), God had given those Christ-rejecters in Israel yet another chance to escape that wrath. Paul was first to be saved into the Church the Body of Christ. As God operates our Dispensation of Grace, grace, love, mercy, and all longsuffering will dominate, thereby delaying divine wrath!