11 May 2022
2 Peter 3:11
9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. 11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.
The second letter of Peter was written toward the end of his life to the church community he was connected to. Its emphasis is on warning them about corrupt teachers who were leading believers astray by their distorted teaching and immoral living.
After examining the beatitudes, there is no doubt that the child of God is called to be distinctly different. In the first chapter of 2 Peter we are called to be participants of the divine nature; to share in God’s eternal life and love. The expectation of what manner of people we ought to be is clearly articulated in 2 Peter chapter 3 verse 11 – where we are called to live holy and godly, and in verse 14, where we are encouraged to make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with God.
If we are to adhere to this way of life and not be derailed by the “error of the lawless” (who are found in every generation), we must continuously grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (v. 18). Our knowledge of Him must be drawn from what was spoken by the holy prophets and the command given by the Lord through the apostles (v. 2). In other words, the scriptures.
We must not be drawn in by those who scoff at the time God seems to have taken to intervene on earth to justify throwing away caution to live as we want. Peter points out in this chapter that a review of history will remind us that God has intervened in the past. Look at the flood in Noah’s day when the earth was destroyed by water (v. 6). This current heaven and earth will be destroyed by fire on the day of judgement spoken about in the books of Isaiah and Zephaniah. Our estimate of time is very limited at best and does not line up with God’s accurate estimate of it. For with the Lord, a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day (v. 8). God is patient and doesn’t want anyone to perish but to come to salvation through repentance (v. 9). We are warned that the day of judgement will come suddenly and at a time not expected (v. 10).
Following the destruction of the heavens and earth by fire, a new heaven and new earth is promised – where righteousness will dwell. There will be no evil, sorrow, or hurt; sin and its effects will no longer be present. What an exciting promise!
So in view of the reality of a day that is soon coming without warning where heaven and earth will be destroyed by fire, we must take a sober account of what we believe and how we live. Without holiness, no man will see God (Hebrews 12:14). The new heaven and new earth will not accommodate anything that is incompatible with God. Let us, therefore, in response to God’s mercy demonstrated through His patience, heed the call to live holy and godly lives. Through grace-driven effort, let us strive daily to be found blameless and spotless, living at peace with God. Today might just be the day of the Lord!