2 Peter 3:10-14

10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

 

14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; …(Emphasis added).

 

The Day of the Lord’s return will settle many issues. Things on the Earth that are not of God will thankfully be burned up, thus cleansing the earth of millennia of all manner of defilement. For example, think of toxic waste in the air, sea and land that pollutes our natural realm. All these manmade things that have caused so much disease and suffering to so many will be totally cleansed. Man’s sin and greed always has always had negative and destructive consequences on the environment and society, yet no amount of caring for the planet by man today will compare to the care God Himself will bring as He establishes a new heaven and earth.

 

Peter forewarns us of such a fearsome time and this serves to sober us to live our lives in such a way that we actually play our part in preparing the way for the Lord’s Second Coming. Peter’s passage teaches that holy living actually ‘hastens’ the day of His return! Remarkably, we are called of God to play a part in bringing on the Messiah’s return (Vs 11-12).

 

Our faith and obedience actually counts for the future. The end will only come when we have preached the gospel of the kingdom to all the earth.

 

Matthew 24:13-14

14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

 

When you see yourself as a vital covenant partner with God, then this scripture makes sense. God does not work independently from those he has delegated authority on earth to. His instruction still stands: ‘Go ye’.

 

We are encouraged to have hope as we look forward to a new heaven and a new earth. To hope is to ‘confidently expect’ that which God has promised. Hope is not a case of ‘maybe so, maybe not’, rather it is an assurance that God will watch over and perform what He has promised. Our faith is attached to our hope. Put another way, how we live today is impacted by what we believe about tomorrow.

 

Hebrews 11:1

1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

 

Faith in what Jesus has already done is the foundation for diligence in our lives. We can live in today’s turmoil cocooned in a state of assurance about the future and be ‘found by Him to be in peace, without spot and blameless’ (2 Peter 3:14) when He returns.

 

The apostle Paul in his letter to Titus also highlights the connection between looking forward and how we are live out our lives right now. The ‘blessed hope’ he talks about in the following passage is not some abstract ‘pie in the sky’, but a driving force for righteous living that produces good works that serve as a witness to all men. Our lives right now count for eternity: people are watching how we live. We are living epistles, ‘known and read by all men’ (2 Corinthians 3:2).  Our lifestyle ought not give them any occasion to stumble. Besides, the Lord is also watching and looking to find faith in the earth, a faith that produces the intended fruit of the gifts He has so freely bestowed on us.

 

Titus 2:11-15

11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

(Emphasis added).

 

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