“Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” (2 Peter 3:11-13)
In this verse, Peter effectively asks, “So what?”
Jesus is returning, the world will end – so what? How should that affect the way we live?
He also answers the question in the same sentence. If the “day of God” is coming, we ought to be living “lives of holiness and godliness”. And when he says we should be “waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God”, he means that in the way that we face daily trials and temptations we should take courage from God’s promises about the future. This is something I reflected on a lot in Facing Cancer with Faith.
Paul draws similar conclusions in the letter to the Romans:
“… you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarrelling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” (Romans 13:11-14)
We look forward, the new day is at hand. Jesus, the light of the world, is coming. With his coming he’ll banish the darkness of senselessness, perversion, lust and poisoned relationships. He’ll take away tears, and sickness, sadness and death. His first coming brought the dawn. His second coming will flood the universe with the light of his glory, renewing and perfecting everything. In between we’re to walk as in the daytime, using his light as armour against temptation and despair.
“’Surely I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20)