The COVID shutdown, the election, and social unrest have fomented fear, hatred, division, anger, hostility, deception, distrust, manipulation, and… the list goes on. It’s all unsettling and distracting to say the least. So how should we as Christ followers live amid such turmoil?
The Apostle Peter’s second letter is especially relevant and offers encouragement and clear direction for us in answer to that question.
In his letter, Peter explains he wrote “as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking” – and “wholesome thinking” is something that appears to be in short supply these days!
Then, a few verses later, Peter begins with the words, “Above all….” This should catch our attention! We want to sit up and take notice: “Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, ‘Where is this “coming” He promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.’” (2 Peter 3:3-4)
“Above all” or “Most importantly” we must not let anyone or anything distract us from the fact that Jesus is coming back again and that the day of judgment on this evil world is coming. Then, Peter explains, “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, no wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (vs. 9)
Wow! The Lord has been putting off His return so that more and more people might be saved. But the eye-catcher in verse nine is that He is being patient with us—His followers. Why? Because He is depending on us to share the Gospel with others.
In verses 10-12, Peter continues: “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. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.”
In view of the present turmoil, we ought to live holy and godly lives as we look forward to Christ’s return and “speed its coming.”
How do we speed the coming of the Lord? He has already told us. We speed His coming by telling others about Jesus, because He doesn’t want anyone to perish, but all to come to repentance. Jesus said essentially the same thing in Matthew 24:14, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
Evangelism, living holy and godly lives, and eagerly looking forward to Jesus’ return all go hand-in-hand. Peter said, however, that God is being patient with “us”—not with the world—but with us His followers. He’s being patient with us because we often allow ourselves to become distracted from what He has left us here to do: tell others about Jesus, live holy, godly lives, and look for His return.
Peter ends this letter, “Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.”
By the grace of God and in the power of His Spirit, will you join with me in telling others about Jesus, living holy and godly lives, and looking forward to Jesus’ return?