2 Peter 3:11-13 ESV
“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.”
One day Jesus is going to return to judge the earth and the people on the earth and to take his bride to be with him for eternity. At that time the heavens and the earth that now exist will be destroyed with fire. The heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed (See 2 Peter 3:1-10).
Since this is what is going to take place, the knowledge of this should encourage us to live lives of holiness and godliness. Why? Why should us knowing that these things are going to happen impact how we live our lives? I mean, I think most professing Christians today are fully aware of the fact that these judgments are going to one day come upon the earth, but that knowledge doesn’t seem to be moving most of them to live holy lives.
Why? Because they are convinced that heaven is their eternal destiny no matter how they live their lives on this earth, and so the thought of judgments to come don’t impact them, for they don’t think they apply to them. For they are not being taught, for the most part, the truth of the gospel, but they are being taught a diluted half-truth gospel which makes no demands of them at all for holy and godly living.
I believe it is because salvation is being taught to them as a one-time event that takes place in their lives which guarantees them heaven no matter how they live their lives on the earth. They are not being taught salvation as progressive sanctification and that if we walk according to the flesh, that we will die in our sins, but if we walk according to the Spirit, we will have eternal life. If they were, they would know that we must live holy lives.
And so they don’t have the fear of God within them. They largely take God’s grace for granted, believing that their sins are forgiven, that they are on their way to heaven, and that nothing can take it away from them. And so they feel secure that heaven is their eternal destiny regardless of how they live their lives. But they need to know that how they live their lives on this earth does matter for eternity, for we are all going to be judged by God.
And God is going to judge us by our works. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction. But if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life. If we make sin our practice, and if righteousness is not what we practice, and if obedience is not what we practice but disobedience is our practice, then we will not inherit the kingdom of heaven but we will die in our sins.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]
2 Peter 3:14-18 ESV
“Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”
So, as followers of Jesus Christ, we are to be diligent and intentional in our walks of faith to make certain that we are living godly and holy lives in the power of God, and that we are not taking God’s grace for granted, and that we are not presuming salvation is ours just because of some one-time confession we made of Jesus as our Lord and Savior. And this takes place in our lives when we surrender our lives to Jesus and we submit to his will.
And we need to be careful that we are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose (fall from) our own stability (steadfastness). And this is because our salvation and our eternal life are not measured by a one-time decision we make in our lives, but by whether or not we are living for Jesus, and forsaking our sins, and walking in obedience to his commands, and if we continue in that faith, steadfast unto the very end (see verses above).
So, as we wait for our Lord’s return, we should be those who, by the Spirit, are saying “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts, and who are living self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return. For this is what God’s grace trains us to do (Titus 2:11-14). And we should be growing in that grace by putting what this says here into practice in our daily lives, continuing to deny the flesh and to walk in holiness in God’s power.
Songs in the Night
An Original Work / December 18, 2013
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NIV ‘84
Lord, I praise You forevermore.
You, my Savior, I now adore.
Hope in heaven awaiting me,
Because You died at Calvary.
I have been forgiven,
And I’m bound for heaven.
Jesus set me free from
All my sin, I say.
I will praise Him always!
Lord, I love You for all You’ve done:
Overcame death, my vict’ry won!
Jesus saved me, and now I’m free!
I rejoice in His love for me.
I will walk in vict’ry!
My sin is but hist’ry!
I am free to please Him
With my life today.
I will love Him always!
Lord, I thank You for giving me
A new life bought at Calvary.
Loving Jesus, I meet with Him.
Tender mercies now flow within.
Lord, I am so thankful;
Through my Lord, I’m able
To sit at His table;
Fellowship with Him.
I will thank Him always!