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.”
Our present world, and all that is in it, is one day going to be dissolved. And, I believe we are seeing the beginnings of that take place right now with the things which are happening in the USA and throughout the world. The old order of things is being brought down, so a new order of Satan can rise and take over, but only for a short period of time before the Lord ends that, too.
I believe we are seeing prophecy being fulfilled before our eyes, and that what we are seeing is only going to get much worse before the end comes.
When we have such a perspective of things, and we are aware of the signs of the times, and we realize that our world is temporary, it should impact how we live. We should not be those who live for the pleasures of this world, and whose focus is on gaining more wealth and possessions.
Our focus should be on our Lord, and on walking in his ways and in his truth, and on being his servants and witnesses in doing what he has called us to do, and in sharing the gospel of our salvation with the world around us, so that many will be saved before our Lord returns.
And, we should be those who are living godly and holy lives, pleasing to God. And, to be holy means to not be conformed to the world and to its thinking and behaviors, but to be different from (unlike) the world because we are being molded into the image of Christ Jesus, our Lord. So, our lives should be given over to the Lord, and our Lord should be master of our lives.
And, we should be watching and waiting for our Lord’s return, fully aware of the times in which we now live, longing for our Lord’s appearing, and anticipating life everlasting with Him where evil no longer dwells, but only righteousness. Oh, what a glorious day that will be!
2 Peter 3:14-16 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.”
Seeing all that is taking place in the world right now should awaken us to the reality of the shortness of time and of our need to take God and his Word seriously. Too many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ have been living not much differently from the world. So, it is indistinguishable now between the world and the church, for the most part.
Our eyes should also be opened to the reality of what the Scriptures teach regarding our salvation from sin and eternal life with God. We should have a divine perspective of our salvation rather than an earthy and worldly perspective. Thus, we should not take God and his grace for granted and assume that how we live on this earth doesn’t matter for eternity.
We should, instead, be enlightened of the Spirit of God regarding what the Scriptures teach. And, we should realize that our salvation and eternal life are not guaranteed upon some prayer we prayed or some confession we made or some decision we made, too, at one point in our lives.
For, that is why it says here, “be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation.”
For, it is not those who make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ who are counted as righteous, but it is those who WALK, not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. It is those who practice righteousness, in the power of God’s Spirit. And, it is not those who say they know God, but it is those who do the will of God who have eternal life with God (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 2:29-3:10; Rom. 2:13; Matt 7:21).
And, there are many people these days – the ignorant and unstable – who twist the teachings of Paul to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. For, they are teaching a gospel of grace which denies Jesus as Lord (master) of our lives, which lowers God to the standards of this world, and which instructs its followers that they can continue living in sin.
They do not honor God as Lord, for they do not obey him, for they think they don’t have to. They think that God does it all and that they don’t have to do anything. Yet, while it is true that we can do nothing to earn or to deserve our own salvation, we are the Lord’s workmanship, “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10; Tit. 2:11-14; Rom. 2:6-10; Phil. 2:12-13; Jas. 2:17).
2 Peter 3:17-18 ESV
“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, we are to be those who take care that we are not carried away with the error of lawless people who are teaching that we don’t have to obey the Lord, and that we don’t have to forsake our sins, and that we don’t have to submit to Christ as Lord (owner-master) of our lives.
We are not to be taken in by them who teach a salvation from sin absent of repentance and obedience, but which gives people free license to continue living in sin without guilt, and therefore lose our stability in Christ, our Lord.
But we are to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord by studying the Scriptures, in context, to learn what they teach us, and by being not just hearers of the word, but by being DOERS of the Word (Jas. 1:22-25).
For, the grace of God which brings salvation instructs us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and fleshly passions and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s soon return (Tit. 2:11-14).
The Kingdoms of Earth Pass Away
Lyrics by Henry R. Trickett, 1887
Music by James H. Fillmore, 1887
The kingdoms of earth pass away one by one,
But the kingdom of heaven remains;
It is built on a rock and the Lord is its King,
And forever and ever He reigns.
The tempest may rage and its anger acclaim,
Yea, the wind and the torrents may roar,
And the strong gates of hell may assail it in vain,
Still the kingdom shall stand ever more.
The kingdom of God is now open to all,
E’en the vilest may now enter in;
There’s a welcome for all who will turn to the Lord,
Full salvation and pardon for sin.
Chorus: It shall stand, It shall stand,
Forever and ever and ever,
It shall stand, It shall stand,
Forever and ever. Amen and Amen.
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