“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 ESV)
The apostle returns to a theme from his first letter as he reminds His readers that this world will come to an end and Jesus will make all things new. He wants to remind them that our inheritance is secure and is coming – this truth is a major key to living a godly life. This is a gospel promise – because Jesus will return and everything here will be remade, let us strive to live godly lives in Christ Jesus. There is a world, an existence, a country, a territory in which God will reign and no sin will exist. The perfect paradise in the presence of God that is marked by a rhythm & rest for the soul will return. Is this not part of the reason that God permits or causes difficulties, hardships or persecutions? Is it not to wake up our dead hearts and eyes to the fact that this world is indeed transient and that we need to set our eyes on the world that is to come? Yes!
The implications of this truth are profound! Are you struggling with the approval of others, a difficult interpersonal relationship or bumping up against the falleness of the world? This world is not all that there is and because of that you can endure, engage and invest – knowing that in some mysterious way God is using it to redeem this world. You don’t have to be accepted, comfortable, respected or loved because you are all of these things (and so much more) as God’s adopted child. Because of Christ’s sacrifice for us, we will experience them in true satiating fullness in the world to come; you are able to walk in joy without receiving acceptance, comfort, respect or love in this world. There are no 10 tips to a happier life – this is the truth for living a godly life. Peter says that our efforts towards holiness have some mysterious effect on the coming of the Lord. This sounds like a practical outflow of the Lord’s prayer (your kingdom come, your will be done). But thank God that all of this hinges on His promises, not on our faithfulness. We aren’t faithful, but He was so we can walk in a confidence that is not rooted in our performance but in His perfect performance that He imputed to us.