What Kind of People Should we Be?
2 Peter 3:3-15 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 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.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water.6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
10 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.
11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.
There are some particular times in our lives when we live with our eyes very firmly fixed on a
future event. An engaged couple have their eyes fixed firmly on that date when they become
husband and wife. A couple expecting their first child wait and prepare with increasing
urgency. As we plan to move into a new home, or take a big overseas trip, much of what we do
in the present is shaped by the future. An elite athlete training for the Olympics will shape
their life in the present by that one coming event.
This passage in 2 Peter 3 encourages us to live with our eyes firmly fixed on a future event.
That event is ‘the day of the Lord’ – the day when Jesus will return and when ‘everything will
be destroyed’ (vv10 and 11). When this happens, there will be ‘a new heaven and a new
earth, where righteousness dwells’ (v13). Since this new creation is where we belong if we
trust in Jesus, we should live accordingly. We should live now, as who we will be in this new
Which means that ‘we ought to live holy and godly lives’ (v11), that we should ‘make every
effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with God’ (v14). This isn’t about following
rules, but rather about living out our true identity. It’s not just at the Olympics that we notice
that someone is a great athlete. We also see it beforehand in their life day by day – in their
routine, their discipline, their hard work, their diet, their training schedule.
If we are people who belong in God’s ‘new heaven and new earth, where righteousness
dwells’, can this be seen in our lives now?
Reflection: Talk to God about your efforts to live a holy and godly life, and to make every
effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with God. Thank God that Jesus brings us
forgiveness and new life, and ask God to help and strengthen you for this new life by his Spirit.
Nat Rosner grew up in Sydney, lives in Melbourne and loves both cities! A former lawyer, she’s now a Minister at St Hilary's in Victoria and is passionate about sunshine, summer, sport, reading and local church ministry. This reflection was originally posted as part of a series at St Hilary's, Kew