Tuesday, 25 February 2020
Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 2 Peter 3:11
Peter now gives a practical application for what he has just said. The word “therefore” is not found in the Greek, even if it is implied. Rather, it reads more simply, “These things, in this way, all being dissolved.” It is a way of asking them to consider the importance of their ties to materialistic things. “If all of this stuff is going to be dissolved, then of what true importance is it?”
Man builds empires which seem as if they will last forever, and yet, within a very short time, there is nothing left but rubble. The great Assyrian kingdom was so completely destroyed that Bible naysayers claimed it was only a myth. Eventually, the ruins of Nineveh were discovered, proving the biblical account, but what was once great and imposing eventually became nothing but a curiosity for archaeologists to dig through for clues about the past.
The same is true with all that is around us today. The empires of the world are all set to be dissolved in the heat of the end-times destruction. None of the things that are so highly valued by man will be of any value at all.
Considering this, then what is of true value? What is it that man should be pursuing? Peter asks, “what manner of persons ought you to be?” The question is a rhetorical device in which the answer itself is stated with the words “in holy conduct and godliness.” If the material world is set to be obliterated, then man should be focusing on something other than that material world. If the creation is a futile place to set one’s desires, then the Creator must be the only place to do so.
In setting one’s desires on the Creator, one will then conduct himself in a manner which is pleasing to the Creator. This is what Peter is relaying. There is no true reward in earthly gain, but there is great reward in conducting one’s affairs in holiness and godliness. Paul makes a similar argument in 1 Timothy 4:8 by saying, “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.”
Life application: Whether we like the thought of the world being destroyed by fire or not, it will be. And regardless how we feel about everything man has done being wiped out, the fact is that God has spoken, and it will be so. The end of all things is at hand, and so we need to look forward to what God has planned after this age, not during it. This means that our lives in the current age need to be conducted in holiness and godliness.
Is this something you are pursuing? You alone are accountable for what eternity holds in store for you. Make sure you live without the prospect of eternal regret, but instead for rewards from the Lord for your conduct now, during this walk of faith in what lies ahead.
Heavenly Father, may we live our lives without fear of the promised coming destruction upon this earth. But rather, help us to be confident in our hope of a surer foundation in a world without end – a world where we will live in the presence of Jesus. Give us the wisdom to live our lives for Him now so that when that time comes, we will be welcomed into our eternal dwelling with abounding joy and not regret. Amen.