Our world is anxious! After the big world wars in Europe and Asia ended in 1945 there was a lot of positive talk about a better future, the United Nations was set up – Germany and Japan had been humbled. This positive talk was again evident when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990.
But …. Yes, but, the older generation especially, are conscious that all that confidence in the future has evaporated. Every thinking person, whether they recognise there is a God or not, is conscious our world faces a very uncertain future. Problems are multiplying, about pandemics, extremist nations with global ambitions – all of them possessing powerful weapons, more violent weather, financial instability, &c.
In his final chapter in his 2nd letter Peter says, “you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of our Lord and Saviour through your apostles, knowing this first of all that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, ‘Where is the promise of his coming?” [v.2-4] He then reminds them how “the world” in the days of Noah “perished” [v.6] – not that the physical earth perished, but the people.
Peter then writes, “the heavens and the earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgement and destruction of the ungodly.” [v.7] The only hope – in the face of such a future – is to found in the promises of God such as we read recently in Isaiah. Peter expresses this hope in v.13, his certain expectation that “according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”
“New heavens” – that is, new rulers, the immortalized saints (Rev. 20 v6; 2 Tim 2 v.12) reigning with Christ over “a new earth” with the inhabitants living at peace and learning righteousness (Isaiah 26 v.9-10)
“We are waiting for” this era, so “what sort of people” asks Peter “ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness” [v.11] “Be diligent”, Peter stresses, “to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the patience of the Lord as salvation …” [v.14,15] With the world becoming more godless and evil, introducing more laws that encourage ungodly ways of living – how much longer is our Creator going to be patient?
Make sure you are one of “the sort of people” with lives of “holiness and godliness” he will send his angels to gather to his son because they “are waiting for …the coming of the day of God.” When the rest of v.12 is fulfilled we hope it is not meant in too much of in a literal way, but that is in God’s hands. Are you in his hands?.