FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
PREPARING FOR JESUS’ RETURN
June 5, 2012
Today’s reading: 2 Peter 3:12-15,17-18
We all look forward to the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. That will be a terrifying but glorious day, when “the heavens will be dissolved in flames and the elements melted by fire.” (2 Pt 3:12b). “But according to his promise we await new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” (2 Pt 3:13). Unlike the present world of darkness and sin, the new Jerusalem is a world of righteousness, that is, of holiness and purity.
So we await with great hope. But we do not only await this blessed day, we are given the opportunity to hasten its coming! We are people who are “waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God” (2 Pt 3:12a). How? By “conducting yourselves in holiness and devotion” (2 Pt 3:11c).
How do we conduct ourselves in holiness? “Therefore, beloved, since you await these things, be eager to be found without spot or blemish before him, at peace.” (2 Pt 3:14). We await the pure and holy One, Jesus our Lord. He comes to claim his people. We must be dressed in white robes to be worthy to enter into his banquet. We must be without spot or blemish before him. We must be pure.
We now are living lives in Christ. But we must continue to struggle to enter more deeply in such lives in him. We are not just to become good persons, but holy ones. We are to allow ourselves to be transformed such that we will more and more bear the image and likeness of God, the image in which we are created.
The world, the flesh and the devil will always try to thwart us, and bring us back under their dominion. “Therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned, be on your guard not to be led into the error of the unprincipled and to fall from your own stability.” (2 Pt 3:17). The greatest protection against backsliding is a deliberate and persistent moving forward. Every day is another opportunity to grow in holiness and devotion.
We impatiently look forward to Jesus’ second coming, but in not yet returning, God only wants us to be better prepared, and to use us to bring others to saving faith in Jesus. “And consider the patience of our Lord as salvation” (2 Pt 3:15a). Let us not waste any time. Live pure and purer, and help others to live in the same way. Continue to “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Pt 3:18a).
God is good and faithful. “To him be glory now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” (2 Pt 3:18b).