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ES2PEJ14 2 Peter 3:10–12

2 Peter and Jude  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  27:28
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2 Peter 3:10–14 NKJV
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;
Peter continues with his theme of the Last Days through this chapter. He has already mentioned the scoffers who mock His people for their faith in the One who is to come. They wilfully forget that God created everything and that God will judge everyone. God’s timing is perfect but make no mistake, though it has not yet happened, the time will come.

God’s patience toward sinners is not inexhaustible.

10
The Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night. Who here expects that a thief will break into their homes tonight? Who in their right minds would think such a thing unless you have some inside information?
Let us not be so caught up in every piece of news as a sign of what is going to happen. We know that the time is near. There is an increase in the general warnings that Jesus gives us whether it is wars or famines or earthquakes or persecution or false Christs and prophets. We are closer now than when we first believed. Jesus is coming. And we can see that the second law of thermodynamics is at work, everything is decaying, including ourselves as we get older, and including creation itself.
Peter goes on to say that the heavens and the earth are going to experience cataclysmic end as a result of the Day of the Lord.
Today, there is the idea among theological scholars and Christians that the earth will only simply be renewed by fire and therefore will create a new earth from what remains. It is as if they fear that if the earth disappears it is the end of all things. But, clearly, Peter is saying that the earth will end in unequivocal language. He is saying everything will pass away with a great noise, everything will melt, and in the next verse, just in case we do not yet understand, it will all dissolve. Nothing will be left.
Scripture testifies throughout to these things:
1 John 2:17 NKJV
17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
This verse is a contrast between those who do the will of God and the world and its lusts – one will last forever, the other will not. This means that the earth will not last forever.
Isaiah confirms it:
Isaiah 34:4 NKJV
4 All the host of heaven shall be dissolved, And the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll; All their host shall fall down As the leaf falls from the vine, And as fruit falling from a fig tree.
David also foresaw the day:
Psalm 102:25–27 NKJV
25 Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. 26 They will perish, but You will endure; Yes, they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will change them, And they will be changed. 27 But You are the same, And Your years will have no end.
Yes, the old heavens and earth will no longer exist but, says David, look at God; He does not grow old, He does not change, He will be forever. I AM that I AM – ever in the present tense yet is from forever and is to forever. Such a One can be trusted. He knows the beginning and the end as far as time is concerned, as far as the universe is concerned, as far as we are concerned. He knows the outcome of all history and He put His plan into place so that we could know Him as much as God can be known. And He has revealed so much of Himself to us so that we are not ignorant. His power. His majesty. His glory. His knowledge. His love. His mercy. His grace. He has given us His Son and all such things we need for life and godliness.
Now, as we know that the earth and the heavens will be destroyed this does not give us the excuse to do what we like with it for we are called to be stewards over His creation. But with that said it seems to me to be ridiculous for Christians to be caught too much up in the environmental movement, so taken up by environmental issues when, at the end, nothing will remain anyway! We hold onto the material world lightly for all will be burned up.
We cannot be surprised that everything is made into a crisis. Al Gore predicted that in 2014 we will have no polar icecaps but instead it actually added ice. And for a man who claims the seas will rise and decimate cities like New York and Miami it makes you wonder why he has bought a beachfront property for $18m if it will all be washed away sometime in the next 30 or so years. Or is it an inconvenient truth? I remember in the 70’s the prediction of an ice age, then we were told of global warming but because the numbers did not quite add up, and now it is called climate change. To be clear, the climate is changing and some, maybe even a lot, is caused by us, human beings, but it will not cause the end of the world - only God will cause that.

Christians will always be pessimistic about this world, for Scripture makes clear that no real and permanent transformation can be expected until Christ returns.

But our pessimism is of a different scale to the rest of the world for...
Head-teachers all over the country (and the world, apart from China) week last Friday gave their pupils a day off school to protest about climate change – something that is largely out of our hands, even if it is a genuine concern.
Ten-year-old Kaia, protesting in Stroud, is quoted as saying: “I am very, very worried there could be a terrible flood and hurricanes if we don’t stop and do something. I worry about the animals a lot.”
This is what becomes of a generation of schoolchildren who know little or nothing about the Bible, which would have taught them that God is in ultimate control (certainly of the weather) and that he promised never to flood the earth again after righteous Noah and his family (and the animals) were saved in the Ark.
Tragically, however, the atheistic liberal agenda of our ‘educated’ leaders has left pupils without any hope, except to ‘save the planet’ by their own efforts. For without God, we have no hope. They have brainwashed our children with the most appalling propaganda that will only lead to increased rebellion, confusion and chaos. Indeed, one organisation, that says they will use violence if they are not listened to, is Extinction Rebellion. Who are they rebelling against, if it is not God?
Greta Thunberg, a Swedish teenager, started the children’s climate change ball rolling this time last year by playing truant in order to advance her campaign and within 12 months has become a worldwide icon. It would have been better if the media had ignored the young lady’s petulant protest and instead focused on more important news. How she spoke at the UN reveals a lack of respect for those in power, a sign of the end times. And all this based upon evidence for an imminent implosion of our planet which is flimsy at best. (adapted and edited from Prophecy Today)
In the end even scientists will no longer be trusted when proved continually wrong. All this leads to earth worship at the expense of human beings. Indeed there was a church service a couple of weeks ago where plants and flowers were apologised to for the way we have decimated the earth! But we forget that God in in control and it was He who cursed the earth in the first place. The planet is in a state of decay anyway and nothing we can do can reverse that. And from the beginning God said to us humans to be fruitful and multiply and subdue the earth. We have nothing to apologise for. The things that have been done has provided food and work for the world’s population and that could not have happened without the so called industrial revolution, and now the technological revolution. Nothing to apologise for.
Repairing your relationship with creation is futile because the earth and its works will be burnt up. What is of first importance is to repair your relationship with the Creator. As it says in
Romans 1:25 NKJV
25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
Let alone the fact that during the end-time tribulation there is going to be enormous harm to the planet due to the plagues, earthquakes, volcanoes, famines and wars, etc., caused by God, not humans when half this world’s population will die within 3 years. There will not be such an environmental disaster as in those days since the worldwide flood, which was the greatest environmental disaster of all completely decimating all human life other than one family along with the animals. We have better things to put our effort into than green issues. Everything on this planet is for the benefit of people. That is what God says. God is in control and He also says:
Genesis 8:22 NKJV
22 “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease.”
In God’s eyes this is a disposable planet not meant to last.
We are actually living in the third eco system on this earth. The first one was Eden. The second one was after the Fall. The third one was after the Flood. This is the third eco system. God cursed the first and drowned the second. And He will destroy this one in the future totally. But before He destroys it, there will be a fourth eco system. In the one-thousand year Millennium to come, life on this earth will change. a restored earth, a fourth eco system, and at the end of which, even that eco system will be destroyed and replaced by a new heaven and a new earth in which there is nothing but everlasting righteousness. (MacArthur, edited by me)
If only we were as zealous as Greta and others in our belief that people are going to hell. Surely this is a worse existential crisis than the weather for we are talking about eternity.
But did I mention that if you knew a thief was coming tonight you had inside information. Well, I have some news for you. We do have inside information. The Day of the Lord is going to be a shock to the people of this planet but it should not be a surprise to us for He has left many signs of His coming. Time is running out for people. We will be saved from judgment through Christ but the rest do not have a future to look forward to. They are without hope and God in the world.
11
Because we have this inside knowledge then there is a responsibility upon us for a couple of things:
1) First, we are to live right in the fear of God. God is awesome and these things will happen before our very eyes. Seeing that nothing of this world will remain then why put anything into this world? Why be so taken up by the things it offers? No, we are to be concerned to live in holy conduct, godliness and in prayer.

A man who has a layover at an airport does not go into the bathroom, frown at its decor, and start redecorating! Why? Because he doesn’t live there. He has a home in another place. While he is away he will get by with only what he absolutely needs, to have more money with which to furnish his permanent home.

Why do we Christians work hard at trying to make our life in this world more comfortable? This is just the airport and we are in transit. We should spend our energy on enhancing our eternal reward, and not worry so much about the bare walls in the airport restrooms.

2) Secondly, we are to warn that time is short for those on the earth in this present era. Remember Noah, a preacher of righteousness. Noah knew that judgment was coming and although no one other than his own family were saved everyone heard about Noah and his message of warning. In this we are to be like him and make known that through Jesus is a way of escape, a way into the ark,
Matthew 24:37–39 NKJV
37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
Time for these people are coming to an end. God will close the door and then there is no means of escape left.
We are here to glorify God and make Him known through our actions and our words. We should be stimulated to a holy and godly lifestyle because we know the end of all things. And, indeed we need to realise that this, what we are living in, this universe, this earth, is God’s creation which is good and for which He has given us all things richly to enjoy albeit with the caveat to look after it.
After all, we do live concretely in this world and so everything that we have has to serve a spiritual purpose and not for selfish living. Let us use the riches and possessions we have to make a difference in the lives of people who are living in fear of one kind or another. In the 60s to 80s it was the bomb everyone was scared about, now it is environment, but who should they fear, but God Himself, and we could do well by setting such an example and pointing to Jesus, the only One through whom they can be truly saved.
12
And surely this is what is meant by Peter in verse 12 when he speaks of the looking for and hastening of the coming of the Day of God. How should we understand this except to be involved in bringing people into the Kingdom of God? The sooner we do this the sooner Jesus will come back and bring judgment upon the ungodly. Indeed Paul says this in;
Acts 3:19–20 NKJV
19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before,
We are called to an active faith, not to be spectators of others but to get on with the work He has called us to.
Indeed Jesus says
Matthew 24:14 NKJV
14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
And, if we remember, we are also called to pray to the Lord of the harvest for workers and is part of the prayer that He taught us: Your Kingdom come (Matt 6:10)

God’s people can hasten Christ’s return by their sincere and complete rejection of the hold of sin on their lives. By connecting what he says here about hastening the coming of the day of God with his exhortation in verse 11b, Peter also suggests that the holy living of God’s people is a way to speed up the eschatological timetable.

If we are those who love His appearing we are to be those people who live lives worthy of the name of Christ, to live in expectation that the end of all things is near and realise everything we have will one day be burned up. See our God is an awesome God then we work out our salvation with fear and trembling in all godliness and holiness.

Benediction

Revelation 22:20–21 NKJV
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! 21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Bibliography

Blum, E. A., & Wax, T. (Eds.). (2017). CSB Study Bible: Notes. Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
Helm, D. R. (2008). 1 & 2 Peter and Jude: sharing christ’s sufferings. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.
Leadership Ministries Worldwide. (1996). 1 Peter–Jude. Chattanooga, TN: Leadership Ministries Worldwide.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2014). John MacArthur Sermon Archive. Panorama City, CA: Grace to You.
Michael P. Green. (2000). 1500 illustrations for biblical preaching. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
Moo, D. J. (1996). 2 Peter, Jude. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.
Exported from Logos Bible Software, 07:18 29 September 2019.
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