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What kind of People?

What kind of People?

Words of Faith 3-19-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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2 Peter 3

    [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 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, the home of righteousness.

 

       It was the consistent teaching of the early church that the Day of the Lord will come suddenly and unexpectedly.  Jesus taught that his coming would be as unexpected as the coming of a thief (Matt 24:42-44).  

      On that catastrophic day, "the heavens will disappear with a roar." The Greek word for "roar" is used only here in the New Testament--  rhoizos-- describes the noise made by something passing swiftly through the air.  Revelation 6:14 says, "The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up," and 20:11 portrays the earth and sky as fleeing from the presence of God.

    "The elements"-- stoicheia in Greek-- will be destroyed by fire.  (Do you remember stoichiometry from chemistry class?)  This could be stars, heavenly bodies, or the basic materials that make up the world.  These "elements" were commonly thought of in the ancient world as air, earth, fire, and water.  Some have suggested that this speaks of the splitting of the atom or atomic fusion in this verse as "the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.”

       The most critical point is not the impending disintegration of the world, but how do we live in light of the times we are in.  If we live knowing that the time is short, how does that make a difference?  If we live knowing that in the end all of the material things that we enjoy, worry over and invest in will be destroyed, how does that make a difference?  What kind of people ought we be?

        Since the day of the Lord will soon come to punish the wicked and reward the righteous, believers should live "holy and godly lives." Holiness entails separation from evil and dedication to God. Godliness relates to piety and worship.  The KJV includes the idea of holy conversation that is part of the Greek meaning.  Our behavior and our conversation should be wholesome and holy.

         We are also to live in expectation of the future day. Peter relates this to the idea of "speeding its coming."  We might wonder how Christians can hasten what God will do.  Peter would probably answer by saying that prayer (Matt 6:10) and proclamation (Matt 24:14) are the two principal means to bring people to repentance and speed the coming of the Lord.  To the crowd that gathered after the healing of the lame beggar at the Beautiful Gate in Jerusalem Peter proclaimed, "Repent, ... so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ" (Acts 3:19-20).

         As people living in expectation of the return of the Lord, we focus on matters of the spirit rather than material concerns.  We focus on matters of relationship and people rather than on issues that are purely social or related to status.  Holy living is walked out in the direction of God but also in the direction of people.  We ought to live every day knowing that if it were the last, we would have no regrets regarding the way we related to God and the people He has entrusted to us.

 

        Father God, teach me today how to live in response to the knowledge that Your Son is returning.  Show me the walk that You desire from me.  Teach me to pray in earnest for the souls of the lost and give me the boldness to proclaim Good News to those You are saving.  In Jesus' Name.

 

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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