Focus verses: II Peter 3:1-13
Peter’s letter touches on the second coming of Christ. He paints a picture of our day. One need not look far to find scoffers, scoffing and following their own evil ways.
But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. (v.5)
We have deliberately forgotten to teach our children the truth of the scriptures. We teach, instead, theories of men as if they were proven fact. We extrapolate scenarios from flimsy evidence. But the ultimate victory for the enemy of our souls is that we strive to make man the measure of all things.
God sets the standard. His measuring rod is the one we must live up to.
Peter answers the question about the slowness of Christ’s second coming. It is because God is graciously giving us the opportunity for all to come to the saving knowledge of Christ. He is not willing that any should perish. But do not be deceived. He will let each of us reap the fruit of our own beliefs and actions. If someone persists in unbelief and ungodliness, He will not interrupt the logical consequences of that belief and action.
The picture he paints of the second coming is frightening. It comes suddenly, with a roar of the heavens. The earth is destroyed by fire. How interesting! Fire is what separates the gold from the dross. Fire is a purifying element. It burns the temporary to ash that is scattered on the air. But what is valuable remains.
I work with precious metal clay. If I choose a hollow shape for the piece I am working on, I create a papier mache type form the size and shape of the hollow I wish to create. I can make a ball of this papier mache and form a lattice work with the precious metal clay all around it. I let it dry and then fire it in the kiln. The papier mache burns away to nothing, and I have a hollow globe of silver lace to work with as a jewelery element. I didn’t want a papier mache ball covered with silver lace. I wanted a hollow ball of silver lace. The fire removed the dross.
Our lives must be the righteousness that survives the fire. We are to be the pure gold and silver of God’s creation. In the new heaven and new earth, all will be righteousness and peace, but the righteousness of the new heaven and new earth will be those who have been righteous here and now.
As we travel through this journey of life, help us to burn away the dross in our lives. Teach us what is holy and righteous. Grant that we may seek only Your righteousness all our days.