Summary: In this last sermon in the 2 Peter series, we focus on the effort that we must put forth to be ready for the coming of the Lord.
A. The story is told of a minister who visited an elderly woman in the nursing home.
1. The young minister said, “At your age you should be thinking about the hereafter!”
2. The older woman said, “Oh, I do all the time. No matter where I am – in my room, down in the cafeteria, or down in the recreation room – I ask myself ‘What am I here after?’ ”
B. C.S. Lewis said, “It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this one.”
1. Popular author and preacher, Joseph Stowell wrote, “When we begin to believe the reality of the other side, we start behaving differently on this side.”
C. Last week, we noticed that Peter focused on the reality of the second coming of Christ.
1. All true believers hold firmly to the fact that Jesus will come again.
2. We might disagree about what exactly will happen when He returns, but we know that He is coming and when He comes everything will be changed forever.
3. Therefore, in light of Jesus’ certain return, we must ask and answer a very important question: “How Then Shall We Live?”
4. How should we be living in order to be ready?
5. What should we be doing in order to be living a life that is pleasing to God?
D. Let’s see how Peter answers this important question.
1. The admonition that best summarizes Peter’s answer is “Be Diligent!”.
2. Peter has employed this idea before.
3. In 2 Peter 1:5, Peter admonished us to “give all diligence or make every effort to add to your faith goodness, etc.”
4. Then in 2 Peter 1:10, he commanded that we “give all diligence or be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure.”
5. Again in 2 Peter 1:15, he spoke of the diligence and effort he was going to put forth to make sure that they would be able to remember these things after his death.
6. Let’s look at this final section of the letter and see what we must make every effort to do in light of the coming of Christ.
I. Be Diligent to Live Godly Lives (3:11-14)
A. Peter began: 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.
14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.
B. Because we realize that the world will be destroyed, and that even the elements will be disintegrated, we fix our hope, not on anything in this world, but only on the Lord.
1. And, as we discussed last week, because we don’t know when all this will take place, we must be constantly ready for His return.
2. This expectant attitude ought to make a difference in our personal, daily conduct.
C. Our conduct should be characterized by holiness and godliness.
1. Holiness entails separation from evil and dedication to God.
2. Godliness relates to piety and worship – it describes the person whose life is devoted to pleasing God.
3. Commentator John McArthur describes holiness and godliness this way: “Holy conduct refers to action, godliness refers to attitude. Holy conduct refers to the way I live my life, godliness refers to the spirit of reverence within me by which I live my life…And so Peter is saying what kind of person ought you to be in heart and in behavior, in motive and in action, in attitude and in duty.”
4. Good summary: Be holy in action and godly in attitude.
D. The result or conclusion of our effort to be holy and godly is addressed in verse 14: make every effort to be found spotless, blameless, and at peace with him.
1. It is interesting that Peter used these same two words “spotless, blameless” in reference to Jesus in 1 Peter 1:19 – “But with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”
2. In other words, we want to be like Jesus, and we want to be at peace with him – a peace that results from our efforts to please the Lord, and from the forgiveness we receive through our relationship with Christ.
3. Ultimately, those who are “found at peace with him” have put out of their lives the things he hates, and have put into their lives the things God loves.