Summary: Considering ourselves as new creation in Christ is enough motivation to live differently. But there are other additional reasons, why we need to live holy and godly lives.
“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 done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 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. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:10-13, NIV).
How do you regard yourself today? Do you see yourself just like the ordinary people in the world? Do you think that you are similar with the rest of human beings? Or, do you see in yourself something different from the other persons?
As Christians, we need to realize that we are not just normal inhabitants of this planet – called in science fiction as “earthlings” -- it rhymes and connotes a lowly idea of such words as “ducklings” or “weaklings.” Realize that our citizenship is in heaven. Also, 1 Peter 2:9 stated, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession…”
We are not ordinary inhabitants of this earth. We are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession.
True believers are not just earthlings. They are holy human beings. They are in this world, but they are not of this world. They belong to God. They are His special possession. They don’t just have an erring, earthly fathers. They have their Heavenly, Holy Father.
So, if we consider ourselves as God’s children, we need to behave as holy, obedient chil-dren. We should be different from the other normal human beings, who just breathe, who find satisfaction in earthly good things, who just take good care of their body, who aim for honor, fame and earthly abundance, and regard sin lightly. In our case, it should not be. When we commit sin, we no longer think or say, “Anyway, I’m just an earthling.” Rather, we’ll be crushed and truly would repent, for failing to live up to the expectation of the One who purchased and owned us.
Considering ourselves as new creation in Christ is enough motivation to live differently. But there are other additional reasons, why we need to live… NOT AS EARTHLING, BUT HOLY HUMAN BEING… and that will be our topic as we deal with our text (2 Peter 3:10-13).
So, what other reasons why we need to live not as earthling, but holy being? Why should we “live holy and godly lives”?
Again, be reminded that 2 Peter was addressed then to the believers, who were exposed to false teachings and Peter encouraged them to hold on to the truth.
He pointed out that they have the Scripture that they could completely rely on, because its message was not just of men, but of God. And those who would distort it, or who would believe and live not in harmony with it would certainly suffer God’s punishment.
He also listed other activities of false teachers or false believers. They were even fellowship-ping with the true believers. And though they knew “the way of righteousness,” they turned their backs on the sacred command.
According to Peter, they were like “A dog returns to its vomit” and “A sow that is washed re-turns to her wallowing in the mud.”
And these people would cast doubts or distort the Word of God. But, he reiterated the certainty of what God declared, especially the catastrophic event that would happen in the future and the coming of the Lord.”
And in our text, Peter continued to paint the picture that would certainly happen when the Lord comes. At the same time, he pointed out the need why we ought to live a holy and godly lives. What are those reasons?
First, the destruction of the earth (verse 10).
Peter wrote in verse 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 done in it will be laid bare” (verse 10).
The Apostle emphasized to his readers the certainty that “the day of the Lord will come…” And He will come during the time when it is not normally expected to happen. Just like when a thief would strike. You don’t know exactly what time he would come.
When a thief would come, he would take your valuables. When the Lord will come, He will destroy the earth. “The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare” or “be burned up,” as rendered in other manuscripts.