A FIERY WARNING
“Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!” (2 Pet 3:11-12).
During the last week of June 2012, a massive a high-pressure system over much of the U.S. has trapped a heat dome of soaring high temperatures and drought. Our prayers go out to those in Colorado who are suffering the worst wildfires in the state’s history, in which 35,000 people had to be evacuated from their homes and 350 houses have been thus far destroyed.
Such widespread, oppressive heat and destructive wildfires recall a fiery warning in the Bible. “The day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up” (2 Pet 3:10). If we can see it, this means it will not last. All physical things will “go up in smoke” in fiery destruction. So, we must not become too attached or distracted by the physical things of this fleeting world. God makes no idle threats, otherwise He would be lying. So, we have been duly warned of the stark truth of the world’s end. This has a loving purpose, to help wake us up spiritually, so we can be ready.
“But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless…” (2 Pet 3:13). So, the good news is we can be sure we are right with the gracious Savior, by the obedience of faith to the gospel (Rom 1:5, 1 Pet 1:22). Trusting His cleansing blood can remove all the stain of sin from our soul (Eph 1:7).
If we are walking in the light, as He is in the light, we can have assurance that “the blood of Jesus us from all sin” (1 Jn 1:7) and that “our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life” (Phil 4:3). If it is not, those lost on Judgment Day will be “cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death” (Rev 20:14). Our merciful God says this, not to just scare us, but to sober us to spiritual reality, so we will want to be saved from sin and certain, fiery wrath to come. The most important thing in life is making sure we are right with God.
W. Frank Walton