Tuesday, June 25, 2013

EARNESTLY DESIRING THE END

Believe it or not, Peter says we are to earnestly desire the end of the present world. You may say, "That sounds morbid!" Yet the apostle writes that we are to anticipate the dissolving of this evil age: "Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat" (2 Peter 3:12).

Now, this does not mean that when destruction comes we are to shout happily, "Look, it’s all burning!" No, Peter's words here are meant to sustain us. Whenever we become discouraged in this life, we are to rejoice: "It's all going to go up in smoke anyway!"

This truth also is meant to "stir us up" about the kind of people we are to be. "Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness" (2 Peter 3: 11).

When you read these words about a great fire coming and a bright, new world where righteousness will reign, do you rejoice? Perhaps, instead, you cry: "Oh, God, I believe what Your Word says. I believe one day You are going to send Your fire to melt down this sin-cursed world. And I believe a new, holy world is coming. But I don't believe I measure up with all holy conversation and godliness! I don't feel I meet the standard Peter writes about. And I'm afraid I won't make it.”

Beloved, I have glorious news for you: I can show you, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that God greatly desires to preserve you for His coming world. You need His life-giving truth in your heart to sustain you when the enemy comes against you like a flood.

Here is what the Lord has pledged to do for you:

"The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore" (Psalm 121:7-8).

"For the Lord loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever" (Psalm 37:28).

"He preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked" (Psalm 97:10).

"I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it" (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).