Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The end of the world is coming... so what?

Peter tells us in his second letter that the heavens and the earth will be destroyed by fire. He warns us about scoffers who will come in the last days.

But let's say that we do get some detailed information about what's coming up next; so what? Peter tells us about that, too:
The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything 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, the home of righteousness.
from 2 Peter 3.10-13
In other words, the "So what?" is this:
  • Live holy and godly lives
  • Look forward to the day of God
  • speed its coming (whatever that means)
  • Look forward to a new heaven and a new earth (the home of righteousness)
. That last one reminds me of something we read a few weeks ago, about people longing for a better country, and about God's feeling toward them: he's proud to be called their God.

Why is that? Why is he so excited by people longing for the heavenly country, the heavenly kingdom? I think it's something to do with faith. When we believe him (about the new heavens, a heavenly country, rewards for the righteous, etc.) it gives him glory and honor. So if I look forward to that heavenly country, if I obey God because I believe what he says, if I give to the poor because I figure I'm lending to the Lord, if I dream kingdom dreams, heavenly dreams, rather than dreaming only of a bigger house or a fancier car... then I honor him in my heart and bring pleasure to him. And how cool is that?

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