The End of the World
2 Peter 3:10-12 …The day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved…Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God…
When I was a child, I probably obsessed a little too much with the apocalypse and the end of the world. Weird I know, but it was fascinating stuff to this pastor’s kid. As an adult however, I dismiss it as something that I will (just playing the odds) not likely see before my death. Every generation since Christ has awaited his return, insisting that God could not allow this to continue. Two thousand years however, have passed and another 10,000 may pass before the earth is dissolved in fire. Or, it could be today. The truth is, we have no idea when the end will come.
When however, is not Peter’s point. His point, I believe, is perspective. My flesh is not forever. It seems like this is our entire realty now, but this is not our forever reality. It is not our body, but rather our spirit that will last an eternity. Peter says, for this reason, I would do well to keep the perspective of eternity. What is truly important? What is not important at all? What am I doing today that will matter in 10 years or 1,000 years? We can and do make decisions everyday that have lasting consequences. We also spend an inordinate amount of time on things that are in the end, meaningless.
So what is it that will last and what will not last? As it turns out, all the pursuits of my flesh are temporary. Money, possessions, sex, physical attractiveness, popularity, and intoxication will all do me no good in the long game. What will have a positive impact on eternity? When I am pursuing the spirit life, I have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and self-control. These things will have an impact on me and those around me that will last an eternity.
This is similar to the perspective it takes to train for a marathon next year. Today, there is part of me that wants to run that marathon but it is so far off and honestly, I just would rather sit on the couch and eat donuts. I want to pursue the lasting, worthwhile goal but I also want to feel good about myself right now. I want sex, affirmation from others, food, money, and stuff, all of which distracts me from that which will truly last.
Peter says I am to adopt the long view and strive for the long goal. I am not to indulge in that which satisfies my appetite temporarily but leads to destruction. Daily, I am to sow the seeds of the spirit so I can have real life now and in eternity.