Our recent discussion centered on an acknowledgement that God’s people were called to wake up (Joel 1:5) and sound an alarm (Joel 2:1) as they were made aware that the end of time, the end of God’s patience, and the certainty of His judgment were imminent. The fact that there will be an end of time is not uncommon in the pages of Scripture. Those that read the Bible with understanding, while perhaps disagreeing on aspects of eschatological chronology, recognize that there is an end.
Peter addresses this reality for the Christian in chapter 3 of his second letter. I would make the serious suggestion that you leave this post for a minute to get your Bible and actually read 2 Peter 3. Take a moment to consider these words:
… one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
…the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night…
…what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness…?
As we have suggested in the past, Scripture references to time place emphasis on urgency. Time is a commodity (Ephesians 5:16) and must be stewarded with great care. We must be certain that time is being traded for that which has true value…eternal value. There are points in life, moments where our perspective of time is clarified, when we begin to retrace life and consider the many foolish transactions we have made with the limited amount of time with which we have been gifted.
Peter ended this chapter, the capstone of the entire letter with this thoughtful challenge:
“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (3:18a).
Simply stated, but nevertheless profound, we are reminded that we cannot, we must not ease off as we near the end. The thought is trumpeted by Paul as well, “reaching forth…press toward the mark” (Philippians 3:13, 14). We have to keep growing, keep moving, keep pursuing. There is no argument that can be made from Scripture that we are to plan on arriving before our Savior in an easy chair. Yet there are so many things that distract and deter us. Continual focused growth is a challenge! We need help. More accurately, we need a helper!
Allow me to share the thoughts of author Francis Chan:
“…it’s absolutely vital to grasp that He didn’t call you there so you could settle in and live out your life in comfort and superficial peace. His purposes are not random or arbitrary (p. 92)… He wants us to know that His gift of the Holy Spirit is really not for our own pleasure or purposes. The Spirit is meant to lead us toward holiness. The Spirit is here with us to accomplish God’s purposes, not ours (p. 93).”[i]
God has a purpose for me…and, for you. A significant part of that plan is for constant and continual growth in view of the coming end. The Holy Spirit has come as our teacher, our encourager, our enabler, our helper.
That we would live life with the end in view, and that in so doing God might revive us with power through the Spirit is my prayer…dear Jesus, may it be.