When God’s patience and our speed come together, God’s family grows. God is patient with our world based on his loving desire for people to come to him and believe in Jesus. Our speed in living the mission of God is the expression of his love toward humanity…
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 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. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation.
17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
2Peter 3:10-15, 17-18
The day of the Lord – the coming of Jesus at the end of times, will come like a thief – no one will know the day or the hour. Jesus told his disciples that he did not even know the day or hour of his coming. The Father knows. What we know is that he will come as a thief – unexpected quickly.
Since everything – the heavens and the earth – will all be destroyed in his coming, Peter asks, ‘what kind of people ought you to be?’ Live holy and godly lives, he says, as we look forward to the day and speed its coming.
Why would we look forward to the destruction of the heavens and the earth? Because God has promised a new heaven and a new earth (vs. 13) in which we will dwell with him for eternity. And so we look forward to that time and the creation of our eternal home.
How do we speed its coming? In our holiness and godliness, we embrace the mission of Jesus, who teaches us that until every nation has heard the gospel (Mark 13:10) he will not come again. And so we have our mission, which is Jesus’ mission. Tell all people of his good news:
Jesus came to give us life abundant (John 10:10) by living the life we could not live (in perfect holiness) and died the death we could not die (as the spotless lamb of God).
And just as we are on-mission, we also must be on-guard. We must be on guard to not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall. Rather, we constantly pursue lives of being at peace with God, growing in his grace and knowledge.
Any day we have between now and then, Peter says (vs. 9 and 15) demonstrates the patience of the Lord so that more people may come to know him. The patience of the Lord means salvation, Peter says. God’s patience and our speed will add precious souls to the family of God who will spend eternity with him in glory.