It's Not Over Until...Oh, It's Not Over
One thing is for certain, the end will come. It’s highly doubtful that it will be December 21. The Scriptures are quite clear that no one knows the day or the hour (Matthew 25:13).
But it will come.
As it happens, I was reading about this very event this morning in Second Peter. Here’s what the apostle had to say about the subject: “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 in it will be laid bare” (2 Peter 3:10).
Like a thief. Unexpected. Unprepared for.
And it’s this last issue of preparation that Peter addresses. How does one prepare for the unexpected?
“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” (2 Peter 3:11, 12a).
This life IS our preparation for eternity, for the new heaven and new earth that God will one day bring about. This is the rehearsal for real life. And many of us don’t know our lines yet, haven’t learned the music and don’t have our costumes ready. Opening night is a lot closer than it was yesterday, and many of us are not prepared. Peter reminds us that holiness and godliness are the “script” that we need to learning in preparation for the end that signals the beginning.
“The day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt with the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness” (2 Peter 3:12b-13).
Whether the world comes to an end on December 21 or whether it comes next week, next month, next year, or ten years from now, the preparation for the day remains the same: “So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him [God]” (2 Peter 3:14).
And where does this peace with God come from? How is this righteousness obtained? How can we be ready no matter when the end comes—as it surely will?
Here’s what another of the ancients had to say: “The words...were written not for him [Abraham] alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God” (Romans 4:23-5:2).
Faith in Christ brings peace with God. He declares us free from the penalty of sin, which is death, and declares us “right” with Him. We then can wait with anticipation for whatever happens because our hope is in the Lord who has promised us an inheritance in that new heaven and on that new earth that He will one day bring into being.
And that’s a promise. The next question is how well we are rehearsing our "lines" in this life by holy living, in preparation for that real life that really is closer today than it was yesterday.