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What Is Left After The Fire?

2 Peter 3:11-12
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. (NIVUK)

Fire is so destructive.  It will consume whatever burns and melt whatever will not.  Nothing is untouched or unaffected.  When God's day of destruction comes, every possession we cherish will be lost for ever.  All our earthly props will have no value at all.  Even our planet, solar system and galaxies beyond cannot be saved.  All the time and effort spent on 'improving' our lifestyle will count for nothing.  Only our souls will remain, with the character we have formed from our deep desires. The godly will be seen for what they are, and the wicked will be totally exposed (2 Thessalonians 1:7).
Although we do not know God's timetable for the return of Christ, we know that He will come again (Matthew 24:36-44). And, because we do not know His date and time of arrival, we have no option but to live each day as if He will return before bedtime (Matthew 25:13).  We dare not delay the start of holy living: to do so would demonstrate that we value what is worthless and despise what is priceless. Apart from the stain and shame that would exude from our character when we meet the Lord, how will our friends and colleagues be drawn to God's grace if we do not demonstrate God-honouring lives to support our gospel words?
Peter is clear; the coming inferno should focus our thoughts.  If everything that this world values will disappear, we are fools if we do not set our minds on what pleases the Lord.  Then instead of our possessions being playthings, and our money a source of power, what we have can become tools in the work of the gospel.  It is an eternal investment.

Instead of society being the place where we vainly prove our value to others, we can prove how much God loves the world (as we live godly lives and explain our confident hope of being welcomed by Jesus when He comes) to those whose lives in eternity are now in certain peril (1 Peter 3:15).  As believers in the Lord Jesus, we should feel obliged to stay holy and live as Jesus would (2 Peter 3:14).  Anything less shows the cracks of compromise, at best: or the awfulness of apostasy at worst.  Either way we need to get back on track, because Jesus will definitely return one day - and that might be today.

Dear Lord. Thank You for such strong reminders that every follower of Jesus is obliged to live a holy life. Forgive me for failing to see each new day in the perspective of the return of Jesus. Please help me to live in a way that pleases God before it is too late. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams