Robert Wurtz II
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?
Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless.” (2 Peter 3:9–14 NKJV)
Despite the fact that we could be teetering on the brink of the apocalypse, it is difficult to find people who encourage us to live righteous and holy before God according to 2 Peter 3:14. Besides the myriad of temptations and tests that we all face every day, there is a growing chorus of Christians who encourage us to compromise Christian standards or rebel against them all together. I am shocked almost daily by the apostasy of professing Christians who attack other Christians who are trying to maintain some kind of standards. Some go as far as to parrot the same types of statements coming from the secular media. I get the impression that some (in their quest to appear relevant and sophisticated) have pickled their brains in a mixture of CNN, Huffington Post, NPR, Time Magazine and a host of other flagrantly anti-Christian media to the point that that spirit permeates their whole life. They are under the influence of the spirit that drives these outlets. The consequence? Romans 12:1-2 has almost no meaning to them. It is sad to write this, but these people are so under the spirit of Antichrist that they seem to view people who try to maintain a Christian standard as their enemy. Selah.
Others are simply cynical of almost everything Christian. They grew up witnessing sin among Christians without making a distinction between hypocrisy and failure. For example, the hypocrite projects the image that he/she is holy but is insincere or does it from wrong motives (such as the Pharisees). A failed Christian is one who desires to do the right things, but succumbs to temptation and fails (sins). The hypocrite refuses to acknowledge wrong, but the failed Christian repents, acknowledges the sin, gets back up and goes on with God. What happens? The cynic calls the failed Christian a hypocrite and uses their failure as a pretext to compromise and rebel themselves.
So we have a desperate situation on our hands. We have believers who sincerely desire to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless, and a carnal group who is using every argument they can muster to justify, legitimize and normalize worldly compromise and sin. Moreover, they mock and villainize Christians of the past and present who believe in Christian standards. The carnal group views the saints as the enemy and the saints view the carnal as the enemy. It is beyond the scope of this entry, but this “struggle for the soul of the church” is the direct consequence of a deemphasis of repentance and genuine regeneration.
What has happened? Sadly, the churches have filled up with carnally-minded people who have no appetite for righteousness and holiness. They may have been raised in a church, but they were never born from above — therefore as Paul tells us, they are still in a carnal mind and at enmity with God (Romans 8:7). How can we tell? They cannot agree with God’s word or Christians who make an attempt to live by its standards. To put it in colloquial English, they are hostile to Christians who try to live right. If you (the reader) can identify with the last three sentences let me say lovingly that you probably need to come before the Lord in sincere repentance. Why? Because you have never been changed so as to agree with God and come into alignment with His precepts on a spiritual level. There is no way forward until that happens.
Why do these things matter? Because a day of reckoning is coming. True Christians are like a band of Noah’s calling a generation to repent and turn to God before the door to Ark of safety closes and judgment falls on this earth. Moreover, as Christians, we need to do what the writer to the Hebrews tells us and encourage one another daily to live right before God. We shouldn’t be siding with the secular media against Christian standards or linking to liberal newspaper articles on Facebook that are at the same time pro-Muslim and critical of Christians. Really? What kind of sense does that make? I need to ask those who do such things, “Whose team are you on?” Selah.
In this crisis hour, it is far evident that we cannot depend on others to prod us along to live right before God. Notice what Peter says, Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? People who profess Christ and don’t read their Bible regularly are very likely to have no sense of what Peter is saying here. He is asking us, “… since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be?” If we knew that the earth was going to be judged with fire in the next 24 hours do you think that “Christians” would attack others who are at least trying to maintain a standard? I trow not.
Jesus said that it would be like the days of Noah in the last days. People will have such a “business as usual” attitude that they will have no concept of the fact that their skin is about to be burned off. It was so easy to mock Noah with blue skies overhead. It was easy to chide the man for being intolerant. The event Peter speaks of will overtake people as a thief in the night — just like the flood overtook the world that then was. The scoffers and mockers were carried away before they knew what happened and so shall it be again (Matthew 24:39). Could you imagine being ushered to the throne of God to give an account of your life and God pulls up your FB page only to see how you attacked the concept of holy living when you should have been encouraging fellow believers to do right? What about conversations at church? Not being mean and rude… but encouraging fellow believers along to live righteous and holy. What message are you backing? Where are you saying “amen”? This is the key question.
Holiness and righteousness are clearly out-of-style these days. I’m reminded of the question Jesus posed when He asked, “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8b NKJV) With each passing day, this verse comes into focus. As carnality begets more carnality the day may come when professors of Christ will militate against their own history, doctrine, and Christian family. It is already happening in many ways. Yet we are responsible for our own soul. We have to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. As Peter encouraged us, Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless. The operative word here is “diligent.” It’s our responsibility — in the face of total opposition — to be found in peace, without spot and blameless.