The Berean Expositor Volume 52 - Page 165 of 207 Index | Zoom |
3: 11 - 18.
pp. 119, 120
In verse 9 Peter writes that God is "not willing" that any should perish, but that all
should come to repentance. The Apostle Paul had the same message in Acts 17: 30
"The times of ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to
repent". These men spoke by revelation. We dare not write what we think God intends.
We can only point to the Scriptures. Shall we expound the word "perish" that Peter uses
in verse 9? We know that in this world we all die so that perish cannot in this context
have reference to life in the flesh. The answer seems to be in Rom. x 6, "The
righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, who shall
ascend into heaven? etc.". Christ has died for us and has risen for our justification. This
is God's positive answer recorded in His Word. We are not called upon to explore or
speculate the possibilities of alternative rebellion.
"Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner (sort of) persons
ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness" (3: 11).
The vision of God's future and final judgment of this earth and its inhabitants together
with the revelation of the desire of God that there should be via resurrection a future for
those who respond and repent, calls for those addressed in Peter's letter to consider
immediately their future way of life. They are reminded that they are under the continual
scrutiny of the Lord for their qualification to have a place in their destined sphere in
resurrection. This challenging question calls for just as urgent an answer today as when
Peter wrote it all those years ago. Shall we drift on from day to day putting off our
spiritual stocktaking and reappraisement of priorities until the question is forgotten?
Time does absolutely nothing for us. Peter continues:
"Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens
being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat.
Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth,
wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such
things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and
blameless" (3: 12-14).
Peter gives a second knock on the door of warning concerning the coming dissolution
of the world in heat but adds the revelation that God has in store, a new heaven and a new
earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. If righteousness is the key word for this new
habitation Peter exhorts his brethren to let their present lives be in harmony with those
conditions now. The word diligent implies using haste or speed in adjusting one's way of
life to these requirements of perfection.
"And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved
brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; as also
in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be
understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other
Scriptures, unto their own destruction" (3: 15, 16).