Peter asks a great question: “Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness?” (2 Peter 3:11).
It’s a fact that the world is temporary and will burn up one day. The implications of this are that there should be changes in the way we behave! “What kind of people ought we to be?” These are the implications of the second coming. Our lives are driven by the cross behind us and the second coming before us!
When the Lord says we are to “stay awake” for we “do not know on what day” the Lord will come (Matthew 24:36) he is suggesting we must be in a state of preparedness. “You also must be ready, for the son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 22:44).
Scripture could not be plainer. So many spend their time calculating when Jesus will come again, yet Jesus does not want calculation, he wants vigilance! The practical result of the fact that no one knows that day or hour is that we will just have to be prepared! Had Jesus been given a specific age or date, the human reaction would have been to be indolent and lazy until just before the second coming, then suddenly repentant!
How horrific when the king comes to be found gossiping about a brother or watching a pornographic movie!
How wonderful when the king comes to be visiting the sick, or teaching a child about Christ.
Invest in the Permanent:
Early Christians were “sky watchers.” It seems Christians in the Depression of the US were, too. Think of the number and richness of the songs they sang about heaven. The reason we don’t long for the king’s coming today is that we have it so good! In contrast, today we love the world and the things of the world and we aren’t homesick for heaven.
We are not to “lay up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroys and thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19).
Would you invest in a company that you knew would go bankrupt?
Would you buy a house you knew would burn to the ground?
Why spend all our time and energy on things we know will pass away? Materialism is wrong because it is temporary. Perhaps we should place a “Perishable” stamp on all our possessions. The fact of the Lord’s coming shrinks every human endeavor and every material possession into irrelevance.
Christ’s coming makes that much difference.