That They May Hear Ministries
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The Day of the Lord | Part 3 of 3
by Chuck Hayes
People who live along the Atlantic Coast begin to get a little nervous between June 1 and November 30. While this period may not mean anything to most people, meteorologists (and avid storm watchers like myself), and those who live in this area pay particular attention to it. The reason: This is hurricane season.

Each hurricane season brings with it the possibility of property damage, injury, and loss of life. For this reason, the National Weather Service (NWS) helps educate, prepare, and protect the public. “The National Weather Service is responsible for protecting life and property through issuance of timely watches and warnings, but it is essential that your family be ready before a storm approaches.” [1] And that, of course, is the key: being ready!

Okay, humor me for a moment. If the apostle Peter were a meteorologist, he might say something like this: “Given the inevitability of a hurricane, ‘what manner of persons ought you to be?’” That is, are you taking action to make a family plan, acquire needed supplies, including a medical kit, and so on? Are you ready? Similarly, Peter said that given the inevitability of the coming “day of the Lord” (2 Peter 3:10), “What manner of persons ought you to be?” (3:11). Are you taking action, with the empowering help of the Holy Spirit, to put away sin and worldliness while loving righteousness? Are you ready?

Therefore, Do Your Best!

Three times in chapter 3 of his second epistle, Peter used the word therefore (3:11, 14, 17), and each time his readers were reminded of previous important facts. For example, Jesus Christ will come as a “thief in the night” (3:10), and the heavens, the earth and its works, and the elements 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?” (3:11, emphasis added). Jesus is coming back! The world as we know it will be no more. Therefore, we are to do our best to live holy and godly lives!

Next, believers are exhorted to be found “looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God” (3:12). Unlike the ungodly, believers earnestly desire the coming of Christ and the promise of  “new heavens and a new earth” (3:13). “Therefore,” Peter said, “beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless” (3:14, emphasis added). In other words, as we anticipate this day, we should do our best both to be at peace with God and others and to be irreproachable and faultless!

The last use of therefore follows Peter’s comment regarding the writings of the apostle Paul: “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures” (3:16). Peter then said, “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked” (3:17, emphasis added). Although Peter and Paul were likeminded, Peter admitted that some of Paul’s epistles were “hard to understand” (3:16). Nevertheless, they were inspired by God and are to be accepted as such. The warning, however, is clear: “Beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness,” as did those who twisted Paul’s words and the rest of Scripture. Strictly speaking, we are to be on guard as we listen to preachers and/or read their books and articles. We can fall into doctrinal error and wickedness if we are not careful (see the book of Galatians). Therefore, we are to do our best to be steadfast!

A Final Exhortation and Doxology

Peter concluded this epistle with a well-known exhortation and doxology: “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever” (3:18). In light of the ever-approaching “day of the Lord,” we are to do our best to “grow”-to increase in holiness, godliness, peace, blamelessness, and steadfastness-by appropriating His grace, which is available to us. Additionally, the more knowledge we have of our “Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” the more intimate our relationship with Him will be, the more able we will be to discern false teachers who twist the Scriptures, and the more ready we will be when He comes. The doxology can stand as is: “To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen” (3:18).

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[1] National Hurricane Center, “Hurricane Preparedness Week,” http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/


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