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The final chapter of Peter’s second epistle has one overriding concern: hope (see 2 Peter 3:1-18). Continue reading . . .

The final chapter of Peter’s second epistle has one overriding concern: hope (see 2 Peter 3:1-18). Whatever mockery the world may make of our confidence in the return of Christ, whatever delay we must patiently endure until we see him face to face, it is our rock-solid hope in the coming of Christ that sustains the Christian at all times. The non-Christian world will insist that our faith is a fantasy, but Peter assures us that “the day of the Lord” will come. This is the hope that inspires “lives of holiness and godliness” as we look for the appearing of our God and Savior.

Peter knows that to live without hope that God has a purpose for human history, a purpose for your personal history; to live without hope that God will one day bring all things to consummation and put the world to rights; to live in such a world would be senseless and, at least for most of us, impossible. To live without hope that there is a conscious eternity following physical death, to live without hope that Jesus Christ is alive and will deliver his people from death and sin and destruction, to live without hope that truth will be vindicated and all lies exposed; to live without hope that genuine justice will finally be done, is simply inconceivable.

To go through life childless or friendless or loveless must be a horrible experience. But people do it all the time. But nothing can possibly compare with living a life that ultimately is hopeless.

Our hope in the second coming of Jesus Christ alone will empower and motivate us to tackle head on the problems of the present. It is the hope of the second coming of Christ that gives meaning and value to life in the present. It is hope in the second coming of Christ and his power to transform our bodies and to subject all things to himself that gives us a reason to patiently endure the scorn of those who deny that Jesus will ever come back.

We must ask ourselves: what is the supreme attraction of Christianity and more specifically of our heart and soul and mind? Is it the transformation of our bodies? Is it walking on the streets of gold and being reunited with friends and family who’ve already died? Is it mingling with myriads of angelic beings and traveling at will throughout the distant galaxies billions of light years away?

As glorious as such things may be, they pale in comparison with the preeminent desire of our hearts, seeing and being with Jesus Christ! What will make the new heavens heavenly and the new earth a far better home than our present one is that Jesus will be there for our everlasting joy and satisfaction!

[This article was first published in the ESV Women’s Devotional Bible, available from Crossway Publishers, 2014.]

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