In the last chapter of Peter’s second epistle, we are exhorted to live lives of beauty and holiness in anticipation of our Lord Jesus’ return. Peter reminds us that prior to Jesus’ return, some of our very core beliefs, like creation and the second coming, will be mocked by unregenerate man (2 Peter 3:3-4). Because our God is longsuffering (2 Peter 3:9), He gives to the unsaved the chance to repent every single day. “For He says: ‘In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2)
The coming of Jesus is not an if, but a when. First Jesus will come for His bride the Church (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), and then He will return to earth at the end of the seven year tribulation period with the armies of heaven, which includes His previously raptured bride (Revelation 19:11-14). In human ways of thinking, two thousand years have passed since Jesus left this earth, but in God’s timing that is the equivalent of two days (2 Peter 3:8).
The only way that we can be prepared for this ‘surprise’ return of Jesus is by living holy and godly lives (2 Peter 3:11). But our motivation for living this way is not because we are afraid of being caught doing something wrong, but because we are in love with our wonderful Lord and, just as Jesus lived to please His Father (John 8:29), we too seek to do those things that are pleasing in His sight.
As we grow in grace and the knowledge of Jesus (2 Peter 3:18), we groan along with all of creation for that glorious moment when He will complete the final stage of our redemption (Romans 8:23).