The Day of the Lord

August 9, 2022

The day of the Lord is coming! The things that will occur on that day are so far outside of the realm of our natural experiences that we can hardly imagine them, and because of that, perhaps we don’t take the reality of it seriously enough. The coming day of the Lord is a reality that should mold and shape how we are living our lives today.

What will happen on the day of the Lord? “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.” (2 Peter 3:10 NAS95) Can you picture it? Everything in this world is going to be destroyed by fire. The earth and all its works will be burned up. Can you hear it in your mind? The heavens will pass away with a roar. What words could we even use to describe a sound such as that?

Such a monumental truth should have monumental consequences for our lives. Knowing that this day will come should deeply affect us! Peter continues, “Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!” (2 Peter 3:11-12 NAS95) Isn’t that a great question? What sort of people ought we be, knowing these things to be true? What difference should it make in our lives to know that everything in this world is going to burn up? We need to keep the day of the Lord firmly fixed in our minds and hearts and let the reality of that day motivate us toward holy, godly living.

Jesus is coming soon! He will come like a thief in the night. Whether we are alive or dead when Jesus comes again, we will all experience that day. Does the thought of it fill you with dread? Faithful Christians should not be filled with dread but with longing! If you are striving to live in holiness and godliness, you can have confidence on that day! You can look forward to that day, for you can be assured that He is yours, and you are His, and that you will be going home to your loving Father, to be with Him always. Are you ready for that day to come?


Eagerly Desire the Day

May 1, 2020

Peter makes an intriguing appeal “You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming” (2 Peter 3:11-12, NIV). Of interest is the word that the NIV has rendered “speed.” A quick survey of translations indicate two possibilities: (1) hasten or speed the day or (2) eagerly desire the day.

  • “hastening” (ESV, NASB, NKJV, NRSV and NET), “speed” (NIV), 
  • “eargerly” (NIV margin, Hugo McCord), “earnestly desiring” (NRSV, ASV), “earnestly desire” (HCSB), “look forward” (NCV)

The Greek word “speudō” has both meanings. Those who favor “hastening” point to Jewish background, although the IVP Background Commentary notes that the rabbis were divided on the issue of whether Israel’s repentance and obedience sped up the day. “Hastening” would suggest that we speed the coming of that day by our repentance, evangelism, and prayers. Those who favor “eagerly desire” find it the simpler solution because it doesn’t involve human behavior affecting the timing of the end. Although I’ve tended to favor the second choice, I must confess the difficulty of the options.

However, I don’t want to get lost in the “trees” of this passage and miss the grandeur of the “forest”. As you read 2 Peter 3, it is apparent that Peter wants us to be prepared for the Day. It will arrive “like thief in the night.” We know it’s coming, but we don’t know when. This world will be destroyed, but Christians hope for better things. In the meantime, we must live holy lives knowing that our future home is where righteousness dwells.

Yet what may be most challenging to 21st century American Christians is the eager anticipation of that Day. What is apparent in the chapter is an eager anticipation regardless of translation choice in 3:12. First century Christians were excited with longing for Jesus’ return. It didn’t mean they checked out from this world. Preparations needed to be made. People needed to be reached. As C.S. Lewis has aptly quipped, “Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.”

We are in need of reminders to aim at heaven. The busyness and comfort of this life may cloud our vision. Would we pray with Paul, “Our Lord, come!” (1 Corinthians 16:22)? Or would our lifestyle proclaim, “O Lord, wait!”? Our attitude to the day has an effect on our lifestyle. Somehow, the companions of eager desire are holinesses and reverence. May we eagerly desire the day of God!

–Russ Holden