Holy ‘Til the End

This entry is part 42 of 56 in the series Holiness Matters
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

For some people lifestyle matters a great deal. But for others, it doesn’t matter at all. You are born into a lifestyle but you don’t have to keep it. Many teenagers and young adults change the lifestyle that they grew up with if they’re not happy with it.

Our world pushes certain lifestyles. Their pervading philosophy is, “Whatever makes you happy.” This is what most people want to do but they find it hard to do with their means. This is one of the reasons we have so many unhappy people in the world today.

The unhappiness is caused not by our means that by our philosophy and our thoughts. If we think we should be able to do whatever we want, we will be unhappy. Most of us do not have the ability to accomplish this desire.

If we had the philosophy that it’s about pleasing God instead of making me happy, that would be a very different result. Trials would come along but they would be expected because Jesus said we would have them. We would find suffering in the world but it would be expected because the devil is the Prince of the Power of the Air.

And if God disciplines us, it’s to be expected because that is part of growing in holiness and godliness. The way we feel is based off of our thinking and philosophy of life. I say all of these things to introduce the apostle Peter’s approach to the end times.

As he talked about the day of the Lord (2 Peter 3:1-7), and God’s desire to see everyone saved (2 Peter 3:8-10), he focused in on how Christians respond to these things. It’s easy to lose track of the eternal. Sometimes each of us gets caught up in the things of this world. Maybe politics or economics or fashion or celebrity.

Peter wants us to refocus on the important things in life. He talks about the destruction of this world to remind us that it is temporal. This world is not our home. God has greater things in store for his children. We have an inheritance like no one else.

There’s no need to get caught up in this world and this life because it’s all about eternity. That doesn’t mean we can be “So heavenly minded that we are no earthly good.” It’s actually the other way around. If we are thinking of heaven, we are of great worth to this world. Thinking of heaven drives evangelism, holiness, discipleship, and worship of God.

Because we have our eyes on the prize we think all the time about this world and our mission in it as long as we have opportunity. We think about people. And holiness is one of the tools for all of it. Peter tells us to think about the ending of the world and how we should live (2 Peter 3:11).

We could say we don’t care about the world because it’s going to pass away. That’s not the way God sees his creation. God expects us to present an example of holiness to everyone around us. What sort of people ought we to be?

A holy people. Separate from the sin of the world while loving it at the same time. We are a peculiar people who don’t fit in this world. But we are open to everyone who lives in the world. We want them to see the God that we serve. We want them to know Jesus.

They’ve never seen a holy lifestyle modeled in front of them before. They weren’t brought up in this kind of environment. They don’t know how to react. But it does make them curious. They want to know why we live the way we do.

But holiness is way more than a witness to other people who don’t know Jesus. It is the approach of a thoughtful believer who is excited about the blessed hope of Jesus’ return. Peter says we wait for and hasten the coming of our Lord (2 Peter 3:12). It’s a holy life Jesus is pleased to see when he comes back. We will be doing what he set us on this earth to do.

This world is passing away in fire when Jesus returns. But he comes for the church, for the saints, the holy ones who live for him and him alone. It is his pleasure we seek to give with our lives. We want God to be happy with the way we live. We want him to be glorified in all we say and do.

This world is passing away but heaven is our eternal home and inheritance. It’s worth living to the max in godliness to enjoy the inheritance God has for us. God has promised a new heaven and a new earth and we wait not only for Jesus to return but also for that blessed inheritance.

Righteousness is holiness through action. In holiness and righteousness are eternal values. When we walk in holiness on this earth we show the world eternal values. There’s much more to God’s plan then the here and now. And so we wait for him, practicing holiness and righteousness toward  everyone. And he will arrive and bring us to our inheritance.

What do you think about the idea of living holy because the end is near? Leave a comment to tell us how you demonstrate godly principles and lifestyles in this world..

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