Earnestly Desiring the End
“Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire?” 1 Peter 3: 11-12
In a time of great suffering, the pastoral leaders of the day often promise the end of things to bring comfort in immediate struggles. In a world experienced as harsh, the coming Day of the God helped to inspire confidence that something more was possible than the endless troubles of the present moment.
Letters like 2 Peter were written in a time of persecution for the early Christians. They were perceived a threat and sought out and punished for their faith. They were hunted down and betrayed by the systems of the day.
Their oppression was so severe that I wonder if these faithful believers, not only felt like it was the end of the world but longed for it. Perhaps they are waiting for a time when they are not looking over their shoulder when they are out for a walk. Perhaps they are earnestly desiring a time when they can live without the “talks” with their young children. Perhaps they are longing for a day when they aren’t swallowing anger at the names they are called or any of the other daily injustices.
I’m guessing that you need to be on this side of history to really comprehend the comfort and hope of these End Time images. And if we, who are not, skip over the apocalyptic end time verses to rest in the ones that bring more comfort, and if we fear the world as we know it is coming to an end, and if we don’t believe in the hoped comfort of the “Day of the Lord,” then we are missing a chunk of gospel about remaking the world God loves. We are missing the plea to live lives of holiness and mutual affection following Jesus in the twenty-first century bringing an end to oppression and suffering.