What Kind of People Should We Be?
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons 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 dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 2 Peter 3:9-13 (NKJV) (emphasis added)
As God’s witnesses in a dark world, how are we to respond to those have set their wills and their ways against the Gospel of Jesus Christ? We do not hold within our hand the gavel of justice over men, we have not been given the rod of righteousness to rule the world, and we are not commissioned to bring forth the wrath of God’s judgment upon the earth in this hour. These things will be done through God’s hand, and in His appointed time…the day of final judgment has not been canceled on God’s calendar.
In the light of God’s coming judgment, we are asked by the Apostle Peter, “What kind of persons should we be in this present world?” Here are five things we can be:
We can be people who pray.
The believers and followers of Jesus Christ are the best friends that sinners have in this world. Who else would pray for them? Who else has access to God’s mercy seat through the blood of Jesus Christ? Who else can say, “I know Christ’s redeeming love in my life because someone prayed for me.”
We can be people who live in the light.
The world is a dark place and is descending deeper into darkness. Jesus told us that people do not live in darkness because of uncontrollable circumstances, but because of choices. He said that people actually love darkness and prefer it to the light. The reason is because people live in sin and don’t want to give it up. We are God’s light in this dark world. The purpose of our light is to show others how merciful God is and to give others the hope that their lives can be changed and redeemed because of God’s mercies.
We can be people who speak the truth in love.
Jesus once talked with a ruler who was very wealthy. The scriptures tell us that Jesus loved this ruler, yet the man walked away. Why? He didn’t turn away because Jesus loved him, he turned away because of the truth Jesus spoke to him. Jesus told him to give all his riches away to the poor and come, follow Him. Jesus even told the ruler he would have riches in heaven instead of upon earth. Sadly, the man didn’t want to do that because he wanted his sin (covetousness) more than he wanted Jesus.
To walk with Jesus means that we not only love who Jesus is, but we also love what He says. If we genuinely love people as Jesus loved them, we will also be truth speakers.
We can be people who share the Good News of the Gospel.
We are reminded in 2 Peter chapter 3 that there is still time for lives to be saved. God is still waiting for people to repent of their sins and turn to the Savior. Jesus Christ is God’s only way of escape, only way of salvation, only way of forgiveness, and the only acceptable way to come to God. One day, God’s wrath will come and His judgment will be final. Until that day, He will use us to be His witnesses of the gospel of Jesus Christ to a dying world.
We can be people who weep.
There are two places recorded in Scripture where Jesus wept. One is as He approached the tomb of Lazarus, and the other is as He approached the city of Jerusalem. He wept over the city and its people because they had failed to see and enter into the things God had for them. By rejecting God’s pathway to peace through His salvation, they walked upon the path that led to their destruction (Luke 19:41-44 AMP).
Today, the Gospel of Jesus Christ continues to be proclaimed throughout the world, yet many are turning away and missing their day of visitation. As we walk as Jesus walked, our hearts will be broken for those who are like lost sheep without the Shepherd, for those whose lives are being destroyed through the deceitfulness of sin, and for those who are calling good evil and evil good. Love cannot rejoice in iniquity or cheer it on (1 Corinthians 13:6). Love cannot celebrate the things that cause God to weep.
Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.—Bob Pierce
May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering—The Moravians