Day 26: The Lord’s Return & Sanctification

true-holiness-does-not-make-a-christian-evade-difficulties-but-face-and-overcome-themSometimes the simplest things are the hardest for us to comprehend.  This frustration must have been what the apostle Peter was feeling when he was writing to the churches regarding their behavior.

Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, it is clear what sort of people you should be in holy conduct and godliness as you wait for and earnestly desire the coming of the day of God.  The heavens will be on fire and be dissolved because of it, and the elements will melt with the heat.  But based on His promise, we wait for the new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness will dwell.  2 Peter 3:11-12

Following one last plea for the church to remember the things taught them as well as the promise that God will return, you can just picture Peter throwing up his hands and with as much grace as possible stating: “Can’t you see how you are to behave!!”

We have heard Christ is returning for over 2000 years now.  While we do not know the exact time or day, we can rest assured that His return is imminent.  Therefore, why do we behave in such a manner to profane God’s name and promise?

Consider Jesus’ words regarding His return:

Who then is a faithful and sensible slave, whom his master has put in charge of his household, to give them food at the proper time?  That slave whose master finds him working when he comes will be rewarded.  I assure you: He will put him in charge of all his possessions.  But if that wicked slave says in his heart, ‘My master is delayed,’ and starts to beat his fellow slaves, and eats and drinks with drunkards, that slave’s master will come on a day he does not expect and at an hour he does not know.  He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites.  In that place, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Matthew 24:45-51

Even though Christ appears to prolong His return, Christ followers must remain faithful.  We must behave in a holy and godly way so that others might see Christ in us, repent, and follow God as well.  Even though persecution is inevitable (Matthew 24:9) and the world increases in lawlessness, followers of Christ must remember the promise that Christ is preparing a place for us, and God is bringing a new heaven and a new earth.

Just as Peter encouraged and reminded the early church, so J.C. Ryle in his book, Holiness, reminds us of what sanctification looks like for a believer in the waiting period for Christ’s return.

True holiness does not make a Christian evade difficulties but face and overcome them.  Christ would have His people show that His grace is not a mere hot-house plant, which can only thrive under shelter, but a strong, hardy thing which can flourish in every relation of life.  It is doing our duty in that state to which God has called us—like salt in the midst of corruption, and light in the midst of darkness—which is a primary element in sanctification (26).

God’s desire is for His grace to shine even brighter in the midst of the darkness.  This should spur us on even more to live holy lives.  Not religious, legalistic lives, but love-filled, grace-filled, mercy-filled lives that draw others to taste and see that the Lord is good!!  In so doing our joy will be made complete as we focus on our eternal dwelling yet to come!!

Oh Father God, forgive us again for behaving as if You do not see.  Forgive us for not obeying even when we feel You are not present.  Feed us Your Word and rain righteousness down upon us so that we might grow even in the midst of all the storms around us.  In Jesus name, Amen!  Come, Lord Jesus!


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