Scripture Reading - 2 Peter 3:14-18
The "these" referred to is the events that will occur when the Lord Jesus Christ will return. Things will suddenly be so different for those who believe in him. We are indeed waiting for that new heaven and new earth.
BUT while we are waiting we are not to just be sitting around. God says to us: be diligent to be found without spot or blemish. This to me says action. An action to be the kind of people God wants us to be. God knows that we aren't perfect, but he doesn't want us wallowing around in that imperfection, he wants us active and trying to be the people he wants us to be. And while we are doing it...he wants us to be diligent about being at peace. So not fighting with each other, and not fighting with ourselves. At peace. The belies an calmness within don't you think?
and just as we should be eager for the Lord's return, this sentence makes me think we should also be glad that he tarries a while. Read with me: And count the patience of our Lord as salvation. Stop and think about that.... We know that the Lord is patient, in verse 9 "but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance". God wants to give us the time we need to be the people he is calling us to be. We are to use the time that he has given us to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Peter does warn us here to not get carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. We need to stay true to God's word. We need to not twist it to suit ourselves, but rather to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ. That's what we need to do.
A friend of mine is in a church where women as elders is causing problems. I know that within our denomination the gay rights people are making inroads. Scriptures are being twisted folks. The authority of the bible is being questioned. There is the "new Pauline" understanding, there are those who deny the godhood of Christ, and others who think that there is more to be said so additional "scriptures" are being written and believed. So much "more" is believed. Why can't we just read and believe the bible? why do we need to make things more complicated? There is enough in scripture that can cause confusion I don't understand the need to create more.
None the less.... God calls us to not be carried away with the error of lawless people and in that process to not lose your own stability. Trust what God has given you to trust and just stay away from the rest. Know that the Lord will return. Know that he is giving you the time that YOU NEED to be the person that God wants you to be. That's both a comfort and a challenge. Because I don't know how long God has given me to become and be the person he has called me to be. He will return as a thief in the night or he may call me home before then. I just need to be at peace and to continue to grow into the person that he wants me to be.
He spoke about how often we (the evangelical folk) come across as abrasive, wanting to change folks before we help them, rather than accepting them as they are. He says "Our world of hungry, hurting humanity long for and deserves the message of truth presented in attractive, gentle, gracious wrappings." Like a momma caring for her young. This is how we are to be.