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Thursday, July 14, 2011

As the world burns, we can chill out sale

I saw an advertisement this week for a: "As the world burns, we can chill
out sale." The advertisement was meant to encourage people to be better
prepared for life in an unstable social and political climate.

They succeeded in catching my attention with the advertisement, but of
course I took it in an entirely different direction than they had intended.
The advertisement was complete with pictures of burning buildings and
landscape while sirens wailed in the background. My thoughts went to the
word picture that Peter draws for us in 2 Peter 3:9-12. Notice his words:

9 "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.
He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come
to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will
disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth
and everything in it will be laid bare.
11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people
ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives
12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day
will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements
will melt in the heat." (NIV)

I'm not sure we understand this total destruction of our physical world. If
we did perhaps we would be more urgent in our telling others about it. That
was the motivation for the apostle Paul when he spoke the elders of the
church at Ephesus and said, "Therefore watch, and remember, that by the
space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with
tears." (Acts 20:31 KJV)

Peter did not leave us with no hope concerning the worlds end. In 2 Peter
3:13-14, Peter reminds us of God's promise to us:

13 "But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven
and a new earth, the home of righteousness.
14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every
effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him."(NIV)

The writer of the book of Hebrews puts it this way, "For the message God
delivered through angels has always stood firm, and every violation of the
law and every act of disobedience was punished. So what makes us think we
can escape if we ignore this great salvation that was first announced by the
Lord Jesus himself and then delivered to us by those who heard him speak?"
(Hebrews 2:2-3)

Yes, the world will someday be burned up, but God has given us a way of
escape. What is it? It is by obeying His Words and living in such a way as
to bring honor to His Kingdom.

Russ Lawson

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