“Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.” (2 Peter 3:11-14)

One of the claims of false teachers often concerns the return of Christ. Either they deny it altogether in order to foster immorality, greed and ungodliness or claim they know how and when it will happen, thereby exalting their own status and pride. The latter is a concern of our own day while Peter is concerned with the former. Those who scoff at the idea of Christ’s return cast doubt upon God’s promises and call Him a liar. At the same time they attempt to deprive needy people of hope, eternal reward, and justice. They reject the need for obedience and righteousness while placing great value on material possessions and satisfying the appetites of the flesh. They reason that since Christ is not returning they can live as they please.

Peter reminds us that God is true to His word. We recall this great truth every Christmas. God promised Adam and Eve He would send a redeemer after their sin brought death, sickness and pain into the world. The Lord reaffirmed His promise to His servants Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David and the people of Israel down through the millennia. And 2000 years ago He fulfilled that promise with a baby born to a virgin in a manger in Bethlehem. Therefore we have no reason to doubt that He is coming again, this time to destroy the wicked in a worldwide cataclysmic upheaval from which only the faithful will be saved. As we wait for that day we can be at peace knowing that amidst all the chaos, violence and turmoil of our troubled times, the Lord will judge the wicked, establish justice, and set all things right.