2 Peter 3:13-14
Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness.…
I. THE CLEAR HOPE WHICH SHOULD FILL OUR FUTURE. "Seeing that ye look for such things." What things? Peter has been drawing a very vivid picture of the end, in two parts, one destructive, the other constructive. Opticians make glasses with three ranges, and write upon a little bar which shifts their eye-pieces, "Theatre," "Field," "Marine." Which of the three is your glass set to? The turn of a button determines its range. You can either look at the things close at hand, or, if you set the eye-piece right, and use the strongest, you can see the stars. Which is it to be? The shorter range shows you possibilities; the longer will show you certainties. The shorter range shows you trifles; the longer, all that you can desire. How many hopes we have outgrown, whether they were fulfilled or disappointed. But we may have one which will ever move before us, and ever draw our desires. The greater vision, if we were only wise enough to bring our lives habitually under its influence, would at once dim and ennoble all the near future.
II. THE DEFINITE AIM WHICH THIS CLEAR HOPE SHOULD IMPRESS UPON LIFE, If you knew that you were going to emigrate soon, and spend all your life on the other side of the world, in circumstances the outlines of which you knew, you would be a fool if you did not set yourself to get ready for them. The more clearly we see, and the more deeply we feel, that future hope, which is disclosed for us in the words of my text, the more it will prescribe a dominant purpose which will give unity, strength, buoyancy, and blessedness to any life. "Seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent." For what? "That ye maybe found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless." Every word is weighty here.
1. "That ye may be found." That implies, ii not search, at least investigation. It suggests the idea of the discovery of the true condition, character, or standing of a man which may have been hidden or partially obscured before — and now, at last, is brought out clearly.
2. Then, note, "Found in Him," or, "in His sight." Then Christ is the Investigator, and it is before "those pure eyes and perfect judgment" that they have to pass, who shall be admitted into the new heavens and the new earth, "wherein dwelleth righteousness."
3. Then mark what is the character which, discovered on investigation by Jesus Christ, admits there: "without spot and blameless." There must be the entire absence of every blemish, stain, or speck of impurity. "Blameless" is the consequence of "spotless." That which in itself is pure attracts no censure, whether from the Judge or from the assessors and onlookers in His court. In Peter's other letter Christ Himself is described as a Lamb "without blemish and without spot." And thus the character that qualifies for the new heavens is the copy in us of Jesus Christ. Still further, only those who thus have attained to the condition of absolute, speckless purity and conformity to Jesus Christ, will meet His searching eye in calm tranquillity and be "found of Him in peace." The steward brings his books to his master. If he knows that there has been trickery with the figures, and embezzlement, how the wretch shakes in his shoes, though he may stand apparently calm, as the master's keen eye goes down the columns! If he knows that it is all right, how calmly he waits the master's signature at the end, to pass the account! If we are to meet Jesus Christ with quiet hearts, and we certainly shall meet Him, we must meet Him "without spot and blameless."
III. THE EARNEST DILIGENCE WITH WHICH THAT AIM SHOULD BE PURSUED, IN THE LIGHT OF THAT HOPE. Peter is fond of using the word which is here translated "be diligent." Hard work, honest effort, continuous and persevering, is his simple recipe for all nobleness. The word includes in its meaning earnestness, and it very frequently includes that which is the ordinary consequence of earnestness — viz., haste and economy of time.
1. Be in earnest in cultivating a Christian character.
2. Make it your business to cultivate a character like that of Jesus Christ.
3. Make haste about cultivating a Christlike character. The harvest is great, the toil is heavy, the sun is drawing to the west, the reckoning is at hand. There is no time to lose; set about it as you have never done before, and say, "This one thing I do."
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.