“The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night [suddenly]” (2 Peter 3:10). God uses faithful servants — sometimes those with national pulpits and at other times humble, unknown, hidden watchmen — to deliver his words of warning. Only those who are not in love with this world and yearn for the coming of the Lord will have the message ring true in their hearts.
God warns his faithful ones so that when sudden disaster strikes, they are not swept away with fear. When dreadful events occur, God’s people must know that what has happened is not an accident or a random act. They are to have the peace of Christ in their hearts, knowing that our God is still master of the universe. They will not panic when other men’s hearts are failing them for fear at all the frightful things they see coming on the earth.
Peter goes on to say, “The heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up” (3:10).
To whom is the apostle Peter addressing these words? The answer is found in 2 Peter 3:1: “Beloved, I now write to you.” He is addressing the faithful remnant of believers. Whenever we hear words like Peter’s, our first response is to recoil. “There’s too much bad news today. Why do we have to hear this message now? Why not just let it happen?” But Peter had a reason: “Since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness” (3:11).
In light of the sudden dissolving of all things, God’s beloved people ought to check their own behavior. Those who look for the fulfillment of Bible prophecy ought to be conformed to the image of Christ, in conduct, in conversation and in thought. Make no mistake, the fire is coming. And for that reason, we are to “be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless” (3:14).