Memory Text: “Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness” (2 Peter 3:11, NRSV).
In ages past people who didn’t believe in God were seen as untrustworthy, even potentially dangerous. Why? The idea was simple: if they didn’t believe in God, then they didn’t believe in any future judgment in which they would have to answer before Him for their deeds. Without this incentive, people would have a greater tendency to do wrong.
Though such thinking is rather antiquated (and “politically incorrect”) today, one cannot deny the logic and reason behind it. Of course, many people don’t need the fear of a future judgment in order to do right. But at the same time, the prospect of answering to God could certainly help motivate correct behavior.
As we have seen, Peter was not afraid to warn about the judgment that evildoers would face before God, because the Bible is clear that such a judgment will come. In this context, Peter speaks unambiguously about the end of days, judgment, the second coming of Jesus, and the time that the “elements shall melt with fervent heat” (2 Pet. 3:10). Peter knew that we are all sinners, and thus, with such prospects before us, he asks: “What manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness?” (2 Pet. 3:11, NKJV).
Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, June 17.
Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons