The world is probably not going to end tomorrow. You may have seen the rumours that have been flying around the internet for a few weeks, saying that on 23rd September 2017 a hitherto unknown planet called “Nibiru” or “Planet X” will smash into the earth. Some Christian groups have even picked this up and taken it as a sign of Christ’s return. It is all nonsense- Nibiru is a hoax that has been around for a long time (see: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/21/nibiru-nonsense-planet-x-armageddon-nasa-fake-news-theories/). Jesus said that he would return unexpectedly, like a thief in the night, and that no could predict the time of his return (Matthew 24:42-44).
But some time, the world as we know it will come to and end- and Jesus will return. That’s the message that Peter leaves his readers with in 2 Peter 3. Peter and the other Apostles had been accused of being hoaxers by the false teachers who poisoning the church to whom Peter wrote. So Peter wrote to assure his readers that Christ would return, and that they could expect the destruction of the world by fire- but also a wonderful, glorious new heavens and earth, “the home of righteousness”. That’s what we will be thinking about in the service at Christ Church next Sunday morning.
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 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. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. – 2 Peter 3:11-13
Peter wanted his readers, and us to be ready. Not by scanning the skies, or trying to find a secret code in the Bible. But by being the sort of people who would feel at home in the new heavens and earth: holy and godly, spotless and blameless, and at peace with God. That’s why the Church is here: as a training ground to prepare people for Christ’s return.
So see you on Sunday. Probably.