The first month of this new year is winding down. How are things going on your fresh start? As believers, we have already experienced the freshest start possible. Our sins have been wiped away completely, and we are a new creation. Paul says as much in 2 Corinthians 5:17. We have a new birth, new life, new position, new nature, new goals, new relationships, a new mission, a new purpose … and many more. But the key to all of this, we learned was God’s divine initiative. We also learned He manifested that initiative through covenants. In Jesus’s last night with His disciples, He issued a new charge that would forever mark them — and us — as His followers. But we have one more new thing to consider. We have a new future. We learn about that from Peter.
The Day of the Lord
The prophets, beginning with Isaiah, wrote about the Day of the Lord. A quick sampling of those mentions includes things like vengeance, anger and destruction. It is the day when God pours out His well-deserved wrath on humanity and His creation that have been in rebellion against Him since the Garden of Eden. He has been patient, merciful, and gracious. God is also holy, righteous, and just. In history, we’ve seen glimpses of His judgment — against Egypt, Babylon, Jerusalem, Rome.
And it’s not just the Old Testament prophets who told of the Day of the Lord. Consider Peter’s words:
But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. …2 Peter 3:7,10
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
All the works done will be exposed. All the works. The Day of the Lord is not just a judgment of nations or cultures or even cities. It is a judgment of individuals. And it is a judgment that we would have had to face if not for Jesus.
When we say we have been saved from our sins, what exactly does that entail? For starters, we have been saved from our inclination to sin because we’ve been given a new nature, a new heart, new desires. But it’s more than that. We have been saved from the effects of sin. This is a little different from the consequences. The consequences often linger. I wrote a book a while back about a man who cheated on his wife. The consequences in the form of trust issues lingered for years in the story. But the effects, the separation from God has been healed. Christ has reconciled us back to the Father. Joy and peace replace despair and hopelessness.
Peter says we were redeemed from our “futile way of life inherited from your forefathers.” (1 Peter 1:18)
That futile way of life put us under from the wrath of God. In 2 Peter 3:5, Peter cites Paul and the doctrines he wrote about. This is one of the key verses. Paul said in Romans 5:9 “having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.” Because we have been judicially declared righteous (justified) we shall be saved from having to face God’s wrath against sin and sinners. We have a new future.
The New Future
But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.2 Peter 3:13
John goes into more detail about the new heaven and new earth, and even the new Jerusalem in Revelation 21-22, but Peter gives us enough.
It is a promise.
Creation is remade.
Righteousness dwells there and sin does not.
And we should be anxiously awaiting the realization of that promise, of that new future. Not only that, knowing that awaits us should motivate us to holy living. “Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless.” 2 Peter 3:14
And if your holy living needs a little work, or if you have never experienced new life, today is a great day for a fresh start!