Today is 31st December, 2015 and in a few hours, 2015 will come to a close ushering in a new year 2016. For many, today is the day they are most pious; as they reflect over the passing year and frantically prepare themselves to enter the New Year with new resolve. I know people who wait till this time of the year to let go of grudges and make peace with offenders. Well wishes are also exchanged with resolutions made to live godly and peaceable lives in the coming year.
One can almost touch the air of conviviality and brotherliness that pervades the atmosphere whenever we approach the dawn of a new year.
As the year inches to a close, I am reminded that everything in this life has an end. We can liken the end of the year to the climax of all times to which this world is inevitably heading – the end of time as we know it! The Spirit of God speaking through Peter describes the events that will take place at the end of days; what the Bible calls the day of the Lord:
But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 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. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” (2Peter 3:7-13)
The similarity between the end of the year and the end of time is that, both are inevitable. In a sense, we look forward to both. However, a major difference, and one of immense proportion is that no one knows when the day of the Lord will come. The Bible says it will come like a thief. This should cause us to shudder. The great question is, are you ready for this day? Seeing “The Lord is not slow to fulfil His promise as some count slowness”, we must all pause and weigh our lives. Are we living worthy of the Lord?
Some scoffers in the days of Peter mocked, as some do today, asking, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”(2Peter 3:4). But, the coming of the Lord’s Day will come and will not fail. God is patiently waiting for all who have not done so already, to come to repentance
Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart, the Bible warns. You still have an opportunity to repent and turn to God. The text quoted teaches explicity that the day of the Lord will be a day of judgement; all who are ungodly will not stand a chance in the judgement, but will be destroyed. Only those who have lived holy and godly lives by putting their faith in Jesus will be admitted into the new heaven and new earth.
Peter asked his audience then, as I do solemnly now; in view of all these, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness? Surely, like a thief, unannounced, the King of kings will appear to usher in His Kingdom. He will reign and rule in the new heaven and new earth with all the saved.
In conclusion, a mere superficial, outward change of character and attitude may be enough to get you started in the New Year; but it sure won’t stand the test in the day of The Lord. What is needed is a change of nature – from inside out – a true change of heart and life which begins by placing your trust in Jesus Christ.
If the end of the year were the end of time, would you be ready?