Skip to content

The Rt. Rev. David N. Samuel: “A Biblical Road Map: From Here to Eternity”

October 25, 2009

From the Rt. Rev. David N. Samuel of the Church of England (Continuing), here is a message on 2 Peter 3:3-14, titled A Biblical Roadmap: From Here to Eternity which is a very good exposition of that famous passage about the end of the world and the coming of the Day of the Lord.  Some might wonder what it profits us to think about these things, and Bishop Samuel has some counsel for us to consider:

Now, seeing all these things we have described will take place, or as Peter himself puts it, “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved,” that is, the present earth and heaven will be destroyed and re-created in the way he describes; “What manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness?” What ought we to be doing? and how ought we to be living? I conclude with these practical remarks:

1. Look to the end of things; only so can we get matters in their proper proportion and perspective. It is like the mathematical point outside the picture that gives the picture its perspective, because all the lines converge upon it. We have to look to the end of all things in order to understand the present and be able to order our lives accordingly. People today think very little about the end of the world. They live in and for the present; for the passing moment and the fleeting pleasure. They do not like the long view of life. But this is what we are called upon to do. “Seeing that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be…?”

2. It should make us more diligent and faithful, so that we keep close to God and look constantly to him. “Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” (v. 14).

3. It ought to make us less anxious about the material and temporal things of this world. Seeing there is nothing that is permanent, and all its works will pass away – the gold and silver will melt and dissolve; all that the world counts dear will perish – let us not become too attached to them, and build our hopes upon them. “Let us use this world as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away” (1 Corinthians 7:31).

4. It should give us a strong attachment to the things of the Spirit – to the Scriptures, which tell us the truth about all these matters that concern us and our eternal salvation; which inform us of the will and purposes of God, who created all things, and the purpose for which He created them and us. “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:2, 3). “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18). Thus, by doing this our natures will be refined and purified, and we shall be made “heavenly minded”.

5. It will give us a serious frame of mind – a mind which is able to judge and discriminate and sift the wheat from the chaff, the gold from the dross, the precious from the vile.

6. And, finally, it will make us more dedicated, more zealous, to work while it is yet day, to husband our time and opportunities, and to exercise a faithful stewardship of that which has been committed to us.

Indeed, as Scripture tells us, we need to “redeem the time, for the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:16)  This sermon is one that helps us understand why this is so.

Now, seeing all these things we have described will take place, or as Peter himself puts it, “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved,” that is, the present earth and heaven will be destroyed and re-created in the way he describes; “What manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness?” What ought we to be doing? and how ought we to be living? I conclude with these practical remarks:

1. Look to the end of things; only so can we get matters in their proper proportion and perspective. It is like the mathematical point outside the picture that gives the picture its perspective, because all the lines converge upon it. We have to look to the end of all things in order to understand the present and be able to order our lives accordingly. People today think very little about the end of the world. They live in and for the present; for the passing moment and the fleeting pleasure. They do not like the long view of life. But this is what we are called upon to do. “Seeing that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be…?”

2. It should make us more diligent and faithful, so that we keep close to God and look constantly to him. “Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” (v. 14).

3. It ought to make us less anxious about the material and temporal things of this world. Seeing there is nothing that is permanent, and all its works will pass away – the gold and silver will melt and dissolve; all that the world counts dear will perish – let us not become too attached to them, and build our hopes upon them. “Let us use this world as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away” (1 Corinthians 7:31).

4. It should give us a strong attachment to the things of the Spirit – to the Scriptures, which tell us the truth about all these matters that concern us and our eternal salvation; which inform us of the will and purposes of God, who created all things, and the purpose for which He created them and us. “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:2, 3). “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18). Thus, by doing this our natures will be refined and purified, and we shall be made “heavenly minded”.

5. It will give us a serious frame of mind – a mind which is able to judge and discriminate and sift the wheat from the chaff, the gold from the dross, the precious from the vile.

6. And, finally, it will make us more dedicated, more zealous, to work while it is yet day, to husband our time and opportunities, and to exercise a faithful stewardship of that which has been committed to us.

Share this Post

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: