Old Black Coat

I know I should say "bye-bye" to my beloved black coat. It's almost 15 years old and the cuffs are threadbare. The blue satin lining is torn. Still, every time I put it on, it hugs my shoulders perfectly and falls at just the right length. I'll admit it, I'm attached.

Psalm 102 says that the earth and heavens will one day "wear out like old clothing" (v.26), and God will transform the world we know. Peter described this event as the "day of the Lord" when "the heavens will pass away . . . and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire" (2 Peter 3:10).

On that day, "the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment." Even now, God is holding back His judgment because He wants to bring more people to repentance. If you've never established a personal relationship with Jesus, don't miss the urgency of Peter's message: God "is being patient for your sake" (v.9).

Peter instructed those of us who already believe in Jesus to live holy lives while we await the "day of the Lord" (v.11). Specifically, when Jesus returns, He should find us "living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in His sight" (v.14). Judgment Day should inspire us to make godly lifestyle choices. It should prompt us to ask the hard questions: Do I want Jesus to find me living with my girlfriend, tangled in sketchy business deals, drunk and polishing off another bottle of booze?

The "day of the Lord" is a sobering topic. It's no fun to acknowledge that our globe will "wear out", just like my old black coat. And yet, with the earth's inevitable destruction comes the promise of a worldwide renovation. We can look forward to "the new heavens and new earth . . . a world filled with God's righteousness" (v.13). , Jennifer Benson Schuldt

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