Peter makes an interesting statement in 2 Pet. 3:11-12. He says,
“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.”
In the context Peter is letting the readers know about the inevitable end of all creation when God makes a new heaven and earth and that God is waiting to return until all who will, repent. Given the certainty of the end, Peter asks, What kind of people should we be? In other words, how should we live now knowing the inevitable future of creation and knowing that God has delayed his return to allow as many to repent as possible?
The first thing he says is that as we are holy and godly, we should “wait.” The sense of the word “wait” is “designating the eager expectation believers should have for the coming of Christ and the fulfillment of God’s future promises” (Wuest). The readers should not have a nonchalant attitude about the impending end of creation as we know it. Instead, they should have an eager anticipation of God’s Triumphant Return! Am I eagerly looking forward to the Lord’s Return?
The second thing mentioned is that we should “hasten” the coming day of God. The implication is that when we live with a repentant heart (3:8) and help others do the same, we will contribute to speed up the day of God.
This in no way implies that we can twist God’s arm to do what we want, but that from our perspective, we can hasten the Lord’s return when we live the way he desires. As Gangel states,
“How do believers hasten it? The godly lives of the Lord’s people, their praying, and their witnessing help bring others to repentance.”
Constable says it this way,
“Believers affect God’s timetable by our witnessing and our praying as we bring people to Christ (cf. Josh. 10:12–14; 1 Kings 20:1–6; et al.).”
This realization makes me ask, “Am I living in holiness and godliness so that I can assist with hastening the day of God by helping others be restored to a relationship with God through repentance? This is a call to me to live in light of the certainty of the end knowing that my faithfulness is helping to bring God’s Kingdom more quickly.
Father, thank you for your Word. Thank you that we know of the end of the story as we live our lives now. Help me to anticipate your Kingdom eagerly and live a life that contributes to hasten the coming of your Reign.
Following Jesus with you,