“Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless” (2 Peter 3:14).
HAVING PORTRAYED THE EVENTS OF THE DAY OF THE LORD VIVIDLY, PETER URGED HIS READERS TO KEEP THEMSELVES READY FOR ITS COMING. The word “therefore” is followed by the command “be diligent,” and Peter’s point is hard to miss: knowing that Christ will bring this world to an end, we ought to prepare ourselves for that day with an effort that is earnest and persistent.
Notice first that Peter says his readers were “looking forward to these things.” In the previous verses, he had spoken of the end of the present world and the beginning of a “new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” These tremendous events are things that Christians think about with great passion. We anticipate them and desire them. We look forward to them.
Since that is so, we ought to “be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless.” Being “found” emphasizes the unexpectedness of Christ’s coming. When He comes, we will be found, or discovered, in the act of living some kind of life or another. For us, heaven depends on whether it’s a faithful life the Lord finds us living. Similarly, Paul said it was “in Him” that he wanted to be found: “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord . . . that I may gain Christ and be found in Him” (Philippians 3:8,9). Our aim, then, is to be caught in the act of being faithful to the Lord.
It’s a fine thing to be waiting for the Lord, and every Christian ought to have that mindset. But there is another word we often couple with “waiting,” and that is the word “ready.” Ready and waiting. It takes both of these words to capture the Christian’s attitude toward the Lord’s return. As Paul wrote, “But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief” (1 Thessalonians 5:4). Ready and waiting. That is the key.
In other words, our attitude needs to include a healthy blend of two priorities. We need, on the one hand, to throw ourselves eagerly into today’s work. And also, we need to look forward with eager excitement to the day when the Lord will say, “Well done.”
“One of the great lessons the fall of the leaf teaches is this: Do your work well and then be ready to depart when God shall call” (Tryon Edwards).