We are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth.
The Bible doesn't say that heaven is our final destination. It looks forward to the day when the whole creation will be made new. This will be the Day of the Lord, the day when our prayers for the kingdom to come are finally answered.
We are looking forward to that day. Everything we have glimpsed in Jesus will become fully real. To use Peter's words, righteousness will finally have a home.
And when will this happen? We don't know. Peter tells us that with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, so we have only waited slightly under two days so far. It could be a long time yet. Or maybe not, because the Lord will come like a thief, and thieves tend to come when you are not expecting them.
So, in the light of this, what sort of people ought we to be? Peter says that we ought to live holy and godly lives. These are the lives he has already written about: lives of faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and above all love. This the way we look forward to the Lord's Day. On that day everything else will melt in the heat and everything that is of God will rise into eternity.
This is our faith. Let's not fall away from our secure position.
Looking for an upbeat, encouraging Bible text today?
Sorry, everyone, 2 Peter 2 is about false teachers who make up stories so they can get their own way.
Peter's second letter starts with an upbeat message, but it also tells us that we must be real about church. There are dangers. Big ones. We can't ignore them.
There are people who make up their own stories, rather than lead us to the Bible.
There are greedy people who exploit the church.
There are people who will abuse those who are vulnerable.
Jesus and Paul gave similar warnings.
So what can we do? Well, our safeguarding policies are there for a reason. Please do make sure you are aware of them. And please do look at the drafts complaints policy we'll be brininging to the church next months. And please do look at the church accounts when you get them.
And please try to get to know your Bible. The people of Berea were praised because they opened their Bible and checked what they were being told. We need people like that.
More on Sunday ... for a service that with lots of praise and joy, but also what I hope will be a healthy dose of reality.
I know that some will dispute what I'm about to write, but here goes ..
Last time we were told to make every effort to build on our faith. This time Peter, who is shortly going to die, says he is going to make every effort. His task now is to make sure that those who follow him will always remember what he taught.
He wants us to know that he didn't make it up. He really knew Jesus. He really saw him in glory on a mountain top. He heard the voice saying, 'This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."
A generation later there was a man called Papias, who tells us that Mark's gospel was written by Peter's interpreter from the things that Peter remembered about Jesus. The point is the same: he didn't make it up.
Peter also wants us to know that the scriptures aren't the product of cleverly invented stories; they were inspired by God. As we will see in chapter four, this includes the letters written by the Apostle Paul.
And my job as a pastor is to keep reminding you of these things. Jesus lived. Jesus died. Jesus rose again. His kingdom is coming. not a cleverly invented story but the greatest truth of all.