by David and Stephen Olford
Editors Note: Our heartfelt thanks to David Olford for making possible the continuation of this column by editing material from his father's writings. Points to Ponder will continue to bless, encourage, and challenge readers even though Stephen Olford is no longer with us.
Text: "We, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness" (2 Peter 3:13).
Thought: That Scripture, in a few words, is the description of the coming new world, and this is God's answer to the chaos of the present world order. Consider carefully:
1. The Promise of the Coming New World: "We, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth" (v. 13). Peter supports this promise both positively and negatively in the context. Observe the following positive statements: "the day of the Lord will come" (v. 10), "the heavens shall pass away" (v. 10); "the earth...and the works that are therein shall be burned up" (v. 10); "the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat" (v. 11); "we...look for new heavens and a new earth" (v. 13). Negatively, Peter supports the promise of the coming new world by answering the objection of the scoffers who say, "Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation" (v. 4). With deep insight, the Apostle Peter shows how wrong and foolish are these scoffers, since it is evident that things have not continued the same since the creation (see verses 5, 6, 8, 9). Thus, the promise of the Lord's coming and the establishment of the new world are sure and certain.
2. The Purpose of the Coming New World : "We...look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." God's purpose in the new world has a threefold design. There is the personal design-that is, God's plan to fulfill all the expectations of His own people who look for the new world; and there is a punitive design. The very fact of new heavens and a new earth presupposes the dissolving of the old heavens and earth. Thirdly, there is a permanent design: God will not be satisfied until He establishes a lasting habitation of righteousness.
3. The People of the Coming New World :Three short words describe the present character and conduct of the people of the new world. They must be holy (v. 11), godly (v. 11), and busy (vv. 11, 12). These are true believers, people who are committed to growing "in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 3:18a). The question we must face is whether we can claim to be among these people. If not, let us be warned that we shall have no share in that glorious new order of perfect joy, love, holiness, peace, satisfaction, and happy service.
Thrust: "Make me holy by Thy blood, Make me godly, Lamb of God; Keep me busy in the fray, Make me ready for that Day.'"