What Sort of People Ought You to Be? :: by Howard Green

The following statements and mindsets are so prevalent because they point to a spiritual epidemic in our time:

“They are getting away with murder.” “I can’t believe they got away with that.” “He never gets caught.” “I fooled them.” “It’s okay to look, as long as you don’t touch.” “That holy living is for Sunday, I’m in the ‘real world’ today.” “I’ve been hearing talk about the ‘end times’ for years… I’ll live for today!”

Scoffing is the direct result of ungodly living.

By definition, scoffing is: an expression of mockery, derision, doubt, or derisive scorn; ajeer… an object of mockery or derision.

Scoffers live like the world because they don’t believe God’s judgment is coming. Since true Christians see the day approaching: What sort of people ought you to be?

2 Peter 3:11-14 “Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, 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, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.

The world laughed at Noah right up until the first raindrops fell. The inhabitants of Sodom went after strange flesh until fire rained down from heaven and wiped them all out. When people think judgment is delayed or isn’t coming, sinful living follows. In our generation, decadence, hedonism, raw individualism, and self absorption are the rule, rather than the exception.

This sort of sinful bent toward the flesh can creep up so quickly and if left unchecked; people who claim to be Christians can become indistinguishable from the world. John tells us why we should love God and turn away from the things of this world:

1 John 2:15-17 “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”

With the warnings from Peter and John in mind, we need to remember to live a life of holiness and love for God alone. The very fact that there are so many people who claim to be Christians living like the world is an indicator of the nearness of the Lord’s return. We can warn them, disassociate from them after that, and even expose their works. I believe that pattern will only increase with the wickedness of the days ahead.

So what about us? Why should we live in increased holiness? Here is godly insight on holy living:

True Christians look for new heavens and a new earth; freed from the vanity to which things present are subject, and the sin they are polluted with. Those only who are clothed with the righteousness of Christ, and sanctified by the Holy Spirit, shall be admitted to dwell in this holy place. —Matthew Henry’s Commentary

Here’s the thing…most of the world is living for the following:

The lust of the eyes: “I see what I want and have to have it!” That is outright covetousness.

The lust of the flesh: This can include many things but most certainly encompasses sexual sin.

The pride of life: People crave recognition…this includes thirst for honor and applause.

Who receives the glory from this kind of living: People, not God. This is how most of the world operates, but what a refreshing thing it is to see, know, and be a man or woman who lives holy unto the Lord.

When we live holy (set apart) lives…we will stand out. This kind of standing out brings glory to God and not ourselves. I’ve heard it said, “I don’t go to church or don’t want to hear about religion because it’s full of hypocrites.” Holy living confronts this.

When we live holy lives…sin is exposed. I’ve heard it said, “Who cares… I live for the day.” Holy living confronts this because people will wonder why we aren’t living like the rest of the world.

When we live holy lives…apathy is exposed. When some inside the church and certainly those in the world don’t think judgment is coming, and God will stay righteous hand, we counter this with His word. Our warnings about judgment aren’t based on political leanings, cleaver talk, or manipulation. Our warnings are right out of God’s Word.

A person with a solid grasp of Bible prophecy knows and lives in light of what the Word says about the days ahead. Bible prophecy serves so many excellent purposes.

1. By its very nature and 100 percent accuracy…it distinguishes itself above every other so called “holy book” and our God above every other so called “god.”

2. Bible prophecy pertaining to the last days helps us in understanding the times and view geopolitical and natural events through the lens of Scripture.

3. Most important, Bible prophecy isn’t the self contained, pointless, distraction as some label it. It has an ultimate purpose: It clearly exposes our sinfulness and God’s holiness. It warns the sinner that they will one day stand before God at the Great White Throne Judgment and be declared guilty.

Bible prophecy exposes the reality of sin, death, judgment, repentance, and atonement. This is a pattern shown over and over in the Bible. In summary: Bible prophecy and what is tells us about God, the world, judgment, and the dark days ahead should lead to increased holiness. We should be more like Jesus.

Peter summed up the most important function of Bible prophecy and eschatology when he wrote: “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…”

When a believer understands the brevity and foolishness of this world compared to the one to come, holy living flourishes. This world and all of its pleasures don’t compare to what the Lord has in store for us. Our affections, will, and life will bear the fruit of holiness. When we are that sort of person who lives in holiness, we are bold witnesses and disciples who bring glory to God’s name. God help every believer who reads this article recommit to living a holy life…not in our own resolve, but by His Spirit.

If you are reading this article and don’t know Jesus as your Savior, you are in serious danger. When you die, you will have no answer for a life of sin when you stand before God for judgment. The only One who can save you is Jesus. He paid the price for sin on the cross 2,000 years ago. Right now, you are guilty and will be condemned to hell because of your sin, judgment is certain.

If you have questions about salvation and what it means…click on the link to Are You Saved?

Judgment is coming and there are only so many days each of us have to live holy for the Lord. What sort of people ought you to be?