Peters point is fascinating! He is writing Christians (1:1) who faced and endured struggles (1:10, 11; 2:1; 3:3-7). He did not say it would be easy to be a Christian! He was honest about the hardships! Never did he say Christianity is the easy way to live.
After assuring them that God knew how to rescue the godly from temptation (2:9), and stressing the importance of remembering the prophets words, the commandments, and Jesus words (3:2), he affirmed judgments certainty. However, he did not ask them to live in the terror of punishment. He did not try to scare them to heaven. It would have been the ideal set up for some type of message about, You are going to pay for godless living! or Do you not realize what God can do to you?
Peter acknowledged (1) God keeps His promises. (2) Gods judgment is a certain reality. (3) Judgment will be a surprise. (4) The judgment will be a devastating, destructive event for the ungodly. However, for the godly it will be a pleasant, victorious event. The godly will become part of an environment where the righteous belong and the unrighteous do notthe exact opposite of this existence!
With this reality, Peter asked a question. The question was not associated with the turn or burn philosophy which attempts to scare people away from hell and into heaven. The question: Should you invest life in things you know are temporary, things you know will burn? Or, is it wise to knowingly invest yourself in something you thoroughly understand cannot and will not last?
Heaven is not a destination for a person who goes kicking and screaming because he/she fears going elsewhere. It is a place for thoughtful, righteous people who trust God. Make the journey with usthe destination of the righteous is worth the price!
Link to other Writings of David Chadwell