When a speaker says, “in conclusion,” especially if that speaker is a preacher, it usually means he’s not concluding, just continuing. Peter, however, is indeed concluding the last of his two epistles with three main ideas.
2 Peter 3:14-18
(14) Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
(15) And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
(16) As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
(17) Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own [steadfastness].
(18) But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and [Savior] Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and [forever]. Amen.
First, our motivation. The things we are looking forward to are the Lord’s return and our place in Heaven. As John says, “We shall see Him as He is” and “every man that hath this hope in him [purifies] himself even as He is pure” (1 John 3:2-3). Peter gives us the same exhortation when he says:
Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. (2 Peter 3:14)
Second, our need to endure. God’s delays always have a purpose. In the case of His return, “His longsuffering is salvation.” In other words, He delays because He wants to give everyone ample opportunity to come to Him because He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. When Noah completed the ark, God waited yet seven days before He sent the flood waters and closed the door (Genesis 7:4). Of course, our prayer is and should be for the Lord’s soon return, but that must be tempered with a strong desire to see as many come to Him as possible. If that means the Lord must tarry to get those last few into Heaven, then so be it.
Finally, our need to stay doctrinally balanced. Peter alludes to the writings of Paul and says that in them there “are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest…” (2 Peter 3:16). The refrain throughout Peter’s epistles has been each believer’s personally responsibility to remain doctrinally sound. Here, he reminds us that we are also responsible for the doctrinal stability of each other because our best defense against false teaching and doctrinal error is to continue to “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus” (2 Peter 3:18). This is something that believers must do together, not alone.
As believers, we must live with an eye toward eternity; with a resolve settled on the promise of God; and a heart for others.