Peter’s letter is really written to those who are or might be experiencing hard times. And as he is summarizing and wrapping that letter up he ends with three imperatives. As you are going through the fiery trial , do this. And each of those do this rest on a know this. Know who and what God has done and is doing for you, so that you can act in this way.
At least to me it in our current situation is was meaningful as I prepared and practiced it. It was a necessary message for me. I hope it is so to you. Blessings.
The last judgement text can give a Lutheran heartburn, primarily because it inspires the question in the title.
What this sermon does is attempt to put the last judgement within its context in Matthew. It seeks to stay within two guard rails in interpretation: being willing to say ‘I don’t know’ and letting the text tell us what it means. There are two important questions that this is applied to. 1) Who are all the nations? 2) Who are the brothers Jesus references? These two questions form two halves of an answer. They also help I think to answer that title question, or at least lessen its force. The sermon ends with three short applications for our life together.
If we are willing to narrow the scope of the what those phrases mean – which I believe is correct based on the Gospel text itself – we get both a more humble eschatology, a text that is encouragement instead of judgement, and a greater emphasis on faith and church life.