What does 2 Peter 3:11 mean?In prior verses, Peter has declared that God's judgment will come in His perfect timing, with massive and catastrophic destruction. Here, Peter asks his readers to consider what that means for their lives right now. The false teachers had been saying Christ would not return, so no judgment was coming. If that is true, they suggest, why not indulge in immorality? Why resist our passionate desires? If God does not really care, then there will be no consequence for our sin.
Peter insists, though, that God's fiery judgment will arrive. The day of the Lord will happen. Everything will be destroyed. If that's true, how should we live right now? How should we live while the sky remains blue and the sun continues to shine? Who should we be today? Peter says there's only one answer and it is the opposite of the one the false teachers were offering: We ought to lead holy and godly lives.
By this, Peter means that we must be set aside—or continue to set aside, or continue working to set aside—every kind of sinful or immoral lifestyle. It's not just a question of what we do with our bodies; it's a question of who we are. It's a matter of what kind of people we should be.
As revealed in 1 Peter, Christians are "holy," meaning "set apart." We should live accordingly. We have been set apart by God for His specific purposes. That's why we must live holy lives, making different choices than the unbelievers in what we do with our bodies, our words, even our thoughts. It's not about self-improvement or religious rule-keeping. It's about living as God's people on a fallen planet with limited time before God's destruction arrives.