“If He did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly … then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment” (2 Peter 2:5+9)
The second letter of Peter takes the story about Noah and the great flood as an example. Together with other historical examples, it shows that God discerns between “the godly” and “the unrighteous”. He knows what is in everybody’s heart and won’t be deceived by hypocrites (see Matthew 23:38).
The unrighteous won’t escape their judgment, but the godly can be reassured that the Lord will rescue them from trials. At the end of time, God will separate the evil people from the godly people. The evil people will be thrown into the place of fire, whereas the godly will be invited to spend eternity in God’s glorious presence.
So, what makes somebody into a “godly person”? Psalm 86:2 says that a godly person trusts in God and confesses that He is Lord over his life. An unrighteous person denies and rejects God. If such a person persists in his sinfulness, he will face God’s righteous judgment. But even to such people, God offers his grace: “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that He may have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:7)
Which category of people do you belong to?