Your answer to this question says a lot about whether or not you truly believe that there is a God, that He is the Creator of all things, including you, and that a day of judgement is coming for you. It also says what you believe about heaven or hell and how God will determine who joins Him in heaven, and who spends eternity in hell.
When we have a healthy fear of the things of this world, it is because they have the ability and the authority to deprive us of our life and the lives of our loved ones, our liberty, and our possessions, although I would define liberty as including our wealth and possessions. For example, I have a healthy fear of the IRS, not because I have ever failed to pay my taxes as required, but because they have an almost unlimited ability to change my life by taking things away from me, and they have a very spotty record of being accurate in their judgments.
It is a sad statement that man has more fear of the institutions created by man, than they do of their own Creator. Some of this can be attributed to the immediacy and the visibility of the institutions created by man. We can see them, we know they exist, and the judgment date can be established as a day on the calendar. But it can also be attributed to the love that man has for sin.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
Man does not live a holy life because he does not want to believe in God. To believe in God, means that you must acknowledge His sovereign right to declare what is sin and what is not. Instead, man wants to decide for himself what is sin and what is not, so he denies the existence of God.
Man does not live a holy life because he does not want to believe that there ever will be a judgment day for that sin. If man denies the existence of God, then man can deny any type of judgment by God. Man loves sin more than he fears God.
In today’s lesson, Peter will tell believers that this is a fallacy that we should know better than to believe. As our Creator, God has the sovereign right and the ability to deprive us of our life, our liberty, and any of our possessions. While a believer knows that their eternal destination has already been decided when they made Christ their Lord and Master, they also know that a day of judgment is coming for the determination of how our actions will either be rewarded or lost. Our salvation is secure, our presence in heaven is secure, but our standing in heaven is yet to be determined.