1 Peter 2:11,12 Balancing our Worlds
Intro: What would you do if you found out that the RAPTURE was going to happen – One month from today (Not saying it is)
A)What would be your Reaction? What would be your mindset / what things would become your focus
B) Would you QUIT YOUR JOB ? Would you go on a spending spree running up your credit cards –
1) Would you go on a 31/2 week vacation to somewhere you have always wanted to go ?
C) I doubt that would be the course of action of any of you here – you wouldn’t be so irresponsible / And you are smart enough to know that
1) there isn’t a vacation paradise here on this planet that even compares to what will we experience in Heaven
No I would venture to say that MOST if not all of you would take an entirely different approach
A)Most of you would get EVEN more serious about the Kingdom of God – ( like a B.Ball team steps it up in Playoffs/ 4th Q) LEAVE..on the COURT
B) Perhaps take in a couple of more studies & opportunities for Worship each week
1) I sure that you would get a more involved in Service – seeking to add some more Jewels to that heavenly Crown
C) Maybe you would head off to the Mission field to help encourage the Churches and to Win the Lost
1) No doubt we would all get much more aggressive about evangelism / sharing the Lord w/ Co- workers / Family neighbors
D) Realizing what is it going to matter if my neighbor gets offended at me for telling him about Jesus / telling him he is a sinner
1) What does it matter if I won’t be seeing him ever again –
Yes I am sure that most of us – would be looking for & seeking to create some open doors for sharing w/ everyone we came in contact w/
A)The Checker at the Grocery store the Attendant at the gas Station / the Soccer Coach / the And Just think what if they heard & Received the Lord
B) I would also guess that we probably wouldn’t be concerned about things like the latest fashions / latest movies / who is going win NBA Champs
1) Even things like Golf Tourneys / Couples retreats / trips to the river / fixing up the house – suddenly would become irrelevant
C) If we knew that the Lord was coming back in exactly one month
1) But that is the thing we don’t know when the Lord is coming back
The Challenge that we face as believers is we are to live like Jesus could come back – even TODAY –
A)But we are also to live like it might not be for another 100yrs or more
B) Some how we are supposed to find the Balance between the two
1) Not ever losing sight of His soon coming – but at the same time – not being irresponsible in our obligations & responsibilities in this Life
C) We are Living in this world, but in reality we are on a Journey heading to the Next world -
A)Peter in this 2nd Chapt. Is into word pictures
1) V.2 New Born – nursing Babies – craving the milk of the word
( Intensely desiring the scriptures )
B) V. 5 LIVING STONES – Building Blocks – made alive in Christ – being fitted together to make a Spiritual house for the Lord
C) V. 5 HOLY PREISTHOOD – called to serve the King by offering up spiritual Sacrifices
As we come to V.11 We see His 4th Word picture in this Chapt– We are Sojourners and Pilgrims in this world
A)Now in place of that word – Sojourner you can write – STRANGER
C) The idea is, that there are two great communities in the universe—that of the world, and that of heaven:
1) There is that which is governed by worldly laws and institutions, and that which is governed by the laws of heaven;
D)There is that which is associated for worldly purposes, and that which is associated for heavenly purposes; / the Christian belongs to the latter
We are Strangers by Nature - Born from above, - New Nature
A)If you have ever been to a foreign country you have experienced this
You see people who Look like you / Might Dress like You
B) But that is where the comparisons stop / they think differently / talk differently / their approach on life is different
1) Those differences are so embedded into their Culture that you could say it is part of their Nature
C)As believers we have been given a New Nature – The Nature of Christ is embedded into us by His Spirit
1) The more that we grow in the Lord – the more that we come to discover that our Mindset / approach to life is different from the World
D)Our life differs from those about us. “The world knows us not.-because it doesn’t know Him”
1) We are in it, but not of it.- We do not belong to this world at ALL !!!
A)A Pilgrim is more than a Stranger – a guy can be a stranger in a place but is desperately trying to fit in by conforming to the environment around him
B) He wants to feel liked / he wants to be accepted
C)A PILGRIM - is one who is traveling – he is just passing thru – although he might enjoy a certain place where he visits
1) He is not as concerned w/ feeling comfortable & being accepted as he is w/ Getting to His Destination
D)We are on a Journey – this life is a pilgrimage – we are on that Road that leads to Heaven
We are Pilgrims in our Pursuits –
A)Family Road – Trip one focus – lets get there – ( Grand Canyon) – Your goal isn’t to stop at every spot along the way
B) You are not interested in loading the Car up w/ Huge Souvenirs – You have a Mission - ( Grand Canyon in ____ Hrs )
1) Kids certain age – it is best to drive at night – ( Are we there yet ? Thirsty – Potty – Hold it for 1 more Hr.)
C)That is our Mindset as Christians – we are like a Marathon Runner in a race – how is that guy going to do if stopping at Shops along the way
1) Burger at MCD / Ice Cream at Cold Stone
D)The Idea is we don’t want to get Burdened down by things here
1) We are not so caught up in the Temporalism of this world that we are Pursuing all of it’s LUXURIES & comforts
E) What think – Guy Airplane Flt – First Class – Bed / Kitchen/ Stereo
C)We are people on a journey who are seeking to not have any attachments or arrangements that would impede our progress
1) nothing that would slow us down or hold us back in any way
Spurgeon : We are wayfaring men hurrying through this Vanity Fair. The men of the fair cry, “Buy! Buy!” but they have no wares that we care to purchase. We buy the truth, and they do not trade in that commodity. We have nothing to do with the business of the fair, but to get through it as quickly as ever we can.
We make the most rapid progress in our journey to our final home when we are least encumbered with the things of this world.
A)Even when we are engaging in the necessary callings of this life / dealing w/ our obligations & Responsibilities – We seek to do so Heaven in Mind
B) We want to View everything in light of Heaven
1) We want to make decisions that are going to have a bearing on our Heavenly Home
C) Every month here at the Fellowship – we Dedicate Children /mostly little ones to the Lord
1) One of the things that those parents are doing by dedicating that Child to the Lord is Declaring that they are willing to release their Child to what ever God would call him/ her too.
D) Easy to do when they are little kids – but what it gets harder when they get older & start making Decisions that affect your relationship w/ them
They decide that God is leading them to move to the Mission field – in another country – ( Far from baby – Grand Babies )
A)The Parent who doesn’t have a mind set on eternity is going to have a lot harder time accepting & supporting such a Decision
B) Than the parent who realizes that realizes that the release, the support & the prayers of their Son/ Daughter on the mission field
1) is going to turn into gold Jewels and precious stones that are worthy of eternity
C)And Because they gave their Child over to an eternal cause those Jewels may very well be the souls of those won for heaven by that Missionary effort
1) When seen in that way it makes it a little easier being separated from the ones we love so much & from grand children Etc.
D)The Mindset of the PILGRIM is such that We are more concerned w/ investing in the World to Come than in this world here
1) All of our Triumphs & all of our Tragedies seen from that perspective
( If everything here was perfect – we wouldn’t long for heaven)
So Peter gives us a picture here of Being Strangers in this world and Travelers on a Journey
A)But notice what – He says next – I beg you to abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,
B) We are not only Strangers & Travelers but we are Soldiers in a War
1) We live in a World where we are constantly being Bombarded by fleshly Lust that WAR AGAINST OUR SOUL
C)Word SOUL – is SPIRIT
Gal.5 Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
Just as JACOB & ESUA were unable to get along, so the Spirit and the flesh (the old nature) are at war with each other.
A)The Spirit and the flesh have different appetites, and this is what creates the conflict.
B) The appetite that you feed the most is going to determine which is the Stronger force in your life !!!!
C) Now note there – Paul says that we can make a choice – You can walk in the Spirit / Live in ( All the Resources of God –available by His grace)
1) LIVE IN / LED BY - EMPOWERED THRU
D) So you can walk in the Spirit or You can give into the Lust of the Flesh
1) Now Peter says a similar thing when he says to Abstain from these fleshly lust that war against the our souls CHOICE
E) Lit . to hold oneself off or to keep oneself from something
Peter encourages his 'beloved, ' to hold back, walk away from, & avoid all the things they used to partake in before they became Christians.
A)Hold yourself back from / completely avoid the fleshly lust, why? they war against your spirit
B) Listen if you give into lust – if you open the door to the evil fleshly desires to which this is speaking – it will war against your spirit
1) Like a military campaign – ground will be gained in your life
C)You don’t want those things to gain ground in your life – don’t even open the door / EXAMPLE I like Licorice – can’t eat one – two three 10
D) Diet – ( Ice Cream – I do great as long as it is not in the House )
1) Howard & TV- Not that we are more holy or something – We just can’t handle it – obsessed
How does that work? – God honors that kind of Surrender w/ Power
A)These People to whom Peter was writing had the power of the resurrected Jesus LIVING HOPE & the person of the Holy Spirit, living in them
To walk w/ Him !!!!!
Now there is a real Connection between understanding that we are pilgrims & sojourners & being Victorious in the Battle
A)See if I realize that this world is not my home – just passing thru I am not going to be interested in worthless things
B) Marathon runner – stopping to look into shops along the track –
1) 1Cor. 9 Run w/ Aim …. PURPOSE - to win & be Victorious – not merely wanting to make it into the Kingdom / But Abundantly
C)So If I realize that I am a Pilgrim / heaven is my home I am going to be more Prone to avoid those things that war against the soul
1) And I will see the responsibilities & the Obligations that I have in this life from the Eternal perspective
Why is this so important ? 2 things
A)OUR WALK - Giving into Fleshly lust – Hurts our Relationship w/ the Lord Redpath
I admit I do not always like the sovereignty of Jesus Christ. Often,, I have disputed it; but every time I have disputed it, that act of resistance has been followed by weeks and months of spiritual stagnation and failure when, although I did not lose my relationship with Him, I lost something almost as wonderful - the sense of His presence and the reality of His fellowship.
I lived for weeks and months, even sometimes for over a year in darkness, because I had again raised myself up and said “NO” at some point to the sovereignty of my Lord.
At any point in life you can resist His sovereignty, but at that moment God puts you on the shelf; you are useless to Him. Oh, you can carry on preaching sermons, teaching a Sunday school class, using the same pious language and singing the same songs, but the unction and the uplift have gone. The liberty of the Holy Ghost has gone; the reality has gone. The Lord is in your heart but you have quenched His Spirit.
B) That is the effect that giving into fleshly lust has upon our Walks –
1) Until we repent we lose the sense of His Presence & the reality of His fellowship
C) Your situation today – confess – Repent – Surrender
2nd Affects Our Witness v.12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.
A)The Christians in Peters day were under a lot of fire – GENTILES = unbelievers
1) They were spoken evil about - ( SLANDER )
B) In the beginning Christianity was closely connected with the Jews. By race Jesus was a Jew; APOSTELS / Paul was a Jew;
1) many of its early converts were Jews.
C) For THAT reason Christianity was regarded by unbelievers as merely as a sect of Judaism.
D) Now There were rumors – concerning the Jews in that day & their attitude toward other People
1) One Rumor – said that Moses taught the Jews not to show anyone the way, nor to guide the thirsty traveler to the spring, except he were a Jew.
E)Another one was that , the Jews every yr. Would kill a Greek, offer him up as a sacrifice on a fixed day in a certain forest, swore hostility to the Greeks.
F) These rumors concerning the Jews were also associated w/ the Christians because of the many Jews who converted to Christianity
Christians were ALSO slandered by being called cannibals, as they talked about eating someone's flesh and drinking his blood;
A)They were accused of immorality and incest because they partook in love feasts, and brothers and sisters exchanged a holy kiss;
B)They were faulted for no longer buying idols from the silversmiths; they were accused of being home--wreckers ( Division – Husbands & wives)
1) And they were accused of being haters of society because they would not go along with the philosophies of the day.
Now the Church today is under attack – for both good and Bad reasons
A)Good – stand for Morality – Labeled – “Right wing fundamentalist” who are against freedom – Freedom of belief / speech etc
B) The Church is Looked down upon by many for being Pro Life
1) The Baby has as many rights as the mother
C)In this Society where Relativism is so – Prevalent – the Church is Criticized for Declaring there is an Absolute Truth – THE BIBLE
But the Church today is also under attack for some negative reasons
A)DIVIDED – world sees that we are unable to disagree agreeable
B) INSINCERE : We really don’t care
Into Money – Health wealth & Prosperity teachers
D) Too many Hypocrites
How do we combat those things ?
A)The defense which Peter recommends to Christians to counter these charges is their 'good deeds.'
B) Honorable Conduct – A Life style that is lovely / attractive & Winsome
1) A manner of life that is going to win them
C)Our good words must be backed up by Good works
1) A good example is the tallest kind of preaching. - African Chief
In the summer of 1805, a number of Indian chiefs and warriors met in council at Buffalo Creek, New York to hear a presentation of the Christian message by a Mr. Cram from the Boston Missionary Society. After the sermon, a response was given by Red Jacket, one of the leading chiefs. Among other things, the chief said:
“Brother, you say that there is but one way to worship and serve the Great Spirit. If there is but one religion, why do you white people differ so much about it? Why not all agree, as you can all read the Book?
“Brother, we are told that you have been preaching to the white people in this place. These people are our neighbors. We are acquainted with them. We will wait a little while and see what effect your preaching has upon them. If we find it does them good, makes them honest and less disposed to cheat Indians, we will then consider again of what you have said.”
We are Pilgrims on a Journey – this world is not our home we are on our way to heaven
A)We want to bring as many people w/ us as we possibly can – ( Moses w/ ….. COME W/ US )
B)In order to do that affectively – there can’t be anything in our conduct that will give the unsaved ammunition to attack Christ & the gospel
1) See what you can do to bless them Bring in your neighbors trash cans –
Mow their lawn -