“Hope For Today”

Posted: January 28, 2016 in Christian Life, Compassion, Cults, First Peter, Gospel, Salvation

“A Letter Of Hope”  1 Peter 1:1, 2

When we’re suffering and in a lot of pain, whether it be physical, emotional, or mental stress, most of us like to receive cards from those who are thinking about and praying for us. My wife has the gift of showing mercy (Romans 12:8). She likes to send out cards to people who are hurting. Perhaps this is one of the reasons she is so liked by so many people.

Experiential Knowledge. The Apostle Peter himself had suffered great emotional trauma after he denied Jesus three times (Matthew 26:75). Later he, along with the other disciples, were threatened, beaten, and imprisoned for proclaiming that Jesus was the only way to God in heaven (Acts 4:12, 17; 5:40; See John 14:6; Acts 9:16; 16:31). He knew well what it was like to suffer for Christ’s sake (See Philippians 1:29). He was in a position to speak from personal experience and encourage and comfort those who were suffering. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of all mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may also be able to comfort those who are in trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4).

Postcard? No, Peter’s first letter was a little more than a postcard but it contained valuable information that was designed to help those who had been scattered out because of persecution (Acts 8:1ff). It was the fulfillment of the commission that the Lord gave to him to strengthen his brethren after he had returned to the Lord (Luke 22:31, 32; John 20:15-19). God the Holy Spirit superintended over him as he wrote this and his second letter (2 Peter 1:21). These pilgrims of the Dispersion, to whom he wrote, needed a lot of encouragement and hope in their day. We need it today too. Biblical hope is a confident expectation based on promises from God (1 Peter 1:3, 7, 9, 13; 3:9—15; 4:13; 5:4).

Apostle. Peter identified himself as an apostle of Jesus Christ and a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ (1 Peter 1:1; 5:1). Initially he was an apostle to the nation of Israel alone (Matthew 10:2-4; See Acts 10:9-15; 11:9). He preached the “Gospel of the Kingdom” that pertained to the coming of the promised Messiah (Deuteronomy 18:15) and the establishment of His kingdom on/over the earth (Matthew 4:17; 10:7; See Isaiah 9:6, 7; Daniel 2:44, 45). Because Jesus was rejected by most of the Jewish leaders and by His own people (John 1:11), He postponed the setting up of His Kingdom until a future date (See Matthew 16:20-23; 23:37-39; Zechariah 12-14). His kingdom will be established on earth after the seven years of tribulation (Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 9:27; 1 Thessalonians 5:3). By the way, these days seem to be very near. They will come shortly after the Rapture of the true Church takes place (1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:3). Christ’s kingdom will begin with His 1,000 year reign that will then extend into eternity future (Revelation 20:1-7). He will be the “King of kings, and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16). During the Great Tribulation (the last 3 ½ years of the tribulation) the 144,000 Jews from the 12 tribes of Israel (Revelation 7:4-8) will proclaim the “Gospel of the Kingdom” to all the nations of the world (Matthew 24:14).

False Apostles. From the early days of the church there have been not only false Christs who deceived and still deceive the masses of people (Matthew 24:5) but there are false apostles and false teachers today who preach another Jesus and another gospel (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15). They “have itching ears” and will flatter and tell the people what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear from God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:13; 4:1-4; See 2 Peter 2:1ff; Jude 1). They pretend to receive new revelation (information) from God to you and it is often related to your money that they want you to give to them and their ministries. Have you ever heard about “Seed Faith”? [1]  Folks, God is not giving out any new revelation (information) today. Some of the spiritual gifts are no longer being given to Christians today (1 Corinthians 13:8-10). Do you know which ones were temporary and which ones are extant? (See “Bible Basics” on our website.) The Scriptures are complete and we have all that we need for life and godliness within the 66 Books of the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:3). Don’t listen to those who add to or subtract from the completed Scriptures (Revelation 22:18, 19). Beware of cult members who do this. Have you been misled by some of them? Are you supporting them with your money or are you encouraging them in their work (2 John 1:7-11)?

Dispersed Pilgrims. These early Jewish Christians had been thrust out from their homeland in Israel because of persecution from other Jews who rejected Jesus as the promised Messiah (1 Peter 1:2; Acts 4:3, 17, 21, 29; 5:18, 33). Even Saul, a religious Pharisee (Acts 23:6) who later became the Apostle Paul, had a part in persecuting the early Christians and the Church (Acts 7:58; 8:1ff; 1 Corinthians 15:9; Galatians 1:13). So did King Herod (Acts 12:2ff). Years later the emperors of Rome had a part in the intense persecuting the Christians (Revelation 2:10; See Fox’s Book of Martyrs). Jesus Himself, and the Apostle Paul warned Christians about persecution (John 16:2; Philippians 1:29). Have you been mistreated for being a Christian? If not, maybe you’re not living a very godly life (2 Timothy 3:12). The Apostle Paul wrote, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8;18). Jesus endured the cross and despised the shame He experienced when they hung Him naked on the cross so that we could be saved (Hebrews 12:2; See Psalm 22). The Apostle Paul told us that he endured all things for the elect’s sake so they could be saved (2 Timothy 2:10). There are people out there who will believe on Christ and be saved if we will share the unadulterated Gospel [2] with them (Acts 13:48; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).

Salvation. For a person to be saved/rescued from the lake of fire (hell), the three Persons in the Godhead needed to be involved. God the Father chose some to be the special recipients of His grace and mercy (John 6:37, 44; 15:16; Romans 9:15; Ephesians 1:4; 2:8, 9; 1 Peter 1:2; 5:13). God the Son provided salvation and eternal life by dying for our sins…and rising again bodily from the dead on the third day (John 3:16, 18, 36, 5:24; 1 Peter 1:2). God the Holy Spirit applies the benefits of Christ’s death and resurrection to all believers and sanctifies them (2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2). The Christian’s salvation comes in three phases: At the moment he believes in Christ as his personal Savior, he is saved from the penalty of sin (Romans 8:1; Ephesians 2:8). He is also being saved from the power of sin (Romans 6:14). In the future, at death or the Rapture, he will be saved from the presence of sin (Romans 8:18-23).

Appreciate. The more we learn to appreciate the salvation we have through Christ, the more we will want to serve the Lord and His people out of a heart of gratitude. Our troubles didn’t come to stay; they came to pass. They aren’t worthy to be compared with the glory to follow (Romans 8:18).  Are you willing to suffer so others can be saved (1 Timothy 2:10)? What if someone hadn’t told you about the Savior?

Application. Let’s do everything we do to glorify God by making Him known to those around us (1 Corinthians 10:31). Let’s be good witnesses to the unbelievers (Acts 1:8). Let’s comfort and edify young believers in the faith (1 Thessalonians 5:11), serve God and others with gladness (Psalm 100:2; Galatians 5:13; 6:10), and reproduce ourselves (Matthew 28:19, 20). May grace and peace be multiplied to you (1 Peter 1:2). Keep looking up! Jesus may return today (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). If you need the peace of God, know and claim God’s promises addressed to New Testament Christians (Philippians 4:6, 7).

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15). We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

[1] “Seed Faith” https://www.raptureready.com/rr-evil.html

[2]The Clear Gospel” Audio: http://www.duluthbible.org/filerequest/9415

  Read:  http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation” in 24 languages. http://www.kelseypeach.com/goodnews.htm

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