“Living With The End In View”

Posted: January 7, 2017 in Christian Life, Dispensations, First Peter, Gospel, Rapture

1 Peter 4:7-9

Too many people have no hope or purpose in life. They are like “wandering generalities” rather than “meaningful specifics” as Zig Ziglar used to say. They don’t know where they came from, why they’re here on earth, and where they will go when they die. What about you? The Scriptures reveal to us our original parents (Genesis 1, 2), why things are they way there are in the world (Jeremiah 17:9; Isaiah 5:20; Romans 1:18-32; 5:12), and what the future looks like for believers and unbelievers (Revelation 21, 22).

The Big Picture. Before we consider the present and the future, we need to look back at a few major events that took place in the past. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1; John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-17). Man fell from his exalted position when Eve and Adam ate the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3). For about the next 1,600 years man lived according to his conscience and things went from bad to worse. God had do destroy all of humanity by means of a universal flood. Noah, his three sons and their wives (Genesis 6-8) were excepted. When the descendants of Noah failed to scatter out over the earth as God had commanded (Genesis 9:1; 11:9), God intervened and changed the languages of man so they couldn’t work together in the building of the tower of Babel (Genesis 11). This is when the ethnic groups came into existence and when the continental shift began to take place (Genesis 10:25). There is one race, the human race (Acts 17:26).

Days. There are some major days (periods) mentioned in the Scriptures. We are living in the “Day of Man” (1 Corinthians 4:5; John 18:12) when God allows men to do “their own thing” for the time being. The “Day of Christ” refers to the time when Jesus catches up to Himself the true believers before the seven years of the Tribulation (Philippians 1:10; John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). The “Day of the Lord” begins with the seven years of the Tribulation (Daniel 9:24; 1 Thessalonians 5:2) and which is followed by Christ’s literal 1,000 year reign over the earth (Daniel 2:44, 45). The “Day of God” deals with eternity future (2 Peter 3:12).

Dispensations. They involve the rules for living from the beginning to the end of time. They are not different ways to be saved. The “Mosaic Law” was given to the Jews after they were delivered from slavery in Egypt (Exodus 19). This period lasted for about 1,500 years. Believers today are supposed to live by “Grace Principles” (Romans 6:14, 15; Galatians 3:10; 4:21). The rules of the “Kingdom of the Heavens” will be imposed on those who enter the 1,000 year reign of Christ (Revelation 20:1-6; Matthew 5-7) when He returns at the second coming (Matthew 24:29ff; Daniel 2:44, 45; Acts 1:11; Revelation 19, 20). This is not to be confused with the “Rapture” or catching away of true believers (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

Attitudes. “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Quote from Viktor Frankl who survived the holocaust. The Christians to whom the Apostle Peter was writing were undergoing terrible persecution. To encourage them he wrote two letters. He wanted them to have an attitude of –

Watchfulness. He tried to bolster their faith by encouraging them to be serious and watchful in their prayers (1 Peter 4:7). He himself hadn’t been this way in the Garden of Gethsemane when he fell asleep as the enemies of Jesus came to take Him by force (Matthew 26:36-46). Peter’s cowardly attitude also caused him later to deny that he knew Jesus (Luke 22:34) as Jesus had predicted he would. But after Christ’s bodily resurrection he was restored by the Lord and became a mighty preacher of the Gospel concerning Christ and the way to be saved (John 21:15-17; Acts 2).

Loving Concern. This isn’t family love, brotherly love, or sensual love, but Divine love. Christ’s new commandment involves Christians’ loving other Christians as Christ loves us (John 13:34, 35). It is like God’s sacrificial love that puts the other person above our own interests (John 3:16; 1 John 3:16, 17; 4:20, 21). To have and display this kind of love, and display it for the right reasons, one needs to be a true Christian and be rightly related to the Holy Spirit so that He can produce the “Fruit of the Spirit” in our lives (Galatians 5:22, 23). We become responsible to direct it properly toward the right objects, at the right time, and for the right reasons (1 John 2:15-17)

Hospitabalenesss. During Christ’s day there weren’t many honorable hotels or inns for travelers. Believers were encouraged to house overnight traveling ministers. But they were also to watch out for false teachers who denied the true humanity and deity and the bodily return of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 John 1:7-11; 3 John 1:5-11). Consider the cult members. Question – Do you ever use your home to assist such fellow Christians or for Bible studies (1 John 3:16, 17)? You might be entertaining an angel (Hebrews 13:1; Genesis 18; Revelation 1:).

Action. If you’ve been saved by God’s grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, will you join hands and work together with us to glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31) by making Him and His plan of salvation known to others around us.

Questions. Ask yourself, Am I well pleasing to the Lord who gave Himself for me (2 Corinthians 5:9)? Am I abiding (feeling at ease) with my Savior so I can bear much fruit for His glory and the good of others (John 15:1-14)? If I knew that today was my last day on earth, what would I do differently (Proverbs 27:1)? Am I doing my work as though the Lord were my boss (Colossians 3:22-24)? Am I applying what I’m learning to my life (James 1:22)? With God’s help, what needs to change (Philippians 4:13)? Remember, delayed obedience is disobedience (James 1:22; 4:17).

Help. We’re here to assist those who want to learn more about God’s thoughts and ways (Isaiah 55:8, 9; 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.” If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you and ask you to pass it on to others. You might also like to check us our on live “Facebook.”

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

Clear Gospel – Audio: http://www.duluthbible.org/the-gospel-audiobook/

God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation – (In 24 languages) http://kelseypeach.com/goodnews.htm

God Honoring Music: www.abidingradio.org

 

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