About Jesus Steve Sweetman
- 1 Peter 1:3
- 1 Peter 1:3
This article is part of my "Living In An Anti-Christ Culture". Click this link to read the whole book.
pastor friend told me that those who are preoccupied with the next life
are too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good.
I got his point. If
you're always thinking about Heaven, you won't accomplish much on earth.
The apostle Peter might have a bit of an argument with my pastor
friend, especially when one is suffering through pain, poverty, or
persecution. Emphasizing the
reality of the Kingdom of God right now, as my pastor friend does, is
important, but when mixed with a hedonistic instant gratification
mentality, as is the temptation, becomes heretical.
Peter 1:3 says, "In His great mercy Jesus has given us new birth
into a living hope …" Picture
yourself as one of the suffering souls to whom Peter was writing.
Your neighbour has just been executed for his allegiance to the
Lord Jesus. Your son has
just returned home from prison where his fingernails were ripped out of
his finger tips, and you now suspect that you're next on their hit list.
Those of us today might wonder just where the great mercy of
Jesus is in times like these.
great mercy Peter had the audacity to write about relates to being
"born into a living hope".
In context, this hope is the surety of a resurrected life with
Jesus upon death. The words
"being born into" suggests that this hope isn't a matter of
crossing one's fingers in hopes of a better future.
Combined with the word "living", this hope of life
after death empowers and motivates those stuck in pain, poverty, and
persecution to persevere.
suffering in Peter's day were so convinced of the resurrection of their
mortal bodies that they viewed death as a doorway into a blessed
eternity. For those of us
who probably love this world more than we should, would do well to be so
convinced as we claw our way through the conflict.