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A Living Hope - 1 Peter 1:3


This article is part of my "Living In An Anti-Christ Culture".  Click this link to read the whole book.  



My 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.       


1 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.


The 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.    


Those 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.    


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