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1 Peter 1:3-6a Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice…
Living is something that is alive, vibrant, motivating, impactful as opposed to wishful, unimpressive, ineffective, fruitless, weak, dispassionate, dead.
Imperishable not subject to decay; enduring or occurring forever.
Undefiled cannot corrupt the purity or perfection of
Not fade away means cannot lose freshness, strength, or vitality. It will not vanish or change gradually over time.
Reserved in heaven for you Your inheritance is in the arms of God and protected.
The patriarchs recorded in Hebrews 11 provide examples.
Matthew 3:1-2 "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." John’s proclamation “the kingdom of heaven is at hand” is very similar to the words of Old Testament prophets like Zephaniah – “Near is the great day of Yahweh, near and coming very quickly; listen, the day of Yahweh...” (Zephaniah 1:14) the essence of the language is people should prepare for its arrival with great urgency.
The word “repent” means change, take action, do something. The coming Kingdom should be pressing on us and influencing our thinking and behavior.
Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
Mark 1:14-15 Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel."
“At hand” should inspire thoughtfulness, like “my hope is readily accessible, nearby, I need to prepare for its arrival with the greatest urgency.” This is just like the athlete who prepares for the game or the student for the exam.
Acts 24:15-16 Paul’s response to this knowledge is: “I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men.” Any significant event takes preparation and readiness. Paul’s hope motivated him to action (Philippians 3:10-12). If the great apostle thought this way, should not we?
Some Christians believe that once you accept the Lordship of Christ, you are saved and will inherit eternal entrance into the Kingdom (once saved, always saved). They also believe that rewards will be given during the Millennial Kingdom. Others do not believe salvation is a one-time thing, rather a lifetime commitment that requires faithful endurance. Either way you believe, knowledge of the future Kingdom should influence behavior today.
1 John 3:1-3 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
2 Corinthians 7:1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Titus 2:11-13 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,
Both the parables of the talents and minas clearly indicate that Jesus expects us to use what we have been given to serve others.
Luke 12:41-44 Peter said, "Lord, are You addressing this parable to us, or to everyone else as well?"
- Implicit expectation that we understand that we are stewards
- Faithful and sensible (practically wise)
- Jesus has put us in charge of his servants and the stuff needed to help or serve others.
- Jesus is coming and will reward us according to our behavior.
1 Corinthians 3:13-15; Romans 2:6-11
A reason to focus our attention on the subject of our living hope is to wake us up so as not to be caught off guard when he returns – Mark 13:33-37; Romans 13:10-14; Ephesians 5:11-21; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11; 1 Peter 4:7-8; James 5:1-11; Revelation 3:2
THE END IS NEAR
Romans 13:11 & 12 And this do, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
1 Peter 4:7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.
1 Corinthians 7:29 But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none …
Matthew 24:42 "Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.
Mark 13:35 "Therefore, be on the alert for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, at cockcrowing, or in the morning
James 5:8 You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
1 John 2:18 Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour.