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It’s a pretty observable phenomenon in our culture today that short-range thinking predominates. How can I get pleasure -now? What is the shortest track to success? Instant wealth. Even social connections via social media seem aimed at getting instant or immediate responses. Texts, emails, Tweets, news, you name it. Things like waiting in line are considered almost abusive. Currently the threshold of how long someone is willing to wait for a web page to load is 2 seconds. One report I recently read said that 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if it takes any longer than 3 seconds to load.
Out of our 4 texts today Jeremiah 5:14–8:17; Psalm 122 and Luke 22:31–34 – 1 Peter 1:3–12 shows us that this tendency is nothing new. And calls us to consider again the long view. To wait for the glories of the Resurrection, of eternal satisfaction rather than immediate gratification.
More on that today on Through the Word in 2020. I’m your host, Reid Ferguson.
As Solomon once said, there is nothing new under the sun. It’s true. So it is Peter has to remind even 1st Century Christians that being born again is not the end. It is only the beginning. We are born TO – a living hope. Hope beyond this life, and stretching into the full eternity of the next. He has made us into new creatures that we might be inheritors of what He has stored up for us.
Sadly, it is easy for us to be influenced by the World’s grasping after having all we can get now – even as Christians.
The so-called Prosperity Gospel is nothing other than a baptized version of get rich schemes. And others get caught in a web of trying to bring about Heaven on earth. Trying to gain power in society, promoting some sort of Christian rule over the secular world. And this sort of thinking proliferates whenever we feel powerless or marginalized. We hate feeling helpless. And the pinch of the immediate robs us of our vision for what God has called us to place more before our eyes.
So Peter writes to a people who are both elect in Christ, and exiles on earth. He sees no contradiction in those twin realities. For we are both of those, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, as part of how we are set apart from the World by the Spirit, so as to obey Christ above all, and to know His cleansing from our sin in His blood.
So if we can’t necessarily look for power or prosperity in our present lives – what can we look forward to? To a living hope, secured by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. So that we might one day obtain an inheritance that is:
IMPERISHABLE – Can NEVER die or end. Has no temporariness to it.
Is UNDEFILED – possessed of absolutely no corruption whatever – nothing which makes it less than absolutely perfect in every way.
And is UNFADING – perennially fresh and new. Never losing its luster and shine.
And what else about this inheritance – whatever it might be? Well, it is kept in Heaven for all of us who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Hang on Believer. No matter how diminished you may be at present – this, Christ has guaranteed for you in His death and resurrection. It is waiting for you. Kept for you. Guarded for you. It is in Heaven, not here. And it will be yours in due time.
As Martin Luther wrote: Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also:
The body they may kill:
God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is for ever.
Now THAT, is worth living for!
God willing, we’ll be back tomorrow.