The Christian’s Real and Certain Hope: The New Creation

1 Peter 1:13-16, “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (14) As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, (15) but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, (16) since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.””

We are all way too attached to this earth.  Every Christian will admit it.  We know we should be keeping the eyes of our minds set upon Christ where our real life is, not on things down here.  We are to set our hope fully on the grace that is coming when Christ comes for us.  Peter goes on in verse 17 to say, “conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth.”  Our redemption at the resurrection is certain.  The Father would never have redeemed us at the cost of the precious blood of the unblemished Lamb if it were not so.

We are all working to deal with our issues in this life.  We are helping one another to understand abusers and how they have impacted our lives.  We are trying to help our children overcome these things as well.  We all want to heal and to grow in the Lord.  But….

What is our ultimate hope?  Where does our real life truly begin?  What should our thoughts and hopes be fixed upon?  Peter hints at it when he refers to our earthly lives as “the time of our stay on earth.”  Scripture even refers to our present bodies as “tents.” They are temporary and are destined to be changed into immortal buildings, the resurrection body.

Therefore, if we are going to help one another along, we must point to the finish line.  We cannot guarantee to anyone that their circumstances in this world are going to radically be changed for the better if they follow Christ.  This life is not like a Dickens novel in which, in the end, the pauper is found out to be heir of a fortune and all live happily ever after.  This life isn’t like that, but guess what we CAN promise everyone who places their faith and trust in Jesus Christ?  Ultimately, life DOES end like that:)  Because in Christ, it turns out that paupers like us, with no hope and without God in the world, have in fact become heirs.  Heirs to a fortune and a home and estate that literally, no human being could dream up if they tried.

If you would like some very, very practical help in becoming more heavenly minded, I would highly recommend Randy Alcorn’s book to you – Heaven [*affiliate link].   If you are like most Christians, you are not really that excited to get to heaven.  Why?  Because your thoughts about it are wrong.  What if what you have been calling “heaven” (a term I now try to avoid because it conveys too much of the vapory in our minds), what if this heaven turned out to be Eden restored?  A pre-fall earth and heavens brought back to its original glory?  What if Christ’s redemption is more than just forgiving our sins so we don’t have to go to hell?  What if…. what if “heaven” is a place where we will have real bodies that never hurt, real rivers, trees, animals, homes, neighbors, libraries, and more?  What if death for the Christian is just a transition into what is far more real than what we have now?  And what if I asked you again now in light of these things …. are you ready to go there?

You get the point.  If heaven to you is a place that is probably pretty nice, but no way are you ready to go there right now, then you probably have some corrections to make in your thinking.  Be done with the angel wings, clouds, and harps.  You say that’s not exciting?  Of course it isn’t.  That is not the kind of world the Lord made you for in the first place.

*Amazon Affiliate link

Christ’s Remnant – There ARE True Christians

Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” (John 1:45-47)

We deal with evil most of the time. And the victims of evil. This evil is usually hiding in churches, wearing an “unholy” disguise of holiness. Sometimes (we are tempted to say “often”) the evil is in the pulpit or holds some ruling office in the church. And the typical response of local churches to this evil is also very often evil. Alliances are formed with the abuser while victims are mistreated and rejected.

Now, for myself and I think probably for many of you, all this dealing with counterfeit Christianity can take a toll on us. It can be extremely discouraging to realize that much of what we thought all our lives was the real thing is in fact phoney. We have been fed traditions of men that we were told were God’s truth. We have looked up to people we thought were genuine Christians, only to find out later that they were hypocrites of the worst kind. We have even been rejected by entire churches and even denominations when we called out evil in disguise for what it really is.

Continue reading “Christ’s Remnant – There ARE True Christians”