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Service Archives > 60 1 & 2 Peter - Rock Solid - 2013 > Our Bedrock Salvation

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Our Bedrock Salvation
1 Peter 1:10-12
Skip Heitzig

1 Peter 1 (NKJV™)
10 Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you,
11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.
12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven--things which angels desire to look into.

New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.

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60 1 & 2 Peter - Rock Solid - 2013

God has always planned on saving you. You were never an afterthought or a last-minute consideration. Not only have you been chosen before time began (1 Peter 1:2), but throughout the ages your salvation has been expected and planned for. The spokesmen of the Old Testament wrote about Jesus’ coming and the new covenant of grace, which you are now a part of. All this makes our salvation more secure than ever, built on the bedrock of His promises.

When Jesus asked his disciples. "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" Peter responded "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus promised Peter that upon the Rock of that confession He would build His church.

The truth of who Jesus is empowers common man to speak the message that opens the doors of heaven to sinners. Join us to learn strong principles for godly living and reach new heights in our faith as we work our way through Peter's epistles—writings which evangelize the lost and instruct the church. Pastor Skip Heitzig guides us through First and Second Peter in the series Rock Solid.

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Outline

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  1. Prophets Predicted It (vv. 10-11)

    1. They Anticipated the New Covenant

    2. They Anticipated the Suffering & Glory of Christ

  2. Preachers Proclaim It (v. 12)

    1. Inspired by the Holy Spirit

    2. Delivered to the Human Race

  3. Angels Ponder It (v. 12b)

CONNECT QUESTIONS

  1. What prophets does Peter refer to in verse 10?

  2. What exactly did they predict?

  3. These truths had now been revealed and preached to those who Peter is writing to. What characterizes the message and power of those who preach?

  4. Why do angels seek to look into these things?

  5. How does the magnitude of the message affect your way of thinking? Where are we in all of this?

  6. What did God reveal to you in this passage?

  7. Is there anything that applies directly to you or to someone you know? How can you take aim at changing a negative behavior in a biblical way?

  8. Who was this passage originally directed to?

  9. How does this passage apply to believers?

Detailed Notes

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  1. Introduction
    1. Dave Ellen saved Skip's son's life
      1. Nate fell through the ice on a frozen lake
      2. Nate didn't remember who saved his life, just that it was the scariest moment of his life, when he almost died
      3. Skip didn't know that Dave Ellen saved Nate; he just knew that it was one of the scariest moments of his life
      4. Dave filled in both Nate and Skip on the rest of the story
    2. That's what we have in the book of Peter
      1. Saving a life is wonderful
      2. Saving an eternal soul is even more wonderful
    3. Peter's audience had been suffering oppression and persecution and trials
      1. Suffering causes your eyes to look downward
      2. You are weighed down
      3. You need encouragement to look up and get your thoughts refocused in the right place
    4. The theme of the book is salvation
      1. Salvation appears 400 times in Scripture
      2. It has a broad scope of meaning; physical salvation to eternal salvation from sin
      3. "Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you" (1 Peter 1:10)
    5. God's great desire is that all men be saved (see 1 Timothy 2:3-4)
      1. When you said, "Yes" to Jesus---when God said, "Yes" to you---that's salvation
      2. Skip was saved watching Dr. Billy Graham on television
        1. God was getting a bum deal
        2. Skip was getting a killer deal
        3. We need to stop and think about what it means to be saved---what our salvation means to us
        4. You have a great insurance policy---it's so great, even the angels are checking it out
  2. Prophets predicted it
    1. Spokesmen for God, "And now, a word from our Creator"
      1. They proclaimed God's Word
      2. They predicted future events
      3. They were like archers shooting arrows of truth
    2. About 330 predictions were made about Jesus
      1. Born of a virgin (see Isaiah 7:14)
      2. Born in Bethlehem (see Micah 5:2)
      3. Born in the tribe of Judah (see Genesis 49:10)
      4. His ministry would begin in Galilee (see Isaiah 9:1)
      5. He would work miracles (see Isaiah 35:5-6)
      6. He would enter Jerusalem on a donkey (see Zechariah 9:9)
      7. He would be betrayed by a friend (see Psalm 41:9)
      8. He would be sold for thirty pieces of silver (see Zechariah 11:12)
      9. He would be wounded and bruised (see Isaiah 53:5)
      10. His hands and feet would be pierced (see Psalm 22:16)
      11. He would be crucified between two thieves (see Isaiah 53:12)
      12. His garments would be torn and those around would cast lots for them (see Psalm 22:18)
      13. His bones would not be broken (see Psalm 34:20)
      14. His side would be pierced (see Zechariah 12:10)
      15. He would be buried in a rich man's tomb (see Isaiah 53:9)
      16. He would rise from the dead (see Psalm 16:10)
      17. That's just 16 predictions
      18. Odds of one man in history fulfilling all 330 predictions (Dr. Peter Stoner explains)
        1. Visualize the state of Texas two feet deep in silver dollars
        2. Premark one and send someone in blindfolded to find it
        3. The more predictions, the higher the odds
      19. There are about twenty-five books in the world that claim to be Scripture; all but the Bible are missing predictive prophecy
    3. The prophets proclaimed it, but they often didn't understand it
      1. Isaiah asked, "How long?" (see Isaiah 6)
      2. Habakkuk asked, "How long?" (see Habakkuk 1)
      3. Daniel said, "This vision troubled me" (see Daniel 7)
      4. There were basically two things they wanted to know: who and what
      5. It's like twenty-five men trying to put together a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle without a picture
      6. Jesus said, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have written! Ought not Christ to have suffered and enter into his glory? (Luke 24:25-26)
      7. Jesus told his disciples, "Many prophets and righteous men desire to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it." (Matthew 13:17)
      8. We study the Old Testament so we can understand the New Testament
        1. Moses said, "The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst. Him you shall hear" (Deuteronomy 18:15)
        2. "But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end" (Daniel 12:4)
        3. Our salvation was never an afterthought---it was given to and through prophets, fulfilled in Christ
  3. Preachers proclaim it
    1. This is the only Scripture where prophets, preachers, and angels are talked about in the same section
    2. Who are "those who preached to you?"
      1. Primarily, the apostles
      2. Peter preached, "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12)
      3. It was preached to anyone who would listen
      4. Now, 2000 years after Peter, you are hearing what others have been faithful to proclaim
      5. Now it's your turn---you are commissioned to preach the gospel
        1. Are you preaching the gospel?
        2. Do you want to not offend someone?
        3. The power comes from the Holy Spirit
          1. The Holy Spirit animated the prophets
          2. The Holy Spirit activated the preachers
  4. Angels ponder it
    1. Angels desire to look into
      1. They want to know about salvation
      2. They want to stoop down and take a peak
        1. Angels were at the birth of Christ
        2. Angels were at the tomb of Christ
        3. Now they are interested as they look down on us
    2. Why are we such a wonder to them?
      1. Angels can't be saved
      2. Salvation is for humans
      3. God gave His best to earth's worst
      4. Perhaps they are fascinated when a drug addict becomes a preacher, or a criminal becomes a missionary, or a blasphemer becomes a born again child of God
      5. They ponder and they rejoice (see Luke 15:10)
      6. Perhaps they are curious because of what Paul wrote about humans judging the angels (see 1 Corinthians 6:3-4)
    3. You could do something today to make the angels marvel---get saved

Publications Referenced: Science Speaks by Dr. Peter Stoner

Figures Referenced: Dr. Billy Graham

Cross references: Genesis 49:10, Deuteronomy 18:15, Psalm 16:10, Psalm 22:16, Psalm 22:18, Psalm 34:20, Psalm 41:9, Isaiah 6, Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 9:1, Isaiah 35:5-6, Isaiah 53:5, Isaiah 53:9, Isaiah 53:12, Daniel 7, Daniel 12:4, Micah 5:2, Habakkuk 1, Zechariah 9:9, Zechariah 11:12, Zechariah 12:10, Matthew 13:17, Luke 15:10, Luke 24:25-27, Acts 4:12, 1 Corinthians 6:3-4, 1 Timothy 2:3-4


Topic: Salvation

Keywords: Jesus, God, salvation, preachers, prophets, angels, prophecy

Transcript

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Pastor Skip Heitzig guides us through First and Second Peter in the series Rock Solid.

First Peter, chapter 1; let's pray together. Lord, I remember that when the apostles prayed in the early church in the book of Acts, they prayed, "Lord, you are God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and everything that is in them." And I think it's important that as we pray we begin with that perspective that we are talking to the One who can do anything, who created everything. Because you and you alone understand who you have made, those you have made, the way we think, the way we act. Nothing takes you by surprise.

We're very comforted in the fact that though you are all these things that you are in love with us, you are intimate towards us. Lord, I pray that this message would serve to elevate our thinking and our focus as we live. There's so many distractions in this world, so many things that take our thoughts off of what is true and right, and onto the values of this world that can even steal our joy. So we begin, Lord, just in this simple act of worship, this act of dependence, this prayer, asking you to speak to us, in Jesus' name, amen.

I will forever be grateful to a man by the name of Dave Ellen for saving the life of my son. Many years ago when my son was just a little kid, it was in the wintertime, it had just snowed. He and a buddy went over to a golf course not far away, and they took a sled, and they went down this big hill. And the contest was to see how far they could go and who would get the farthest. Well, my son won the contest by taking it all the way down the hill and onto a lake on the golf course, frozen-over lake.

The ice broke; he was immersed in the water. If you know how hypothermia sets in, does so very quickly, and he could not get out of that lake. Dave Ellen a friend of mine was running his dog up on that hill, and saw what was happening, and came down and threw out a dog leash and pulled him out to safety, and he told my son to run home. Well, I didn't know that part of the story; I just know he was sledding and I saw him come up the drive.

Actually, I heard him come up the drive. [shivers] You would hear it outside. He was so cold, and we got him warmed up. But I didn't know the whole story; I just knew that he was playing and he fell on the ice. Well, years later we are in Israel with a team of people from the church going on a tour, and we're having lunch at a local pizza joint. And I'm there with my wife and my son, Nate, and Dave Ellen who saved him---but Nate had no recollection that was the guy. He just knew some guy saved him---and his wife Cheryl. And we're all talking, and talking about the scariest moments in our lives.

And Nate goes, "You know the scariest moment of my life is when I fell through ice on a lake on a golf course, and I thought I was going to die." And Dave Ellen who was at lunch said, "Did you ever tell your parent the rest of the story, Nate?" And he didn't even know what to say. He goes, "Remember the guy who saved you and threw that dog leash out? That was me." Nate's eyes got real big. Now, I didn't know this story. I said, "Well, tell us this whole story here. I didn't get all this when he was quite young." So, I got the full scoop.

And that's what we have here. In the book of Peter, First Peter, chapter 1, he gives them the full scoop of their salvation. Saving a life is wonderful, but saving an eternal soul is even more wonderful. And it's that salvation that's on Peter's mind as he writes the next few verses of First Peter, chapter 1. You see, his audience has been suffering oppression and persecution and trials. And if you know anything about suffering, it causes your eyes to look downward. You are weighed down. You are looking not at the hopeful horizon, but at the painful path. And you need the encouragement to look up and get your thoughts refocused into the right place. And, essentially, Peter does that in these verses.

He has a theme, a recurrent theme in this book. So far the word "salvation" appears three times. It's the focus; it's the highlight of the book so far. Look at verse 5: "Who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." Verse 9, "Receiving the end of your faith---the salvation of your souls." And now in verse 10, "Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully." Salvation---there is not a more assuring, more comforting word in all of language than the word salvation.

It appears four hundred times in Scripture---saved, saving, salvation---four hundred times. It is a broad scope of meaning. It can mean anything from being saved physically from harm's way to being saved eternally from sin and death and hell. And just as I that day in Jerusalem learned the full scoop of the story of how my son was saved, so Peter gives to them the scoop on their eternal salvation.

You'll notice in verse 10, "Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when he testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven---things which angels desire to look into."

When Paul wrote to Timothy, he said, "Timothy, God desires all men to be saved." That's God's great desire. That's God's great hope, is that people would come to salvation. But we run the risk of losing our gratitude for salvation, the simplest most basic component of the Christian life, and we run the danger of not realizing just how good we have it, just what a great deal we have been given. When you said yes to Jesus Christ, or should I say, when God said yes to you---that's salvation.

I've told you before that when I first came to Christ I was watching Dr. Billy Graham on television, and I turned it off after hearing the gospel. And I went into my room and I immediately thought, "Okay, let me get this right. You gave your Son, your best, you gave all to this world; in exchange you want me, you want me to give you my life. So, you gave Jesus; you want me to give you this broken life." And I just thought, "Excuse me, but, God, you're getting a bum deal. This is not great in terms of what you're getting out of this deal."

But then I immediately thought, "But I'm getting, like, a killer deal. And I'd be stupid to pass this up." And I think from time to time we need to stop and realize what it means to be a saved man or a saved woman, what our salvation means to us. What Peter tells them is, "Not only do you have salvation, let me tell you how great it is. Let me tell you a little bit more about what you may not be realizing."

Sort of like an insurance policy, you know, most of us have insurance policies for life or for home or for automobiles. Most of us don't read the insurance policy, I've discovered. Have you discovered that? You just know you have one. You don't read the fine print until you have to make a claim, and you want to find out if you're going to get reimbursed because you gotta dish some money out. Does what happened---is it covered in the insurance policy?

And then you find out, oh, yes, they cover everything except what you need at that point. [laughter] "Yes, we cover everything for your car, except your drivetrain that fell out on the road two miles back. We don't cover that." So Peter says, "Not only do you have a great insurance policy, this one comes from heaven. It's been going on a long time, and it's so great that even the angels are checking it out. They marvel at it. They ponder it." So that's how these verses divide up, verse 10, 11, and 12.

The prophets predicted it, preachers proclaim it, angels ponder it, and that's what we're going to unpack today as we go through it. First of all, prophets, the prophets predicted it. Verse 10, "Of this salvation the prophets have inquired." That's the Old Testament prophets, by the way. "They've inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied [or predicted] of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when he testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow."

Who were the prophets? Prophets were spokesmen. They were spokesmen for God. Look at them like field agents, field reps; they represented God by giving a message from God to a group of people. It's like they came and they said, "And now a word from our Creator," and they gave a message, something that God wanted people to hear. And their messages centered on two things: they proclaimed God's Word, and they predicted future events.

They proclaimed God's Word, they predicted future events, and all of it was anticipating salvation. Think of the prophets like archers, you know, the guys with the bows and the arrows. And the prophets shot arrows of truth up into the air, but they didn't know exactly where those arrows would land. So Isaiah shot up his arrows, and Daniel shot up a few arrows, and Zechariah, and Zephaniah. Daniel shot up some arrows.

They pulled back on the prophetic bow strings, and out launched that prophetic missile of truth high into the sky till it disappeared into the sky over the horizon. And they wondered, "Where's it going? Where is it going to land?" Did you know that about 330 predictions were made about what Jesus Christ would do, who he would be, where he would be born, what would happen to him? About 330 arrows were launched into the sky over a sixteen-hundred-year period. And all of those arrows fell on one person---Jesus Christ.

Here's just a sampling. Trust me; I wouldn't try to go through all 330. It would be a great study, but it'd take us like 330 days to do it. So, here's just a sampling of some of predictions they made: They predicted he would be born of a virgin, Isaiah 7:14; that he would be born in Bethlehem, Micah chapter 5 verse 2; that he would be born into the tribe of Judah, Genesis 49:10; that his ministry would begin in Galilee, Isaiah chapter 9 verse 1.

They predicted he would work miracles, Isaiah 35 verse 5 and 6; that he will enter Jerusalem on a donkey, Zechariah 9:9; that he would be betrayed by a friend, Psalm 41:9; that he would be sold for thirty pieces of silver, Zechariah 11:12. They predicted he would be wounded and bruised, Isaiah 53:5; that his hands and feet would be pierced, Psalm 22:16. They predicted he would be crucified between two thieves, Isaiah 53:12. They predicted that his garments would be torn and those around would cast lots for them, Psalm 22:18.

They further predicted his bones would not be broken, Psalm 34:20; that his side would be pierced, Zechariah 12:10. They predicted he would be buried in a rich man's tomb, Isaiah 53 verse 9; and then they predicted that he would rise from the dead, Psalm 16 verse 10. Now that's just sixteen predictions, sixteen arrows shot up; that's to say nothing of all the glories that would follow, the millennial glories that would follow. Isaiah the prophet, Daniel the prophet, Ezekiel---they all speak of the millennial kingdom, the reign of Christ upon the earth.

Now, let me remind you of something. The sheer odds, the sheer odds of any one person in history fulfilling 330 predictions, it's crazy. The idea that all of those prophecies, all of those arrows would fall on one person, the odds against that are astronomical. I mean, there's certain things humanly impossible to prearrange. You didn't arrange where you were going to be born, who your mother would be, what tribe you would come from or town you would be born in, etcetera.

I have a little book in my library; I pull it out from time to time, called Science Speaks by Dr. Peter Stoner. Peter Stoner was the emeritus professor at Westmont College in science and applied mathematics. And he did a book all about this: calculating the odds of one man in history fulfilling the predictions made about Christ that he indeed fulfilled.

So, for example, he says in his book: "If you were to take eight, just eight of the predictions"---I gave you sixteen---"for one man in history to fulfill eight things foretold about him before he was born, for him to actually see those things come to pass, the odds of that would be 1 in 10 to the 17th power. To visualize that," said Stoner, "You could take the state of Texas and fill it two feet deep full of silver dollars." Now if you could to that, you'd be a very rich person.

But let's just suppose you could do that. You'd fill the state of Texas two feet thick full of silver dollars, you premark one, you send a man in blindfolded---the odds of him selecting the one silver dollar you have premarked is 1 in 10 to the 17th power. And Stoner even got more elaborate, he said, "The odds of one man in history fulfilling sixteen"---we just gave you sixteen---"of the predictions made about Jesus Christ that he fulfilled would be 1 in 10 to the 45th power."

And again, whenever you have numbers, you gotta visualize it, because it's like, "Yeah, whatever, that's a number, so." So this is what it would be like: if you could get enough silver dollars to make a ball so big that from the center of that ball to the circumference edge of that ball would be thirty times the distance the earth is presently from the sun, which is 93 million miles.

So 93 million miles times 30 is the distance from the center of your silver-dollar ball to the edge. You premark a silver dollar, send somebody in that globe, the odds that he could find the silver dollar is 1 in 10 to the 45th power. Then Stoner went on to say, "What about forty-eight predictions?" And it gets so crazy that he has to use electrons, not silver dollars, because there's just no way you could do that.

Now, here's what I want you to know: there are twenty-five books in the world, thereabouts, that claim to be Scripture. All of them have one important ingredient absent from them. All of them, except for one, have something missing---prophecy, predictive prophecy. The Qur'an doesn't have it. The Upanishad of the Hindus don't have it. The writings of Confucius, they don't have it. They're absent from them. The Bible has predictive prophecy.

So, the prophets made all of these crazy predictions, they problem is they didn't understand everything they wrote. In fact, I would even say they understood very little of what they wrote. They shot the arrows out, and they were looking like, "Now, where's that going to land?" Example: in Isaiah, chapter 6, God commissions Isaiah to go proclaim to a nation the desolations that will come, and Isaiah asks a question: "How long, O Lord?"

The prophet Habakkuk says the same thing when the predictions are made about Judah and Jerusalem. "O Lord, how long?" We studied the prophet Daniel for months, Daniel didn't understand everything. Daniel 7 says, "I was grieved in my spirit within my body, because this vision troubled me," and he had to ask the angel who was standing by him what these things meant. So these prophets predicted these things, and then they looked at what was written to try to figure out what it all meant.

And there were two basic things they were trying to understand. Notice what it says, "Searching what," verse 11, "or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when he testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow." Now some translations say, "searching what person" or "what time." Basically, those were the two things they wanted to know: Who am I writing about? When will these things happen? What's the timing and the circumstances around the coming of the Messiah?

I mean, imagine Isaiah the prophet writing what he wrote. Okay, so listen to how this sounds, Isaiah 7:14, "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son." He'd go, "Uh, what does that mean, God?" I'm sure God would have to say, "Don't worry about it, you wouldn't believe it if I told you." And so it was with Jeremiah and Ezekiel and Daniel and Micah and Zechariah and the rest of them. I mean, it's like twenty-five men all trying to put together one of those 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzles.

You know, every one of them has a few of the pieces, but none of them has all the pieces, and no one has the picture on the front cover of the box. Add to that, most of these guys didn't know each other and lived hundreds of years apart. That's what being an Old Testament prophet was like. David has a few of the pieces, Moses had a few of the pieces, Isaiah had a few of the pieces, Daniel had a few of the pieces, Zechariah had a few of the pieces but no one prophet had them all. But when all of those pieces were put together, the picture on the front of the box was Jesus Christ.

And so Jesus walks from Jerusalem toward Emmaus with two of his disciples, and they're bummed out because they don't know why Jesus died on that cross. And they don't think he's alive from the dead; he happens to be right next to them. And in revealing himself to these two apostles, Jesus says these words, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have written! Ought not Christ to have suffered and enter into his glory?"

And then Luke says, "Beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in the Scripture all things concerning himself." On one occasion Jesus even said to his disciples, "Many prophets and righteous men desire to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it." Folks, that's why we study all the Bible. If you ever wonder, "Why do you study the Old Testament?" So we can understand the New Testament.

Because you got a whole bunch of predictions made in the Old Testament, you gotta know where they're going. Those arrows were shot up; where they gonna land? In the New Testament. But if you just read the New Testament, it's like you go to a field with a bunch of arrows and you ask, "Where did these things come from?" You gotta read the Old Testament; that's where they shot those things off at.

So, as one scholar put it so beautifully, "The New is in the Old contained; the Old is in the New explained." That is, the New Testament is in the Old Testament contained; the Old Testament is in the New Testament explained. You need both to see who and when those arrows were shot, and how they were fulfilled in Christ. Look at verse 12, "To them"---that is, to those prophets he's still speaking about, "it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which have now been reported to you."

At some point those prophets began to understand that what they were writing about was going to be fulfilled at a distant time far into the future. It wasn't going to happen in their time. Some things they predicted did, but much of it was going to happen beyond their time. And Peter is saying to his audience, "You're the audience. You're it. You're the recipients."

I can just cite a couple of examples: Moses in Deuteronomy 18 made one of earliest predictions of the Messiah, and he put it this way, "The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like unto me from among your brethren. Him you shall listen to." In the book of Daniel, which we studied at length, in Daniel 10:14 the angel said to Daniel, "I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come."

Daniel 12 verse 4, "But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end." I find this extremely encouraging. I find it encouraging that my salvation was never an afterthought. I was never an afterthought. It was all planned in the mind of God who gave a message sent from heaven, given to and through prophets, fulfilled in Christ, proclaimed by the apostles, and received by you and I.

Because life happens---sometimes life happens so suddenly it take us off guard. It's so surprising, what Peter is saying is, "This whole salvation enterprise was not surprising to God, it's all part of his eternal plan, and you're part of his eternal plan." You see, sometimes things happen and we think, "Man, that's so random what happened." Redemption isn't random; it's all part of God's great plan. The prophets predicted it.

Second thing I want you to note is: preachers proclaim it. Oh, by the way, a little piece of trivia: this is the only Scripture where prophets, preachers, and angels are talked about on the same section. The Bible has a lot to say about all three of them, but this is the only place where all of them are put together. The prophets predicted it, but notice, preachers proclaim it.

Verse 12, "To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you, through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven." Prophets predicted it, but they did not originate it. It came from heaven to the prophets, through the prophets, and it was picked up by preachers who preached to anyone who would listen.

Now, who does he refer to "those who preached to you." Well, primarily the apostles. In that day and age it was Peter and it was Paul and it was John and James and the rest of them going out and sharing the gospel. It was the earliest apostles who preached the gospel to people. In fact, Peter, the author of this book was the first preacher in the early church. The Day of Pentecost he showed up and preached, thousands of people got saved, came into salvation.

Sometime later Peter and John were going into the temple, there was a man who was lame from birth, he was picked up, healed. Peter preached a message and he said in that message, "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." So, what began with the prophets, and was passed on to Peter and the apostles, was preached to anybody who would listen.

Now fast-forward two thousand years to Albuquerque, New Mexico, 9:30 service, Calvary Albuquerque---here you are. The reason you are here is because of the faithfulness of those who picked up that message and preached it, and others heard it and preached it, and others heard it, and you and you and you and you and you and you and you are all commissioned to take up that banner and to preach the gospel to this generation and to the next generation.

My question to you is: Have you preached it? Have you taken this sacred trust given to prophets and apostles? Have you ever seen yourself as on a mission from God? Isn't that kind of cool? You wake up in the morning---"I'm on a mission from God." No joke, you are on a mission from God. You've received the gospel; now it's your turn to transmit the gospel.

And please don't say something like this: "Well, I would, but I don't want to offend anyone." Oh, really? What do you mean by that? "Well, it's a disturbing message. I could disturb someone and offend them." Well, I suppose you could, but if you had a neighbor's house that was on fire would you say, "I don't want to disturb them or offend them by telling them that?"

It would sound like this: "The other day my friend's house was on fire. I don't think he knew it even though he was inside it. He must have been asleep. I thought about telling my friend his house was on fire, but then I wonder what he would think. He might get embarrassed. Or what if I got all full of soot? And what would my friends who don't believe in fires think? Besides, isn't this the fireman's job?"

You don't want to offend them? How shallow would that sound on judgment day? "Yeah, Lord, I didn't share with them because I didn't want to offend them." Don't you think it's more offensive to end up in hell? So, the prophets predicted it, preachers proclaimed it, and I hope you and I are part of that preaching choir. Now, before you get all guilty, "Yeah, man, I haven't preached the gospel for a long time. I haven't shared with anybody."

Well, let me just tell you something: the onus, really, it's on you to engage, certainly, but the power doesn't come from you. It's not like you have to go through a special class and get a---all you have to do is get plugged into the right source. And I want you to notice this in verse 12. "Reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by"---what?---"the Holy Spirit sent from heaven." Do you know "the Holy Spirit is sent" is mentioned twice in three verses? The Spirit of Christ with the prophets, verse 11; and the Holy Spirit verse 12.

In other words, the Holy Spirit animated the prophets in the Old Testament; the Holy Spirit activated preachers in the New Testament. So the formula is simple: When the people of God receive the power of the Spirit of the God to preach the gospel of God, lives change. It's a winning combination; it still works today. Prophets predicted it, preachers proclaim it, finally, in verse 12, angels ponder it. Look at the last part of verse 12. "Things which angels desire to look into."

The things he's speaking about are the things of salvation. "Things angels desire to look into." The New Living Translation renders it, "It is also wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen. Okay, there's two important words that you need to be aware of what they mean at the end of verse 12. First is the word "desire." The word "desire" means to have an overpowering impulse that is not easily satisfied.

Okay, so what does that mean? It's like, "Man, I really---I really gotta do this. I really gotta have this. Really, really, really, really want this." That's the word desire. Now, the angels have that kind of a desire. For what? Look at the second word: "look," or "look into." The word means to stoop down and take a peek. They really, really, really, really, really want to stoop down and take a peek; literally "to stretch one's neck forward."

Peter is picturing as if the angels are on their tiptoes looking from the ramparts of heaven at us. They're terribly interested in salvation and how it works. That kind of makes sense, right? I mean, who was present at the birth of Jesus? Angels---they announced it. Who was there at the tomb of Jesus when he rose from the dead and told the women? A couple of angels. And now they're still interested as they look down on us.

Now, here's the question: Why? Why are we such a wonder to these creatures? Here's the simple answer: Because angels can't be saved, only humans can. Only human beings can take part in the redemption that comes through believing in Christ. Now, there are fallen angels, and there are faithful angels, there are bad angels, there are good angels, there are elect angels, but there are no saved angels. We can be saved; they cannot. Only humans can experience God's saving grace.

The angels watched as God gave his best to earth's worst, and they're fascinated by that. I think they are fascinated when a drug addict becomes a pastor. I think they're fascinated when a criminal becomes a missionary. When a blasphemer becomes a born again child of God, they ponder it, they marvel at it, and they rejoice over it. Jesus said in Luke 15, "There is rejoicing in the presence of angels over one sinner who repents."

So it seems that in the classroom of the universe God is the teacher, the angels are the students, the subject is salvation, and the illustration is the church. And the angels are looking down and going, "Man, that's interesting, it's marvelous," and they ponder it. One of the reasons I think they're so curious is a little phrase that Paul wrote in First Corinthians 6, that I think has bothered the angels ever since he wrote it.

Paul said in First Corinthians 6, "Do you not know that we will judge the angels?" If I'm on angel, I'm going, "What was that? Excuse me? They're going to judge us? These human beings who are made a little lower than the angels are going to judge us? These Christians who rarely pray, who don't witness much, who don't even know much about angels except they eat angel-food cake---they're going to judge me?" [laughter] But it is true. You're going to, with Christ, even make that final pronouncement for those angelic beings who have fallen. Wow.

You know what? You could do something today that would make the angels marvel. You could do something today that would make the angels rejoice---get saved. Every time one person is in that process of salvation, it's like all the angels they get a little bit closer to the railing going, "Look, look, look, look, look!" And then a person goes, "Jesus, come in." "Wow! It happened again! Come on, guys, let's have a party." [laughter]

You see, a person may go to a doctor and walk away a healthy sinner. You may go to a psychiatrist and walk away a well-adjusted sinner. He may go to a church and walk away a religious sinner. But only when this person comes to the cross of Jesus Christ will he walk away a forgiven sinner. And that is the message of the gospel that game from heaven announced by prophets, proclaimed by preachers for the last two thousand years, received by us, and the angels look at it and go, "Man, how cool is that?"

Father, we also take the time to pause and to marvel at your grace to us, our bedrock salvation, a part of your plan from the beginning---Jesus the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the earth. It was always your plan to save people. It was always your plan to send your Son. That's why you animated the prophets of the Old Testament to write what they wrote even though they didn't quite get it. They looked and searched to find out what it meant; now we know what it means.

We know far more than the prophets who wrote what they wrote, because all the arrows fell on our Savior Jesus Christ---figuratively by prophecy, and literally on a cross. And, Lord, I just pray for anyone who might be here this morning who has never said yes to Jesus yet, never turned to him personally. Good people, religious people, but they have never said, "Yes, I'm going to turn from my past. I'm going to turn from my sin. I'm going to turn my life over to the Savior Jesus Christ."

If you're gathered here and you're with us today, as our heads are bowed, I'd like to pray for you. If you want to give your life to Christ, and I mean really give your life to Christ, sincerely turn your life over to the Savior, and in so doing cooperate with God's plan for your life from the beginning, the message preached for the last two thousand years, and a message whose results cause even God's angels to marvel.

If you've never personally accepted Christ as your Savior, or perhaps you made some decision years ago but you're not following Jesus now, and you want to experience his peace, you want to know his forgiveness. God would love to see that happen, the angels would love to see that happen, and I join with them and say I'd love to see that happen. I'd love to pray for you. I need to know who I'm praying for. If that is your desire to give your life to Christ, I want you to raise your hand up. Just raise it up in the air so I can see it, and I'll pray for you as we close this service.

By raising your hand you're indicating, "Skip, pray for me. I'm going to give my life to Jesus. I'm going to surrender finally right now to him." Raise it up in the air. If you don't know Jesus yet, or if you need to come home to him---God bless you, ma'am; in the middle; and toward the very back; and way in the corner to my left. In the balcony, God bless you. Anybody else in the balcony? Raise that hand up. Anyone else?

Well, Father, we thank you for another time where we rejoice together in your work in the lives of men and women---that's really what it's all about. All of eternity and time and space is really all about this transaction that happened on the cross and is happening right now with those in this auditorium. If you raised your hand up, I want you to say something right where you're at.

Just say something to the Lord, and here's what you tell him: Lord, I give you my life. You say that to him in a prayer. Lord, I give you my life. I know that I'm a sinner. Please forgive me. I trust in Jesus Christ who died on a cross, he shed his blood for my sin, and he rose from the dead---I believe that. And I turn from my sin and I turn to you, Lord, as my Savior. I want to follow you as my Lord, in Jesus' name, amen.

For more resources from Calvary Albuquerque and Skip Heitzig visit calvaryabq.org.

Additional Messages in this Series

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9/1/2013
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A Pebble, a Boulder & a Solid Foundation
1 Peter 1:1
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Peter is the most famous of the apostles, even though he only wrote two short epistles in the New Testament. But of all the early followers of Christ, Peter is perhaps the most relatable to us since he demonstrates all the weaknesses and failures we see in ourselves. But Peter's personal life and his writings become a composite model of "strength through trust." Any weak, wobbly, failure-ridden person can become Rock Solid through Christ.
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9/8/2013
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The Underpinnings of a Rock-Solid Life
1 Peter 1:2
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Peter skillfully lays the foundational basis for the Christian life to his readers in a single verse. We've been picked by God, placed in His family, and promised future benefits. For anyone who has ever struggled with a weak faith, these truths can be transforming. In this introduction to Peter's letter, let's unpack the meaning of these encouraging realities.
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9/15/2013
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Stepping Stones of the New Birth
1 Peter 1:3-5
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"Born again" wasn't a term invented by the popular press or religious fundamentalists. It was something Jesus told Nicodemus must happen for anyone to enter heaven (see John 3:3). Peter certainly heard that term from Jesus and speaks of it here (as well as in 1 Peter 1:23). It's a term synonymous with being saved and having eternal life. What does this new birth provide? In a word—solidity! Coming to Christ brings hope, inheritance, and power.
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9/22/2013
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Why We Hate Trials (And Why We Love Them)
1 Peter 1:6-7
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If the trials of life could only exist by popular demand, we would have voted them away long ago. People, by and large, hate suffering of any kind. Here in the Western world, we have made it our aim to mitigate against any form of it by a multitude of distractions and experiences. There is even a theology that seeks to say God never wants us to suffer—ever. Let's look at five reasons why we hate (and love) trials, and consider how they can be used to make us better people.
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9/29/2013
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Rock Solid Relationship or Relationship on the Rocks?
1 Peter 1:8-9
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Why do we insist that having a relationship with God is not the same as being a religious person? How is a relationship with Him even possible, since He is GOD and thus is unique from all other creatures? Today, the answer to that will be made simple as we consider the simplest components of any relationship, including a relationship with God.
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10/20/2013
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How to Walk in the Dark
1 Peter 1:13-18
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Holiness is an uncomfortable subject for most believers. We have no problem assigning holiness to God as we sing, “You Are Holy, Oh Lord!” But our minds get muddled when we think of our own holiness because we don’t want to appear holier than thou. So what does it mean to be holy? And how can we live holy lives around unholy people? In short, how can we be “children of light” (Ephesians 5:8) while walking in a dark world?
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11/3/2013
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Where You Fit in God's Plan
1 Peter 1:18-21
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God's plan always involves people, and you are one of those people. God's plan includes you. Just think of it. God had you in mind when He put His plan together for the whole world. So where do you fit in that plan? When did this plan have its beginning? How much did this plan cost, and what is your part in it? Today we make that discovery by noting five vital truths:
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11/10/2013
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Rock Solid Love
1 Peter 1:22-2:3
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Peter's love for his Friend and Lord, Jesus Christ, was at one time on shaky ground when he denied that he even knew Jesus. His love would even get questioned by Christ later on (John 21:15-17). But now Peter knows that love for Christ and love for His people is all part of the same package. A relationship with God includes an affection for God's people. Four components of a rock-solid love are given by the very man who learned what true love is.
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11/17/2013
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Got Milk?
1 Peter 2:1-3
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Babies need milk to survive and to thrive. And newborn babies need and crave it a lot. So too, those who have been spiritually born-again need spiritual milk so that they can grow and be mature. As believers grow, they will begin to enjoy more solid spiritual food. But here Peter is addressing our appetites?those things we desire and crave. He gives us a three-part instruction that will curb and train our appetites in such a way that maximum growth will be achieved.
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11/24/2013
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This Old House
1 Peter 2:4-10
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God has been building His "house" since He first made the world. This is not a physical home nor a temple of worship as much as an assembly of peoples whom He has gathered to Himself. The stones He chooses are human beings in relationship to Christ, the cornerstone foundation. Let's consider God's site-plan for this construction project today.
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12/8/2013
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Maximum Impact
1 Peter 2:11-12
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How can Christ-followers make the most meaningful impact on the unbelieving world? That was in Peter's mind when he wrote this letter to scattered believers facing hostility from their neighbors. Four principles that transcend time stand out here; these will encourage us and empower us as we seek to influence our world for Christ and leave a lasting impression.
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1/12/2014
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The World's Hardest Activity
1 Peter 2:13-17
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Some people are just gifted at music or naturally talented with their hands. Others find that sports come easy, while others can perform math functions with total ease. But there is something that practically everyone finds difficult and that is submission. To abdicate our will to that of another, even for the sake of order and peace, is extremely tough. But there are higher goals and loftier purposes for believers to live submissive lives.
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1/19/2014
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Take This Job and Love It
1 Peter 2:18-21
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I want to make you a promise today: If you can learn and master the four principles in our text, your job will never be the same. The tedium, tension, and labor will give way to a higher motive that will bring authentic joy and deep satisfaction. As Peter addresses slaves in the ancient Roman world, let?s apply it to a much more modern and humane situation?your place of employment.
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1/26/2014
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You Remind Me of Someone!
1 Peter 2:21-25
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Whom do you remind people of? At work or in society at large, is it evident that you are a Christ-follower? Jesus is always our supreme example for how to live a godly life in an ungodly world. Peter told us that we should submit to government as well as to management, and now he tells us why we should—because Jesus did and He's the one we follow.
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2/2/2014
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The Irresistible Beauty of a Tender Heart
1 Peter 3:1-6
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The most attractive people in the world are those who display depth of character and pleasant personalities. Solomon insisted that “[outward] beauty is passing” (Proverbs 31:30). As Peter speaks to a common issue in the early church (Christian wives married to unbelieving husbands), he also gives us three marks of a tenderhearted woman: in her actions, attitudes, and admiration.
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2/9/2014
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The Four-Sided Fortress of a Husband's Love
1 Peter 3:7
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If life is to be rock solid, then family relationships—especially marriage—must be rock solid. No wonder Peter speaks to husbands after addressing wives. In his directive toward submission, he addresses citizens (and not government officials); he addresses servants (and not their masters). But when it comes to the home, he addresses both wives and husbands. Let's consider how a husband's love can make a woman feel firmly secure.
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2/16/2014
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How to Attract Flies
1 Peter 3:8-12
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The old saying "You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar" fits perfectly with Peter's letter. He's been telling Christians how to live in plain view of the unbelieving world. Now he goes into the church and tells us how to treat each other. It's his hope that an exhibition of real, Christian love will provide a base of satisfying fellowship for us and attract unbelievers. But how?
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2/23/2014
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When Holiness Meets Hostility
1 Peter 3:13-17
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Faith is not neutral. It’s a powerful and dynamic force that changes behavior (if it is genuine faith). Unbelief is also a powerful force, and when believers try to live out their faith in an unbelieving environment, there are some predictable and unavoidable results. Let’s consider four truths from Peter’s pen that will be helpful when God’s holy people meet up with a hostile world.
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3/2/2014
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A Reason for Every "Ouch!"
1 Peter 3:18-22
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Perhaps the most common word in our language is the tiny word, "Ouch!" Every day, it's repeatedly expressed in variant forms around the world. It's a word that conveys pain and suffering. Peter’s audience knew all about suffering, but they didn't always know how it could actually be used for anything good. Christ's own sufferings provide the best example of both the power and usefulness of suffering.
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3/9/2014
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The Invisible War
1 Peter 3:18-22
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In every war, strategy plays a role. Each side plans and makes movements in accordance to what it learns about the other side’s tactics. If information is leaked, a counteroffensive can be launched. This can be seen in the grand and most profound war of the universe: The Invisible War. In this battle, Satan and his minions wage war against God, His angels, and His people. We’ll consider it by looking again at one of the most enigmatic texts in the New Testament. Let’s unravel it.
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3/16/2014
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Should I Get Soaking Wet?
1 Peter 3:20-21
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So what's the deal with baptism? Why do Christians practice it? What does it have to do with my relationship to God? Peter raised the issue of baptism in this letter, but he tied it into what happened during the time of Noah and the great flood. What on earth could one have to do with the other? Let's unravel these verses and then relate them to our current understanding of Christian baptism. Does this really save a person?
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3/23/2014
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Just Counting Time or Making Time Count?
1 Peter 4:1-6
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There is a certain amount of time allotted to us all, and we all decide how we are going to spend it. But none of us knows exactly how much of it we have left. So a huge question for all of us is: What will you do with the time you have left? Some never face that issue honestly, thinking that they'll always have plenty of time. Today, let's consider four solid principles that will make the time you have left really count.
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5/4/2014
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Living Like There's No Tomorrow
1 Peter 4:7-11
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People have been predicting the end of the world since the beginning of the world. But Scripture declares there will be an end. For some, their world could end this week or this year when death pays them a visit. But with whatever time we have left, we should live with a sense of imminence and anticipation that God's kingdom is around the corner. What elements can make our lives stronger as we await the end of the age?
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5/11/2014
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The Dos and Don'ts of Suffering
1 Peter 4:12-19
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Pain and suffering dominate our world. To some, that poses an insurmountable roadblock to faith in a good and loving God. How can a loving God let such unlovely things happen all around the globe every day for millennia? Not only is this a deal breaker for unbelievers, but it presents a quandary for believers who want to make sense out of everything in life. The apostle Peter weighed in on these issues in a very personal way to his fellow Christians.
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5/18/2014
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Profile of a Good Shepherd
1 Peter 5:1-4
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"The church needs leaders who serve and servants who lead." So said one notable pastor. Peter doesn't address just the suffering flock of believers in this letter; he also has encouragement for the leaders of the flock—the pastors. What are the characteristics of a shepherd who serves among God's flock? What are his responsibilities, and how can a church flourish under such leadership? Here, Peter places himself and fellow shepherds under the microscope.
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5/25/2014
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The Upright Walk of a Bowed-Down Man
1 Peter 5:5-7
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One website I came across recently stated that "the more in control you are of your life, the more assured and confident you'll become." The same website warned readers to not trust others. That is, unfortunately, the by-product of our proud world. But walking among others means we sometimes need to bend low in humility for the sake of solidarity and unity. Peter's words on this are timeless.
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6/1/2014
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Lion Alert!
1 Peter 5:8-9
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Just think what would happen if a lion from our local zoo escaped and was wandering around the park, looking for a fresh kill. Can you imagine the pandemonium that would erupt if such a misfortune occurred? Imagine no more! Our Enemy is far more dangerous and formidable and is on the prowl to destroy the spiritual lives of the residents of planet Earth, especially those who belong to Christ. Let's consider the battle and the potential outcome.
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6/29/2014
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A Rock-Solid Finish
1 Peter 5:10-14
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Peter ended his letter with a few nuggets of distilled truth. In just a couple of verses, he concentrated everything he had already said. To his suffering audience, Peter offered assurance of God’s perfect plan that began when they trusted in Christ and wouldn’t end until they were firmly secure in the glories of heaven. Though pain is part of the process of perfection, the finish line is worth it!
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10/12/2014
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Building a Forever Faith
2 Peter 1:1-11
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To build a home or a commercial building requires having the right people and the right materials in place. There is a critical path for the work to follow. And there are blueprints and building codes for the builders to follow. It's the same when it comes to building a spiritual life. As Peter began his second letter, he spoke to the need of spiritual growth. To build a "forever faith," Peter shared four important principles to build successfully.
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10/19/2014
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How to Live and Die Well
2 Peter 1:12-15
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Peter lived his life knowing the brevity of it. Here, he wrote as an older man in his seventies. Realizing there was more road behind him than ahead of him, he gave a model for us. Essentially we have here an excellent example of how to live well and how to die well. Let's answer the question How can I live and die well? by considering four keys passed along by Peter himself.
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10/26/2014
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Is It True? How Can I Know?
2 Peter 1:16-21
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Truth is a slippery word. Definitions get assigned to it that are contradictory, purely individual, and without any validation. Peter wanted his readers to know things. He was giving them truth that was both personally familiar and prophetically verifiable. How can we today know that what we believe in and hope for is actually true?
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11/2/2014
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Watch Out for Fakes!
2 Peter 2:1-14
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Counterfeiting has become a multibillion-dollar industry that extends all around the world. Fake jewelry, fake purses, fake paintings, and, yes, even fake medicines are sold as if they’re the genuine articles, when they are cheap (though amazingly real-looking) imitations. It’s the same when it comes to truth. What makes a false teacher of false teaching? Peter gave three recommendations in dealing with such counterfeits.
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11/9/2014
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Caution: Ruts Ahead!
2 Peter 2:15-22
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The quality, comfort, and success of a journey depend largely on the conditions of the road, the company you keep, and the destination you’re heading for. False teachers and their devotees guarantee a perilous voyage and a bad finish! Today we are challenged to live cautiously as we make progress in our journey of faith and to watch out for ruts.
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11/16/2014
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Look, Jesus Is Coming!
2 Peter 3:1-10
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The second coming of Jesus Christ will be the greatest day in humankind’s history. The promise of His return to rule the world He created has been what believers have longed for the last 2,000 years. Jesus’ return will be the solution to every social, moral, political, and spiritual issue and problem. But what do other people (besides Christian believers) think about such a notion? And, as we wait for His return, what should we look for, and where ought we to be looking?
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11/23/2014
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Breaking Up Camp and Moving On
2 Peter 3:10-18
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We have studied both letters of Peter and have seen how anyone whose life would otherwise be weak, wobbly, and failure ridden can become Rock Solid through Christ. This is vital since life in this world is dynamic, shifting, and transitory. This world is passing; its glory is fading. Thus, anyone who places all their energy and hope in this life alone will be disappointed. Today, as we end our series, we consider where we are eventually headed and how to arrive safely.
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There are 35 additional messages in this series.