The Future Changes How We Live (1 Pet 1:4-5)

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The Future Changes How We Live

1 Peter 1:4-5

Have you ever FELT the power of Anticipation – Would you agree, that anticipation of future realities dramatically affect the way we LIVE TODAY?  That is exactly what Peter is saying in 1 Peter 1:3-5. Open with me if you will to 1 peter 1:3-5.

If you embrace this FUTURE REALITY; OWN that it is yours, it is going to change the way you live today. Trials that have bothered you, relationships that have been strained, thinking that’s been burdened and feelings that are fearful …will CHANGE, if you OWN God’s future REALITY for you. Peter says, God’s future realities change the way we live today.

You know PETER – a fisherman who probably followed John the Baptist until Andrew his brother introduced him to Jesus. I identify with Peter since he spoke first and thought later. He revved his mouth without his brain being in gear my kind of guy. He was a natural leader whose name was changed from Simon to Peter, meaning the ROCK, because of what God had in mind for him. Peter was the ice breaker; the spokesperson for the disciples, the very first Christian preacher, whose first SERMON resulted in the conversion of thousands. Peter was an apostle who traveled the known world, preaching the gospel and teaching the Word. And Peter was so faithful, tradition tells us he watched his wife be crucified in front of him. THEN as they were nailing him to a cross, he begged to be crucified upside down because he thought himself not worthy to be crucified the same way Jesus was. Prior to his death he wrote two letters, 1 Peter was a circular letter sent to 5 cities of Asia Minor, modern Turkey today, to a group of believers who had been sent there by Rome as a punishment, to get rid of these believers who would try to convert Roman citizens, have public gatherings and condemn Roman morality; in other words, they were CHRISTIANS! They had lost their jobs, were disdained by the Jews and rejected by the gentiles – because these believers followed a crucified and risen Messiah and they needed some HOPE today! To encourage them, Peter motivates them by describing future certainties. Peter gives them HOPE meant to affect daily behavior.    And it will CHANGE US TOO, if we EMBRACE these truths. If you want to live secure in an insecure world, you have to LIVE TODAY in the reality of what God intends to do in our future.

As Peter greets these believers in verses 1 and 2, he reminds the scattered that God planned their SALVATION.  LOOK at verse 1 and 2 God the Father determined to love His children before the foundation of the world – and WHAT would that do? The Spirit would mold us TODAY to be more like Jesus Christ. And TODAY we would move toward greater obedience to the Lord. At the OUTSET, God initiating our salvation, would bring about radical changes in how we lived today. Now as Peter describes more of God’s amazing salvation in verses 3-5, these God given future realities will make us different NOW. As aliens in a foreign hostile land, God gives us HOPE about our future that will revolutionize this coming week. As we progress through these first 12 verses, you need to know that verses 3-12 are one long complicated Greek sentence. It is very difficult to outline because it is Peter’s bleeding heart for these people who need some hope to survive. And as Peter pours out his soul, you need to notice a common theme, that is as crucial to YOU today as it was to those Peter writes. It’s a theme that most commentators miss – what is it? WAITING! The best is yet to come, there is much more ahead, this life will never be complete, you have yet to experience all the blessings – SO… you need to learn to WAIT!  Look at verse 4 to obtain an inheritance… reserved in heaven for you,5 for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 7 at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls 11 the glories to follow 12 It was revealed to them …they were not serving themselves, but you. God has blessed you, is blessing you and is going to bless you even MORE in the future; but  for now, you will have to. Remember as a kid, how good you behaved while you were waiting for Christmas morning to come and presents to open. Peter says to these chosen aliens, and to us here today, ‘CHRISTIANS CHRISTMAS’ IS COMING! Keep waiting, keep anticipating, keep remembering what is coming…So what will motive us to wait properly Peter? Verses 3-5 contain 4 participles and one concluding verb which make up the main focus of these three verses…These are the future and present salvation realities that will affect the way you live today. We looked at two last week – numbers 1 and 2 in your outline

#1 God gives you a new life today 3a

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again

Peter calls us right off to verbally brag about the Triune God, because He is our Creator and our heavenly Father, and our true Master, and the King over all; Jesus Christ. God has given us MERCY–mercy is not giving us what we do deserve. Grace is giving us what we don’t deserve. Mercy is NOT giving us what we do deserve. And we will want to bless God because He has shown us great mercy IF we understand how damnable we are, how undeserving of mercy we are, how sinful we are, how proud, independent, selfish, lustful, we really are. We really ought to be in hell FOREVER. And under the extreme weight of His many mercies, those mercies that kept God from justly punishing us for our sins. He caused us to be BORN AGAIN, to regenerate us, to awaken us from the dead and give us a brand new life. Peter wants his readers and us to be overwhelmed with thanks – even in the worst of times, because …we are the objects of God’s mercy. NO matter what you are going through, as a true Christian, when you are asked, “HOW ARE YOU DOING?” on your worst day, you can and should say, BETTER THAN I DESERVE. Brothers and sisters in Christ – think about it…Any day you are not in Hell, is a pretty good day – AMEN?

When is the last time Salvation realities just rocked your world? Where you talked about it, smiled, cried, awed, and were quiet, overjoyed, overwhelmed, thankful, juiced and most importantly… sweetened. God and Peter intend these verses to do that for you. Peter doesn’t want his people to be burdened by difficulties while living in a new region. And Peter knew their circumstances were going to get worse. So he seeks to impact them today by reminding them that God already raised them from the dead. Under the weight of His mercy, God chose to give His children NEW LIFE – eternal life, the life of Christ in you, and the Spirit of God dwelling in you.  Do you have God’s MERCY? All who live in the hope of certain blessings to come, are those who see just how undeserving they are to receive God’s mercy. Some of you don’t know that MERCY. But it’s available to you today. If you believe God crucified His Son for your sins – Jesus Christ, God in a body, took your punishment and died for YOU – He took the Hell you deserved and proved it by what Peter says next. Last week you saw

#2 God gives you a living certainty today

3b to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

What do you look forward to; what can’t you wait for?  What you anticipate in the future, alters the way you act now! Compare going to the DENTIST, with going to DISNEYLAND…When I start thinking about going to the dentist, I live in DREAD. I start brushing my teeth more and flossing twice a day – I will brush with baking soda. THEN as the day gets close, to prepare myself, I hit myself with nail filled boards….  WHY? Because most dentists are liars – they say, this won’t hurt a bit – Listen, when a dentist says, this won’t hurt a bit, BUCKEL UP FRIENDS, cause PAIN is on the way! The best dentist visit is the one where they put you to sleep but even then you wake up with a drooling face and pained mouth. Compare that to anticipating going to DISNEYLAND; Fun, rides, food, people, beautiful grounds, flowers, trees – a happy time. Dentist in the future makes you dread today. Disneyland in the future makes you happy today. Going to CLASS is DREAD, going to the BEACH is JOY. This is why students cut classes parents! Paying the BILLS is DREAD, spending your CHECK is JOY.

This why wives must shop, men! Fixing the toilet at home is DREAD; watching the game is JOY. This is why men must watch the game and not fix the toilet, ladies! Peter says in verse 3 we have a living HOPE. English hope is we WISH it would happen. BIBLICAL hope is we KNOW it will happen. We are confident these future blessings are coming to us …Christians do not live a life of WISHFUL THINKING. Our HOPE is NOT like a raffle ticket –

I hope my number is picked and I win; That’s not biblical hope. Our HOPE IS ALIVE, its LIVING. Our hope is engagement hope Our HOPE is pregnancy hope; A certain reality is COMING – Not based on a best bet, but rooted in the reality of FACT, the absolute CERTAINTY of the resurrection of Jesus FROM THE DEAD. Now, understand verse 3 We’re ALIVE from the dead because Jesus is ALIVE from the dead. Our hope is LIVING, because Jesus is LIVING.      All these present and future realities are guaranteed BY the genuine, historical fact that Jesus really did die, then 3 days later, RISE from the dead. A lot of people have died on crosses, only one rose from the dead. So our hope is alive and a living hope cannot be threatened by death, because Jesus conquered death. No matter what the scattered aliens are experiencing and no matter what you are experiencing today, your hope is ALIVE because Jesus Christ is ALIVE. Don’t give into eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die because we are living for a glorious tomorrow, better than today. When we live for future realities, we gain HOPE. When we live for ourselves today, we lose HOPE. HOW can I tell if I am living for God’s future or my today? GIVING- Look honestly at your faithful regular sacrificial giving to the Lord through the Church?  Is it an occasional extra 20 bucks, or a painful check or is it a regular faithful action of joyful sacrifice? Cause of our certain future. TRUST – Compare your trust in the Lord with everyday issues, to the amount of WORRY you express in your words and actions. Do you have a LIVING HOPE?  It gets even better, since…

#3 God gives you the SECURITY of heaven

How do we know for certain that we have a certain future! Verse 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, inheritance would be a familiar thought to any Jewish reader – in the OT, the inheritance to the Jews was always the land of Canaan, that’s the land of Israel that God had promised his people. Peter now describes inheritance for a believer, no longer in terms of a LAND promised to Israel, but an END TIME hope that God promises to all believers… called HEAVEN. It might not be all that different from the Jews inheriting the Land of Canaan, with the rest of us possibly ruling someplace on earth during the 1000 yr Kingdom as a glorified saint – I get Maui! Or in Revelation when Heaven comes down to a NEW Earth, it might be that the entire earth will be our shared inheritance. There are some hints of that in scripture. Now just HOW secure IS our inheritance?  3 things…in verse 4 which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away THREE strong FACTS

1st Your inheritance is DEATH PROOF imperishable

The same word imperishable is used to describe God twice in the New Testament. Romans 1:23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man …1 Timothy 1:17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. God is imperishable; God can never die; God can never perish.

And your inheritance is just as DEATH PROOF as God is –immortal. The root word for imperishable is destroy, kill, death – your inheritance can’t be destroyed – it can’t die, it can’t be killed. Simply stated, your inheritance is just as death proof as Jesus! He rose from the dead, He conquered death, therefore death cannot stop anything that God plans to do or plans to give. It doesn’t matter if you are a scattered alien ripped from your home, living in a hostile place, wondering how to feed your family and in danger of losing your life, YOUR FUTURE IN HEAVEN is secure, it is DEATH PROOF. Are you afraid of death? For the Christian, death is only a doorway to a FAR better life! Read Christian biographies and be encouraged with how Christians faced death in the past – Listen to these death bed sayings, the final words of famous Christians:

Jonathan Edwards – Where is Jesus, my never-failing friend?

William Carey – When I am gone, say nothing about Dr. Carey; speak about Dr. Carey’s Savior

My favorite: Adoniram Judson – “I go with the gladness of a boy bounding away from school, I feel so strong in Christ.”

John Huss as he’s being burned at the stake for his faith – “What I taught with my lips, I seal with my blood.”

There is no need to be afraid, for all that God has promised us is secure in heaven – it is death proof…Yeah but what if I blow it, what if I am a bad dude or a bad gal and Jesus returns before I can confess my sin – will I make it? There are certain people with weak theology who live like that. There is a system of theology that says you better make sure all your sins are confessed and your living right before you die, because if you’re not, you’re not gonna make it. So Peter says…

2nd Your inheritance is SIN PROOF

Look at the word UNDEFILED, it cannot be spoiled by sin. Sin cannot rob a believer of the reality of heaven because Heaven is NOT based upon your sinlessness. Heaven is not based on your good works, or your righteousness. BUT it IS based upon Christ’s righteousness therefore sin cannot steal it.  The ROOT of the word undefiled is to STAIN – to DEFILE. Your inheritance can’t be ruined, stained or defiled. That’s security. If you are God’s true child, nothing you do or don’t do is going to change the fact that you have been made white and are ready for heaven now and will be the moment you rapture or die.

Now, the New Testament would clarify, as long as you follow Christ from a willing heart that wants to obey, you can be assured you’re secure. If you stop following Christ and manifest an unwilling heart that doesn’t want to obey, you will lose that assurance. Eventually God will spank you and get you back on course, or it will become obvious in your not being spanked, you are not God’s child. BUT those who’re genuinely His, have a certain future in heaven, their inheritance is secure, because its SIN proof.

3rd Your inheritance is TIME PROOF imperishable & undefiled & will not fade away

Peter says and will not fade away reserved in heaven for you. Your inheritance has no expiration date on it. The MILK in our fridge is constantly going bad…. but God’s promise of future blessing in heaven that will not expire. The word for unfading is used only here in the New Testament but is used in Greek LIT to describe FLOWERS that WILT – they eventually die. Peter uses this word to paint a vivid picture – every living thing in this life eventually fades, wilts and dies BUT your inheritance will NOT, not heaven, nor your future with Christ…It is FOREVER – time cannot cause it to fade away…And don’t you LOVE that next phrase in verse 4…reserved in heaven for you. The word reserved is also translated in the New Testament as guarded, kept, maintained and protected. There is nothing like having something reserved for you…Going to a concert and having 8th row center reserved is sweet. No ticket master; no line waiting; no rush to find a seat; reserved. Arriving at the airport and having a driver with a sign CC Mueller.

Gathering with a group at a restaurant and having the POPE room all ready for you – not waiting … that is sweet – But nothing is sweeter than having a RESERVATION in HEAVEN. In My Father’s house [in heaven] are many dwelling places; and I HAVE ONE WITH YOUR NAME ON THE DOOR – RESERVED FOR Chris Charles Mueller. Reserved is in the PASSIVE voice; GOD reserves heaven for you. He did it and nobody can stop Him – the same word reserved is used in John 17:12 Jesus prays to the father, While I was with them, I was KEEPING them in Thy name which Thou hast given Me; and I guarded them, and not one of them perished … God personally reserves heaven for those who trust in Christ alone for the forgiveness of sin. Two CRUCIAL questions are raised by this truth, ask yourself…QUESTION ONE: Do you have a RESERVATION? Have you heard the latest statistic? Did you read about it? The current death rate of people in our region… is 100%.  A quarter of a million people die worldwide every single day. Every 3 seconds, people on this planet FACE God in eternity. Very soon, you will face God in eternity – very soon, you will die. And the vast majority will end up in the punishment of Hell forever; pagans, secular city folk, religious and Christian church attendees. The only ones who end up in heaven are THE BORN AGAIN. The front desk of the Father’s house will ask: Do you have a reservation? QUESTION TWO: Do you KNOW where you are headed? Imagine getting picked to be on the NASA team to go to Mars. The rockets left the pad, you’ve left orbit; headed to the red planet and one of your team members asks you, “so what do you know about Mars?” and you say “NOTHING.” That would be crazy and dangerous! But no more crazy and no more dangerous than any Christian who doesn’t know as much as we can from scripture about HEAVEN. Where YOU are going to be but ONLY if you LIVE for CHRIST NOW. The bible describes heaven in terms that are a lot like life here yet without sin, disease, death, sorrow or tears. The Bible paints a picture of absolute JOY, PEACE and LOVE – though it doesn’t seem possible, but every day in heaven will be better than the previous. There will be no routine, boredom or monotony. EVERYTHING that is good in this life and ANYTHING we derive great pleasure from here will be a thousand times better in heaven. All the sweetest moments of fellowship, praise, study, and joy inexpressible here is only the smell of thanksgiving dinner. But HEAVEN is when we sit down to EAT what we’ve only smelled here. Heaven will be all the best of this life with the wonders of God’s presence immersing every moment and every event. You need to READ Randy Alcorn’s book called HEAVEN or In light of Eternity and start obeying Colossians 3:1-2 tells us to do 1 If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. Don’t try to make this world your heaven – some of you are – sad this world is garbage, refuse and vomit – compared to heaven. Imagine focusing your entire life on garbage, refuse and vomit: waste – it’s SAD!

#4 God assures you with His powerful PROTECTION

4 will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Notice the word protected, it means guarded or held captive; it’s a military term describing protection from enemies, telling us God will GUARD our souls through faith. Now, this doesn’t mean if your faith is weak you’re NOT going to make it. But God extends to you assurance through your faith. As you trust Him, you will be assured and secure… And Peter says this is the Faith into salvation and the Faith as you live your salvation. Faith is dependence upon what you can’t see – depend on your salvation, lean on the fact you’ve been delivered by God every single day. Don’t panic when things go bad, when hurts occur, or in suffering even if you’ve been sent away to a foreign land by your government.

So how do I learn to depend more on God + increase assurance? How do I increase my faith? Study your bible, take an equipping class, get into a D group, serve in a ministry in order to  see the realities of Heaven, Hell, Christ and the Gospel all around you every DAY! Immerse yourself in God’s WORD – not just Sunday. Every single morning, I clean my glasses so I can see. Every time I immerse myself in the Word, it is cleaning my spiritual lens so I can see things through God’s LENS. Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. SO –  we are protected by the power of God. The Greek phrase indicates we are IMMERSED, IN the power of God – It’s as if we are living in a FORTRESS and the walls are made of pure divine power protecting us – impregnable! Do you FEEL God’s protection? – Why not?  When your kids are afraid, they want to be next to you, near you, lay down with you since it assures them they’re protected. We are assured of God’s protection when we remain near Him. If you are battling with fear continually, it is because you are not walking intimately with the Lord throughout the day. You have the power of God if you would just exercise your faith and depend upon His Word in everything – don’t trust your thinking and don’t listen to your feelings, but depend on God’s Word. But scattered chosen aliens still suffer – yes but

#5 God saves the BEST for last

The end of verse 5 for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. My daughter an amazing gift giver – lots of thought, lots of effort to get that ONE special thing – she is amazing. Me, I get it and give it, here you go, oh wait; let me tear the price tag off. No wrapping, no prep; I can’t wait to give it …so here it is. God is like both of us, amazing thought and preparation, but also, He CAN’T wait to give it to us. Here’s the MAIN verb in these 3 verses, the MAIN punch…To be revealed, uncovered, its revelation – LOOK! God has this gift, called Heaven, and HE can’t wait to give it. In John 17, did you know, Jesus prays for your death…HE PRAYS, 24 They would BE WITH ME where I am He’s praying for us to die and be with him – how about that? God can’t wait for us to be with Him face to face?  Why? Because it is soooooo good – we will behold His glory and it will blow us away. Peter says a salvation ready, not merely at your conversion in time, but full consummate, finished, complete salvation in eternity. Not merely free from the penalty of sin, and freed from the power of sin but finally REMADE, with a new perfect body and now completely freed from the presence of sin – looking forward to that? Don’t miss this, Peter says it is ready to be revealed in the last time. When is that? At your resurrection, when your salvation is complete. In other words, NOT YET, you will have to wait a little longer. It is coming, be patient…I know you are groaning, experiencing trials, some are suffering and in 1 Peter, some are dying. Revealed is passive, meaning the God who chose you, elected you, graced you when you could not save yourself, will reveal all this blessing to you. You’ve tasted it, you’ve felt it, but God says, I will unveil it ALL to you in just a little bit, in a moment…   So God leaves us with a STRONG statement; ‘TRUST ME’, be patient, wait a little longer, because THE BEST IS YET TO COME. What should we do now? 1 WAIT in faith, by WORKING for your future now. Psalm 27:14 for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, for the Lord. Isaiah 40:31 Yet those who for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. Philippians 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; You will worry less and trust more when you learn to wait for the Lord, looking forward every single day to His coming. What keeps your heart where it should be, is to focus your life on eternity. Men, your job is for the Lord, ladies your children are the Lords, your house, cars, and money is the Lords – all used for His glory.  When you use your time all for Him and busy yourself with service to Him, your WAIT will be short and full

2 WORSHIP by giving your HEART to Christ

Being a Christian is not merely doing Christian things, it is a heart that desires to please Christ 24/7. It is wanting to please Him, desiring to do great things for Him, wanting His smile more than anything, living in the reality of His soon return and walking in the reality of His constant presence.

* If you don’t know Him it’s to cry out to Him for salvation right now, holding nothing back, exchanging all that you are for all that He is

* If you do know Him, then its FULL surrender of everything; your spouse, your children, your future, your looks, your friends, your school, your work, your possessions, your free time. When He purchased you by His blood, He owns all of you not just Sunday. Does He have it – are you willing – talk to Him now!

Let His Future realities for YOU, impact your TODAY

About Chris Mueller

Chris is the teaching pastor at Faith Bible Church - Murrieta.