COMMITTED to train men and women
to have minds for the Lord Jesus,
hearts for the truth, and
hands that are skilled to the task.

Sermons on 1 Peter

LIVING HOPE

1 Peter 1:3-21 (open your Bible and let’s read it)
You see that hope is more than mere wishful thinking. Hope is a vital necessity of life. Hope is a gift that God wants to give all of you. When your faith and hope is in God alone, dark pessimism, anxiety about the present and the future, depression and in some cases even suicidal thoughts, will evaporate.
Verse 13
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.
There is Hope, LIVING HOPE, found in Christ Jesus alone.
Verse 24-25
All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers, and the flower falls,
BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD REMAINS FOREVER.
And this word is the good news that was preached to you.

George Orwell in his novel 1984 writes:
“We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes a revolution in order to establish a dictatorship…
The object of power is power.”

In 2006 Richard Dawkins wrote the famous book “The God Delusion”. The idea behind the book is TO EXPLAIN HOW THE IDEA OF GOD IS ONE GRAND DELUSION THAT HAS INFECTED HUMANKIND, AND THE CURE IS ATHEISM.
In chapter 2 we find this opening statement:
“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction; jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully. Those of us schooled from infancy in his ways can became desensitized to their horror.” Richard Dawkins “The God Delusion”
On Page 321:
“As a scientist, I am hostile to fundamentalist religion because it actively debauches the scientific enterprise. It teaches us not to change our minds, and not to want to know exciting things that are available to be known. IT SUBVERTS SCIENCE AND SAPS THE INTELLECT.”

David Berlinski, a secular Jew who holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University had to respond to Richard Dawkins book with a book on his own titled:
“The Devil’s Delusion; Atheism and its scientific Pretensions”
“If science stands opposed to religion, it is not because of anything contained in either the premises or the conclusions of the great scientific theories. They do not mention a word about God. They do not treat of any faith beyond the one that they themselves demand. They compel no ritual beyond the usual rituals of academic life, and these involve nothing more than the worship of what is widely worshipped. Confident assertions by scientists that in the privacy of their chambers they have demonstrated that God does not exist have nothing to do with science, and even less to do with God’s existence.”
“While science has nothing of value to say on the great and aching questions of life, death, love, and meaning, what the religious traditions of mankind HAVE said forms a coherent body of thought. The yearnings of the human soul are not in vain. There is a system of belief adequate to the complexity of experience. There is recompense for suffering. A principle beyond selfishness is at work in the cosmos. All will be well. I do not know whether any of this is true. I am certain that the scientific community does not know that it is false.
Occupied by their own concerns, a great many men and women have a dull, hurt, angry sense of being oppressed by the sciences. They are frustrated by endless scientific boasting. They suspect that as an institution, the scientific community holds them in contempt. They feel no little distaste for those speaking in its name. They are right to feel this way.” David Berlinski “The Devil’s Delusion”

A great many scientists are satisfied that at last someone has said out loud what so many of them have said among themselves:
“Scientific and religious belief are in conflict. They cannot be both right. Let us get rid of the one that is wrong.”
Quote from Peter Atkins, professor of physical chemistry at Oxford University and an ardent atheist.
In the course of an essay Atkins denounces not only theology but poetry and philosophy as well. He observes favorably of himself that scientists “are at the summit of knowledge, beacons of rationality, and intellectually honest”.
It goes without saying, Atkins adds, that “there is no reason to suppose that science cannot deal with every aspect of existence.” Science is after all, the apotheosis of the intellect and the consummation of the Renaissance.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci was interviewed by Michael Caputo on June 17, 2020
“ Well, one of the problems we face in the United States is that unfortunate, there is a combination of an anti-science bias that people are, for reasons that sometimes are, you know, inconceivable and not understandable, they just don’t believe science and they don’t believe authority. So, when they see someone up in the White House, which has an air of authority to it, who’s talking about science, that there are some people who just don’t believe that. And that’s unfortunate because YOU KNOW, SCIENCE IS TRUTH. AND IF YOU GO BY THE EVIDENCE AND BY THE DATA, YOU’RE SPEAKING THE TRUTH.” Dr. Anthony Fauci

There is no LIVING HOPE in science alone. You are still not convinced:

The first premise:
If God does not exist, then everything is permitted.

The second premise:
If science is true, then God does not exist.

The conclusion:
If science is true, then everything is permitted.

In 2007, a number of scientists gathered in a conference entitled:
“BEYOND BELIEF; SCIENCE, RELIGION, REASON, AND SURVIVAL”
The physicist Steven Weinberg delivered an address. He is one of the authors of the theory of electroweak unification, for which he was awarded a Nobel Price. Needless to say, he is a person of great stature among the scientific community. Here is what he said during this address:
“Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”

GOD HAS YOUR PLAN

“Many of us choose to do nothing while waiting on God to bring about a change in our lives or get us out of difficult situations. But the only time you are to do nothing is when there is nothing to do. If there is nothing you can do, then do nothing. But if God has given you something to do where you are right now, do it with all your might. Invest in your surroundings right now.
As you become a blessing to others, you set yourself up to be blessed. As you help others locate and live out their destinies, you set yourself up to discover your own.
People often lose hope because they are concerned only about themselves. If you are messed up and all you can see is you, you are perpetuating your own decline.” Dr. Tony Evans
God clearly states: I HAVE YOUR PLAN. I MADE THE PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE. Most people read and quote Jeremiah 29:11 only. If we do so, we miss the whole point, the principle, and the blessings. When the testing comes our way, we run from it. We question God’s love for us. We blame others we think caused the testing.
We fight against everything that could in the slightest way be connected with suffering. We shrink back and withdraw from others because they do not join us in our misery. In other words, we do NOT BELIEVE THAT GOD HAS OUR PLAN.

PRIORITIES THAT GLORIFY JESUS

C.S. Lewis under the title: A GRIEF OBSERVED makes this comment after grieving the death of his wife, Joy:
“What sort of a lover am I to think so much about my affliction and so much less about hers? Even the insane call, ‘Come back,’ is all for my own sake. I never even raised the question whether such a return, if it were possible, would be good for her. I want her back as an ingredient in the restoration of my past. Could I have wished her anything worse? Having got once through death, to come back and then, at some later date, have all her dying to do over again? They call Stephen the first martyr. Hadn’t Lazarus the rawer deal?”
R.C. Sproul comments about this verse:
“I will never obey the truth of God apart from the power, grace, and assistance of the Spirit. We are living in strange times in terms of how the church functions. We have been caught up with a fierce desire to find a way to relate to a culture that has been immunized to Christianity. We try to find new methods to reach the lost. The motivation is righteous, because we should have compassion for the lost. The danger comes when we ask the lost how they want to come into the kingdom of God, how they want to worship God, and how they want to hear God’s Word, and then tailor our method to their tastes and preferences. THAT IS FATAL. Sooner or later the church must come back to confidence in God’s way of doing God’s work, because the Bible does give us A BLUEPRINT FOR EVANGELISM.
…It is accomplished by the method of proclaiming the Word of God, which, as Peter says here, changes lives and purifies souls through the power of the Holy Spirit.
…We must never negotiate those fundamental, biblical methods of worship, preaching, evangelism, and spiritual growth.”

RADICAL DISCIPLESHIP

“Christ didn’t send us into the world as vacationers on a self-guided tour of a playground but as soldiers on a tour of duty in a battlefield. We’re not called to kick back, relax, take in the scenery, and wait for our Guide to take us home. We need to arm ourselves with spiritual armor to withstand the temptations of this world.” Chuck Swindoll
C.S. Lewis in his classic: Mere Christianity writes:
“The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God. The present state of things is this. The two kinds of life are now not only different but actually opposed. The natural life in each of us is something self-centered, something that wants to be petted and admired, to take advantage of other lives, to exploit the whole universe. And especially it wants to be left to itself; to keep well away from anything better or stronger or higher than it, ANYTHING THAT MIGHT MAKE IT FEEL SMALL.
It is afraid of the light and air of the spiritual world, just as people who have been brought up to be dirty are afraid of a bath. And in a sense, it is quite right.
IT KNOWS THAT IF THE SPIRITUAL LIFE GETS HOLD OF IT, ALL ITS SELF-CENTEREDNESS AND SELF-WILL ARE GOING TO BE KILLED AND IT IS READY TO FIGHT TOOTH AND NAIL TO AVOID IT.”
Martyn Lloyd-Jones, in his excellent book ‘Joy Unspeakable” writes:
“Perhaps the greatest danger of all for Christian people is the danger of understanding the Scriptures in the light of their own experiences. We should NOT INTERPRET SCRIPTURE IN THE LIGHT OF OUR EXPERIENCES, but we should EXAMINE our experiences in the light of the teaching of the Scripture.”

EDEN WILL BE RESTORED!

Satan is walking about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
Aragorn: “Open war is upon you, whether you would risk it or not.”
Prof. Hugo De Garis (artificial brain designer):
“The prospect of building godlike creatures fills me with a sense of religious awe that goes to the very depth of my soul and motivates me powerfully to continue, despite the possible horrible negative consequences.” Prof. Hugo De Garis
Joel Garreau in his book RADICAL EVOLUTION writes:
“The ability to tinker with our genes offers the astounding promise – and peril- of immortality, which mythically has been the defining difference between gods and mortals. It also offers the possibility of an even greater variety of breeds of humans than there is of dogs.” Joel Garreau
Terry James in the book “The dawn of techno-dimensional spiritual warfare” writes:
“In recent years, astonishing technological developments have pushed the frontiers of humanity toward far-reaching morphological transformation that promises in the very near future to redefine what it means to be human. And international, intellectual, and fast-growing cultural movement known as TRANSHUMANISM intends the use of genetics, robotics, artificial intelligence, and nanotechnology (GRIN technology) as tools that will radically redesign our minds, our memories, our physiology, our offspring, and even perhaps our very soul.” Terry James

O LORD, PLEASE OPEN HIS EYES

Question of the week:
What difference does this truth make in your life, having your eyes now opened to the reality of this intense spiritual battle between God Almighty and the fallen angels, and how does this truth affect your behavior since you now know that your loyalty to God is being watched every day by both sides of the spiritual war?
Quote by Michael Heiser
“Many people think of the New Testament as a recounting of the life of Jesus and the apostles sprinkled with a collection of letters sent by Paul to churches with odd names. While we follow these men and their lives and read the correspondence, the New Testament is so much more.
The New Testament makes the rebirth of a struggle thousands of years in the making. The people of God have been isolated and under foreign rule. The divine presence of the days of Moses, David, Solomon, and the prophets is nothing but memory. When angels visit Mary and Zechariah to announce the impending births of Jesus and John, centuries of divine silence are broken. Thirty years later, JUDEA WILL EXPLODE. THE UNSEEN SPIRITUAL CONFLICT IS EVEN MORE VOLATILE.
Every chapter of the New Testament provides a glimpse into this conflict. The cosmic geography of the Old Testament is evident in the New. Where Jesus goes and what he says and does when he gets there is framed BY CONFRONTATION WITH UNSEEN POWERS. The conflict pursues him unto death – as God has planned and Jesus provoked. THE KINGDOM OF GOD ESTABLISHES A PERMANENT BEACHHEAD AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS AND THE DOOR OF THE EMPTY TOMB.
The rest of the New Testament draws heavily on Old Testament motifs. Jesus is gone but present, just as Yahweh was in heaven invisible yet on earth in human form. The seed of Abraham, scattered to the winds in exile, turn out to function like spiritual cell groups secretly planted in every nation under the dominion of the hostile gods. The kingdom spreads slowly but relentlessly, one new believer at a time. EVERY CHURCH IS A NEW POCKED OF RESISTANCE, EVERY BAPTISM ANOTHER PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE MOST HIGH, EVERY CELEBRATION OF THE LORD’S SUPPER A DENIAL OF FELLOWSHIP WITH LESSER MASTERS AND A PROCLAMATION OF THE SUCCESS OF YAHWEH’S MYSTERIOUS PLAN.
The lines are drawn. The stakes are high. The enemy desperate. The fullness of the Gentiles will come, all Israel will be saved, and the Deliverer will come from the heavenly Zion.
IT’S JUST A MATTER OF TIME. Dr. Michael Heiser