For a little time
1 Peter 1:6 -
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,
One of the greatest stumbling blocks for man to believe in the Bible is the factor of time. It starts with creation of the world in 7 days and in the New Testament is about the end of the world and coming of Jesus Christ.
From the time of Jesus there are scriptures stating the end is at hand and since 2000 years it is still at hand, this hand must have been very, very long!
In today's message too Peter is telling Christians who are been persecuted that this persecution is for a short time and at the coming of Jesus Christ it will all end. Yes as Peter put it all persecution will end at the coming of Jesus Christ but till date almost 2000 years the people of God are still being persecuted throughout the world.
What made Peter to write this general letter?
This letter like the other letters (Epistles) is not just historic documents but is largely valid even today for us.
One of the greatest promises of Salvation (being Saved) through Jesus Christ is the promise of eternal life. We need to understand when we compare the time period of our suffering to our eternal life then our time period of suffering is just incomparable.
Today again I would like to explain this eternal life concept for many fail to understand this.
Eternal life or life in one's self is a property which only God holds and God the Son being God also holds the property. We are promised eternal life does not mean we will be made equal to God.
We need to understand when God made man in spirit he was made to live for thousands of years and not with eternal life but since he was in the Garden of Eden and have access to the Tree of Life he could live eternally. For eating from the Tree of Life man can live eternal life. That does not mean by just eating once of its fruit and leaves man will live forever.
Firstly the Tree of Life is not like our earthly trees and does not have earthly fruit and leaves. It is symbolically described so that man can come to some pictorial understanding of it.
Adam and Eve had access to the Tree since the time they came into existence and till they sinned but yet they did not eat of it for they had no need.
One needs to eat of the Tree only when one need to extend one's life to another thousands of years, therefore having access to that Tree always is essential. It was this reason after man sinned God first removed the access of man from the Tree of Life and did not put ordinary Angels but Cherubims who are thousand times mightier than an Angel. He did not stop there but also put a flaming Sword to guard the access to the Garden of Eden. The access was blocked not only for man but also for Satan for he himself was a Cherub, else God could have just put an Angel on that job.
Jesus promised us those who believe in Him and abide by His Father's Word would enter Heaven when He comes again and we will have access to the Tree of Life to live eternally.
When we compare what is in store for us then the suffering which we bare in the Name of Jesus is just nothing. So let us not look at the persecution that we go through but let the joy of receiving what is in store for us keep us through it.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, when You made us You desired us to live eternally with You. You allowed us to fall so that by the testimony and the relationship we build with your Son would mature us to be lifted up and receive the abundance according to your riches in Heaven. Lord, what we suffer here on earth is irrelevant to what we will receive. By your Spirit we are assured our inheritance. Holy Spirit, strengthen us and let the knowledge of Truth keep us through our persecutions...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scripturesr ]
1 Peter 1:1-7
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
Genesis 2:8-9, 16-17
8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
11 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.
13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
26 "For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself,
7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's,
30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
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