In the audience of a conference that centered on eschatology, I sat intent to hear and glean all of the wisdom I could. This was amazing, enjoyable, I was content. The various speakers were running through their theological assertations concerning the timing of biblical events. I was listening carefully, fully engrossed in the topic of discussion. In an unsuspecting moment the Bible slowly drifted down from the ceiling into my lap. A voice said, “this is hastening my coming”….When I looked down at the bible now resting in my lap, it was illuminated and the book was opened and these verses were highlighted….1 Peter 1:15-16
“But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God-who chose you to be his children-is holy. For he himself has said, “You must be holy because I am holy.”
I woke up and began to talk to the Lord about this verse, I knew there was a connection between this verse and the expression “hastening my coming..” I pulled up the verses in 2 Peter 3:11-13…
“Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conduct and godliness! Looking for and hastening unto the coming of the day of God, in which the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?”
In our society we have to examine the western mindset which so often aspires to have something for nothing. It is clear that we are saved by grace through faith, lest anyone boast. (Ephesians 2:8) Yet what does it cost to follow Christ and what are we missing? The answer is holiness. We have in our western world many who profess Christianity and yet our very lives can be a contradiction. With Christ there is no black, white, gray or shades of purgatory. We must examine ourselves to see if we are true followers of Christ. Our profession of Christ is only the beginning.
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” –Philippians 2:12-13
True salvation brings about a change in the heart, a change in our lives to seek after the eternal life that God alone can give through Christ. We must turn aside from evil and seek after the Lord….We have to see things as God sees them. Many of us, are content to live lukewarm lives, only professing Christ in the company of Christians, but the true test is how we live truly live our lives outside of church, outside of Christian company. At times we give way to the temptation to want to be accepted by society and by those who do no profess Christ. Do we desire the approval of men over God?
“Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love the world, you show that you do not have the love of the Father in you.” -1 John 2:15
John was not referring to hating people or the planet, he was talking about the system of the world and what the world at large thinks is valuable. He is admonishing the people not to be a partaker of the values of the present world. We cannot be both lovers of the world and lovers of God. We have to see things that God deems sin as sin…no little sins verses big sins, but all sin is wrong in the sight of God.
It is time to drop sin in every form and fashion that it comes in and to love God with all of our hearts and to love people! How can we live holy lives? We have to stop redefining things to make them sound less sinful, we have to call things the way God does and shrink back from evil in whatever form it takes. There should be a drastic difference between a believer and non believer. There should be evidence in our lives that we are a disciple of Jesus.
“Therefore, come out from them and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit, and let us work toward complete purity because we fear God. 2 Cor. 6:17-7:1
This is a call to work towards purity and holiness, because the God who called us is holy. In a world where everything goes, the very essence of our Christian life has to be in prclaiming boldly our stand for righteousness and holiness, not allowing ourselves to be participants in things that are not right according to God, not being pacified by what the world deems acceptable. This passage in Hebrews sums it all up….
“Try to live in peace with everyone, and seek to live a clean and holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14
As I talked with the Lord regarding the dream, there was a deep cry in my spirit that the Lord wants His people to live in holiness and honor, not in compromise…Not being fearful of people, but rather living in the fear of the Lord- which leads to walking in the holiness that allows us to see the Lord for who He truly is…our righteous King and Judge, our Almighty God…Maker of everything and radical lover of our souls.
Can we in all honesty say that we are seeking to live a clean and holy life before God, regardless of the cost?
We must examine ourselves and see if we are truly living for Christ.
“Examine yourselves to see if your faith is really genuine. Test yourselves. If you cannot tell that Jesus Christ is among you, it means you have failed the test.” 2 Cor. 13:5
God gives us everything we need to live our lives for Him, and He himself is in our corner cheering us on, desiring to see us grow into the fullness of our salvation.
“And God, in His mighty power, will protect you until you receive this salvation, because you are trusting him. It will be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad!”