A Perfect ‘Right Now’ Verse

Posted on July 8, 2020

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By David Ettinger

Hard, Fast Change
America is undergoing upheavals, and many of us are concerned. It is tough seeing the foundations upon which we were built being attacked, and there is a real sense of insecurity, of “What’s going to happen next.”

This is what happens when change comes, and comes hard and fast.

Bible-believing Christians are as equally concerned as non-believers, but I hope our concerns are muted. Whereas many of those whose hope lies solely in humanity have entered panic mode, those whose hope is in our all-powerful God should have a sense of peace.

Where unbelievers have nothing upon which to place their hopes, Christians have the security of our unchangeable, immovable, and faithful Sovereign in whom to place all our hopes, aspirations, and concerns.

No passage of Scripture expresses this confidence better than 1 Peter 1:3-7, making it the perfect passage for our pandemic-laced, street-rioting-stricken, and lunacy-inflicted culture in which we live!

Crucial Context
When reading 1 Peter it is crucial to understand what was happening in the Roman-controlled world at the time of its authorship. The madman Nero was the emperor, he was persecuting Christians, and it was horrific. Nero ordered believers to be torn apart by ravenous dogs, burnt alive as human torches, and nailed to crosses.

This, then, is the context in which Peter wrote, and it is far worse than anything Western Christians are now experiencing. In the midst of Nero’s atrocities, Peter wrote:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:3-5).

Note the assurance Peter gives believers, as if to say, Yes, our people are being hunted down and butchered, but look what God has done for us – things Nero can never take away!

To believers today, Peter could well be saying, I know your beloved country is falling apart at the seams, but your hope is not in your country or government, but in the God who has promised you glorious things.

The Promised Glory
What are these glorious promises?

The first is that we are “born again to a living hope.” The hope we have is of eternal life through the shed blood and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. That Christ resides – present tense – at “the right hand of God” (Acts 2:33) means this hope has never been rescinded. Because Jesus lives, our hope in Him lives – and will be fulfilled regardless of what happens on Earth.

The second glorious promise is all of verse 4, that we have obtained “an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.” Heaven – wondrous eternal life with the Lord Jesus – is guaranteed. In fact, God’s part of it is a done deal as our eternal paradise is already “reserved” for us. No butchering of Christians in Nero’s days or removing of Christians’ rights today can nullify this glorious promise.

The third glorious promise is that we “are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (v. 5). Since we are already spiritually saved, this promise speaks of the physical salvation awaiting us in eternity – the receiving of our eternal, perfect, and imperishable bodies (1 Corinthians 15:35-49).

Take Comfort
Such glorious promises should give rise to great comfort, as Peter tells us in verses 6-7:

In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Based on verse 6, I ask you: Are you rejoicing right now? No, it is not the times themselves which give us cause to rejoice, but the aforementioned glorious promises – the “In this” which begins the verse.

Furthermore, living in such times is far more than a test of endurance, but an opportunity to see your faith be honed and refined in the fire of affliction. Great comfort does nothing to prove and refine your faith; only calamity and personal loss can accomplish this.

A ‘Right Now’ Passage
America 2020 can’t compare to the terror and torment Christians experienced in Nero’s day, but it’s a start. Things will get worse as we draw nearer to the end of the age. Therefore, 1 Peter 1:3-7 is the perfect passage for right now.

As believers, let us become familiar with it, take it to heart, and use it to grow our faith and fortitude in God, and love for those who have not bowed the knee to the Lord Jesus that they too may share in His glorious promises!