RemembranceBro. David Chancellor
12/29/2002 6:00 PM
2 Peter 1:12-15
Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.
It's good sometimes to stop and remember a little bit. Peter wanted these to remember things about how they would stand before God. Sometimes we need to be stirred up. We need to be made to realize that life is a short endeavor. At 10, life seems long. For older people, life seems to go by very quickly. We don't want our lives to be allowed to slip by. If our lives would have meaning for God, we need to be stirred up about it. Peter wanted these to be stirred up, so that they would be ready for what was ahead. It's good to recall the past because it can stir us up. We don't try to live in the past, but the past can stir us to realize that God can do today what he did then. A year ago, the world realized that people would die for what they believed; that they would die for hate. Paul didn't die trying to force Nero to be a Christian. He died standing for what he believed, although it was unpopular. We need to be willing to die rather than to let go of God's word. We should have such a love for the word of God that we are inseparable from it. All God's people are one. We will all speak the same thing - the word of God. We can't speak the same thing by negotiating the word of God. Is what you are proposing in God's word? Every child of God wants to know what God intended. We know some things, but what are we doing with what we know? You can know a lot of things, but what are you doing with it? Does the word produce the life of Christ in you? Be established in the present truth. The message of Christ hasn't changed. It cries out against sin and wrong, and offers pardon and mercy. It's an everlasting gospel. There is value to recalling how Christ worked to bring us to himself. It's sad when people cool off and don't listen to the Spirit of God. The cares of life would choke out God. All of this was secondary when we found Christ. When you found Christ, your only concern was, "How can I be reconciled to God?" Our minds need to be stirred, so that Christ will be first, yet. Peter realized that he would not always be there to stir them up. We want to see people established, so that they would go on for God. Get settled what God says, and as the winds blow, stick with the word. Be so settled that nothing will move you from God. Paul wasn't moved by what he was facing. He had found Christ. This needs to be our position in regard to Christ: "None of these things shall move me." If it comes to a choice between someone or something and Christ, choose Christ. "Blessed is he that keepeth" his eyes on the Lamb. A lot of other things will try to take his place. Many are following the crowd when it comes to religion. The book of Revelation speaks of this. It also speaks of a people willing to give all for Christ. "Just fitting in" is not the message of the Bible. Seek and search until the word is clear to you. When it comes down to it, we have to go by what we've found in the Bible. What we think of each other won't matter. It does matter how we treat others and interact with others. We will be judged by how we judge others. So often mankind is judged by their own words. There must be a carefulness in dealing with our fellowman. Your own mouth says many things about where you're at and where you are going. Peter was endeavoring to have a people that would stand whether he was there or not. Keep the word of the Lord first. This is the heart's desire of each one that carries the gospel. It is that people would have a real and personal relationship with God. The only side to join is God's side. Know things are right between you and him, and that his smile rests on your soul.
I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah. Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search. Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah. And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings. Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God? Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people. Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah.
David cried to God, and God listened. If we're obedient to God, we can have confidence that God hears. Troubles will come. God never intended that man have life free from trouble. You can have riches in God that don't necessarily translate to money. God may let trouble come to stir you up. It gives you pause to stop and listen to God. Trouble comes to help you to remember what God can do. God is no respecter of persons. Some people think that God is ruled by circumstances. They feel God can't work today. God is the master of circumstances. God can work the same way if we will follow him the same way. God can speak to hearts today as he did in times past. God's hand is not shortened. He can still save. People need to face that what the devil has painted as a life of joy is a hoax. People need to be stirred. They need to remember God. His mercy isn't gone. The world isn't getting the message because so few are willing to carry it. Men would die trying to force their beliefs on others in a macho and evil way. Where's the soul that will speak up for Christ? Where are the ones that will stand and live it? The one that stands is the one that holds to Christ when others would try to take Christ away. This is the one that says, "God comes first." We don't have to be rude and obnoxious, but we have to be willing to suffer for Christ. He's worth it.
But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them that draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
"Call to remembrance the former days..." He tells them to remember the persecutions. The persecution was for saying that Jesus was the Christ, the very son of God. Mohammed and Christ aren't the same thing. Christ was the prophet. Muslims (especially in other countries such as Afghanistan) aren't friendly to Christians. The trouble arises when you say that Christ is the only way. Jesus is the Christ and if you don't know him, you won't be saved. If we reject the plan of God, there's no hope of our salvation. If the blood of Jesus hasn't washed your sins away, you'll stand condemned. You can't be a believer and not know about Jesus and who he is. HE came to take away the sin of the world. He came and offered himself as the sacrifice. He was both priest and sacrifice. He came that we might be reconciled to God. We also are kings and priests. We offer ourselves to God as a living sacrifice, not conformed to this world, but conformed to Christ. Do you have a better substance? Do you have something that means more to you than all this world? Do you have the gift of God? Are you determined to follow Christ whatever the cost may be? If you leave Christ, you've cast away your confidence. Can you say this tonight: "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name" ? Is this what you're standing on? Call to remembrance. See if you're settling for some of man's substitutes. The acceptance of men won't stand on judgment day. What are you trusting? Trust Christ. The witness of the Holy Spirit within makes the difference. God will have no pleasure in those that draw back. Stick with Christ. Commit to be a living sacrifice to God. Stay committed to Christ. He'll take you through. Great works are done when people commit to go with God no matter what the cost. If we will commit to him, we will be a light to a lost world.