How Then Shall We Live? | Part 1
How then shall we live; these words from the late Francis Schaeffer hold particular meaning for me as we face these rapidly deteriorating circumstances—as all that we once held to be true and inviolate is being cast aside like a candy wrapper. Are you feeling it…the knot in your stomach… the anxious thoughts about the future?
You’re not alone.
I want to take a deep dive into two letters written by the apostle Peter before he was killed. Context is everything, so I begin by asking which Peter wrote this…the water walker, or the ear cutter offer? The one whose declaration about the identity of Jesus as The Messiah the Son of God rang so true…or the Peter who was rebuked by Jesus?
”Get thee behind me Satan.”
Peter swore that even though the others might abandon the Lord, he would never deny Him. The rest as they say is history. Just as Jesus predicted… three times before the cock crowed Peter denied ever knowing Him. Peter was one of three disciples who were privy to some amazing moments…
Raising Lazarus from the dead…
Jesus walking on the water…
Peter himself walked on the water.
Jesus transfigured before their eyes…Moses and Elijah were there too! Peter saw that…all of it.
After Jesus ascended into heaven (yes…Peter saw that too) now Peter had the responsibility to lead the disciples into an uncertain future. Emperors went from bad to worse. Most commentators agree that Peter wrote this first letter to the saints in what we now know as Asia Minor. While he was in Rome it became crystal clear to Peter that the horrific persecution that he was witnessing under Nero would soon find its way throughout the Roman Empire.
Nero had set fire to Rome and blamed in on the Christians thereby giving himself cover for the atrocities that would follow. He ordered that the Christians—live human beings— be impaled on pikes—their bodies covered with pitch and set afire to serve as human torches to light the Appian Way.
Peter in 65 A.D. wrote this first letter as an encyclical…designed to be circulated over a wide region. He addresses the readers as Strangers in the world…scattered (because of the previous persecution) It was not a matter of whether or not persecution would come, it was only a matter of when. He wrote to fortify the believers and to remind them of where their home really was.
How are we to function in this world? Here are a few statements from the Bible about this world
“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” John 15:19
“In this world, you WILL have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world” John 16:3
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.” I John 2:15
As we get into this important letter, I pray that you will be strengthened, and gain a sense of perspective, and a renewed hunger for God’s Word. It always was and remains the only constant. So, if you have been feeling like a stranger in this world and that you are being scattered here and there by rapidly changing edicts and mandates… know this.
Jesus Christ is the Same, Yesterday, Today and Forever Hebrews 13:8
He chose you and knew from eternity that you would find yourself living in such a time as this. He promised that He would never leave us nor forsake us. I believe it.
* http://www.kunst-fuer-alle.de/index.php?mid=77&lid=1&blink=76&stext=caesar&cmstitle=Bilder,-Kunstdrucke,-Poster:-Caesar&start=80, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6606073