It is easy to find myself getting very frustrated about the horrible Godless society we live in. Here in our state, we even had a law passed on 12/25/15 requiring companies to allow people to use the bathroom, shower room or locker room of the gender they identify with. This is only one example of the extreme pagan world we live in, especially here in the Pacific Northwest. It’s enough to light my hair on fire… and I’m bald.
But then I read in 1 Peter 2 today, “Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” (v 11-12) Out of this I get two vital truths that can guide me in this crazy world.
Still do good
The first obvious truth is that we are to live good lives even in a bad world. After all, we are foreigners in this land, citizens in Heaven. This means that as this world become more and more pagan, it becomes easier and easier to fall to temptation. These temptations grow around us in their frequency and intensity. Yet we are to ‘abstain from sinful desires which wage war’ against us.
The good in us will cause us to stand out from the crowd. While society is going one way, we will be going the other. This will become more and more obvious as the world gets darker. But that’s the point right. If we are a bright light and the world around us is also bright, our light cannot shine. But as the world around us gets darker and darker, the brightness of our light gets brighter and brighter by contrast. Keep your light on.
Don’t be quiet
This is the less obvious truth I get from this text. To be careful, let’s examine the next sentence in the text before I dive into this truth. Verse 13 says, “ Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority:whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority.” So when I say “don’t be quiet” I AM NOT suggesting that you fight against the authority. There is such thing as civil disobedience and there may be a time for that, but that’s not what I’m talking about here.
What I’m talking about is making your conflict with the ways of the pagan world known. Part of v 12 from before says ‘though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds.’ The only way they will accuse you of doing wrong is if your objection to their ways is made known.
So what does all of this mean then?
First it means don’t be surprise by the degradation of our world. It will become more and more pagan as time goes on until the end times when Jesus returns. Read Revelation and see just how bad things get before He returns.
Second, stand your ground. Put on the armor of God and fight harder against the growing temptations of this world. The darker it gets, the brighter His light will shine to those who seek Him.
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