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April 24, 2020 9:00 am
Pastor Jeannie Greer begins a new study first Peter. What separates listen the people of God for the people of the world.
Most distinctly is how they respond to disappointment. How they respond to a about 1/2 who commits himself, that is to be the one. Christians followers of Jesus are so distinctive that people start to ask questions and praying for their enemies. Where did they get that otherworldly courage pastor Jeannie Greer answers that question today on Summit life as we kick off a brand-new series called I am an alien for learning what it means to be in the world but not of the world, and pastor Jeannie starts us in the right place with today's message title. I don't belong here.
The next book of the Bible together, focus first Peter because I love the questions and the answers that Peter asked and been gifts. If you have never developed the habit of reading the Bible daily.
This would be a fantastic time start.
You just reverse Peter along with us as we go through this and you could read through several times in the next several weeks. First Peter got the Bible over the first Peter book toward the end of the New Testament of the author of first Peter is Peter and that's right.that's what we call first Peter. Peter is an apostle that everybody seems to like because there's just something about Peter that we seem to be able to identify with is that not true appeared just a normal guy. They had a big mouth. He said some stupid things is not real church either, which sometimes I think we find refreshing. The apostle Paul sometimes way up here is that Peter is almost always way down here Paul is like you, I'm a Pharisee of the Pharisees. I went to the highest school in the land that I got more credentials than you could ever dream of a happy great dream of having a peters like yeah but I know the difference in a cartographic that's got up that comes out of my profession. Paul strikes me as the kind of guy. The translated documents from ancient Syriac in his spare time for fun. Peters got a guy who probably made beer in his bathtub. That's the difference I see between those two both history Channel or SportsCenter. Peter writes this book as a normal guide to normal people and the rights of the people who are in the midst of suffering and why they're going through suffering. They don't understand what they should do about it. One of the things that I think is helpful for us to see right as we begin this is that Bible writers never really hide himself from the question of suffering is everyone so I get the impression that people thought we came up with the questions of suffering and how suffering presents challenges to the idea that there is a good guy will was it's almost like we assume that back then. Everybody thought. Of course you know all the wicked people get punished all the good people get rewarded. But now, now were aware questions like Lotta good people go unrewarded and a lot of people seem to go unpunished and their kids innocent children that supper all around the world. So how could that possibly exist and there be a good got your Peter is not only aware of that question. Even the people that he's writing to our living that question for this book, peters will talk about the fiery trials that are going through that might've been little some Roman emperors were known to dip political prisoners in the oil and impel them on poles and light them on fire from Peterson's fiery trial that might even be a metaphor, we know for a fact that this happened many Christians around Peter Stein genocide was a part of the Roman ruling system. Whole families men women and children would be slaughtered on the whim of the Roman Emperor saw the people that Peter is writing to our living.
This question of suffering and a good God again in verse one Peter says Peter apostle of Jesus Christ to those who are elect exiles of the dispersant in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia Bithynia.
I elect exiles like that's a very important thing elect means that they are the chosen people of God exiles means that they're not in their home territory.
Some translations may even say aliens. There might be for both names had been given to the Jewish people. One point the Jews were God's elect people they been chosen by him, but at one point in their history. They been driven out of Israel to live in a foreign land as exiles petered out if that name to the church.
He says you are God's chosen people living in a land under the domination of an enemy power.
So another words you don't really belong here, are citizens of another country, you are not privileged people here on the earth. Some translations say aliens. Some say strangers your plumbing to try to explain your odds. You don't fit that's because you're tuned into something entirely different. Got a whole different set of values. Imagine unlimited you watch football games we can imagine at half time you see this drum Corps come out and take the field for the halftime show. There's like five, 600 of usual biggest one you ever see all focus on that one guy in the middle that one guy or girl who is the conductor there leading and everybody is in lockstep marching to exactly the same beat but you notice one guy in the middle is got headphones on and he's listening to an usher song that's being broadcast from foxy 107 okay, he's listening to that on his imagine how hard that guys going to look now it's not really if you consider what he's listening to me looks on in the midst of everybody else because everybody else is marching to the beat of one conductor and he's listening to something entirely different. Peter says this is why you were odd because you have a whole different set of values and you're tuned in to an entirely different conductor and by the way, if you're not then that means you're probably more in rhythm with the world and you are with God is not a good point that this is not supposed to be because of personality quirks right to some of you out for that reason that's not what he's talking about you not because you created a Christian subculture would you use all the same words and because you like different kinds of music and some of the churches I grew up in that seem to be what made Christians odd is that you said this whole distinct subculture that define who you are. That's not what he's talking about what makes God's people. I is not how they dress and not special words that they use what makes them odd is how they don't listen at all the things that the world says is important and primarily that shows up to show you with the question suffering what separates listen the people of God for the people of the world. Most distinctly, you see this in verse Peter is how they respond to disappointment. How they respond to pain and how high they have hope in the midst of suffering that is to be be one area were Christians. Followers of Jesus are so distinctive peters going to explain that people just start to ask questions read verse three Blessed be he says the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to his great mercy. According to his great mercy.
Peter starts out reminding them of the mercy of God in their lives. Here's what I think that's important. We tend to approach the questions of suffering itself. You know were all real good at all the bad stuff is happening is not fair. Even the essence of religion, which people sometimes don't understand me when I say this, but the Bible against religion, the gospel is totally different than religion. The essence of religion is good and God owes me the essence of the gospel is I am evil, but God is merciful. Therefore I hope God, and that creates two entirely different outlooks on life entirely different approaches to God, so he reminds them of mercy. The gospel is mercy.
We deserve the wrath of God. The world is under a curse. All looks in God's goodness and our lives is mercy in God's mercy, he has made us to be born again to a living hope living hope living hope is what you look forward to.
On the other side of pain is what tells you that everything's going to be okay is what tells you that it's all gotta be worth it. It's what you hang onto that gives you that gives your spirit something to click to grasp. In the middle of all the pain that quest for hope. This is a universal human experience. I was listening to Tim Keller free to message recently on the subject and he referenced the work of a guy name Victor Frankel who was a Jewish Austrian psychoanalyst that was imprisoned at Auschwitz had been taken captive by the Germans in but was one of the few survivors there. Frankel noted how different people responded to suffering and the death camps. He wrote a book about it later called man's search for meaning. He said that he said it was it was to him fascinating. I do not you know I mean you not that that's a problem or but just think that he noticed about how people would respond to this.
This sense of hopelessness and pain.
He said some of the prisoners responded to their situation by becoming brittle and cool themselves after being being treated that way for so long that they biggest begin the last.
Sometimes it was a quest for power. Sometimes it was just bitterness. Other sprinkles that would just give up the wrote this in a quote he said usually this happened quite suddenly.
The symptoms of which were familiar to us experience Inmates. We all feared for this moment in our friends.
Usually it began one morning when the prisoner simply refused to get dressed, wash or go out to the parade grounds for inspection, no entreaties, no blows, no threats had any effect. They just lay there, they give it up. Nothing bothered them anymore because they no longer had hope.
Many, he said held onto the hope that they stayed alive there help their family to professional achievements or forts in the position of society just make it to Auschwitz, they would all be restored to them that was there.
Hope after liberation though. He said that many of them came back to their homes and found all those things were irretrievably gone, said that many of them, a disturbingly high percentage of them went into deep depression and even committed suicide after having survived through the concentration camps. Why because their hopes had been on the restoration of the things that they been shattered Frankel in this book says that once you truly overcame Auschwitz were those who had a fixed reference point beyond the world something they held onto that was out of the grasp of death and destruction that the Nazis could never touch and Frankel makes a statement like the concentration camp tears open a soul and exposes its depths and its foundations. That's essentially what Peter is saying here trials and pain expose where your hope it's there. Some of you that are going to trials and pain. What is happening is where you hope this being exposed for many of you. Your hope in the midst of pain is again just like Frankel said the situation improving. Do you think what you know one day when Emma get a job. One day I would have enough money one day up to get the recognition that I deserve one day I'm going to be married one day.
My body is no longer going to feel the pain of this disease and I am going to be healthy and what happens is some of you get to a place in life where it looks like there's things are no longer possible, and you begin to despair. These same cycles that Frankel talks about where you get better.
Some of you, you get better is it it it it kind of just color your entire outlook on life easy exam on this development.
Click on girls, but a peculiar file. This year you're missing a girl who gets hurt really bad by guy and her responses all men are pigs, not a few of them all.
Why, because the place were she placed her hope it's been destroyed and now it makes her better toward everything, but there there is this response, where, when, what you hope in is revealed when it shattered.
You are left with the foundations of your soul and sometimes you see that there's nothing else really hold onto you begin to despair and I mean throughout my life difficult times in my life I noticed things that I've held onto their times my life I didn't like the recognition I deserve. So you brought up as I get one that will become this minimum. I don't know how awesome I am that was the hope and what happens is you get to a place where you forget that it happened and then you just you respond with this very respond with bitterness, Peter says that you to them.
You got a living hope hope like Frankel says that is beyond something that death and disease can touch. Where does this happen through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to an inheritance that is imperishable and undefiled baby kept in heaven for you, far away from anything but death or disease could touch. There's your fixed reference point. By the way, something glorious and wonderful something beyond the scope of this world an inheritance and I hope the death, the disease can't touch something that is so glorious that it makes all the pain worth it. Peter says I see this inheritance is very important. I see this inheritance through the resurrection of Jesus.
Think for a minute about what the resurrection of Jesus member Peter the darkest day of Peter's life had been with Jesus died on the cross. Peter had left everything to follow Jesus. He left his business. He left his home and now Jesus had died. It threw him into a despair about your scholars tell us that the reason that Peter denied Christ three times in the space of an hour is because he was disappointed disappointed Jesus had not become what he thought Jesus would become ended Friday and Saturday. Peter is an utter despair.
But then Sunday morning he goes and there's an empty tomb and determine any sees Jesus face to face, and he realized that all time even when Peter thought that was the darkest time to get a magic God had a plan. And yes, Friday and Saturday were painful for him.
But there was a Sunday coming that reversed all the pain of Friday and Saturday what Peter says to them is is we all of us. All of us right now are living in a kind of Saturday that that's the idea of exiles were not living in the time Sunday yet living in the resurrection. That's it right now. One of Friday and Saturday but that time he says is brief and the joy of resurrection Sunday is coming to Peter thinking about his experience where he despaired the resurrection change anything that's what's that's what you're living in.
J.R.R. Tolkien described the resurrection is a time when every sad thing becomes untrue. Dr. Sam and the Lord of the rings, the last one is Butch where Sam said that that was J.R.R. Tolkien talking to Sam the resurrection is, is when every sad thing becomes untrue.
There is a great Sunday morning in eternity were all sad things, untrue. You are reunited with a lost child, but you never got to because they died in infancy where there is no more pain were all diseases taken away when there's no more crying and God wipes away every tear. Peter means when he says an inheritance through the resurrection delivered and Saturday but there Sunday morning, here's another thing I think Peter probably means of by the resurrection, and I bring this up with you a good bit because it's kind of deepen, but it's really important to come back to the lot rights are you ready to be logical, big boy pants on Peter Saul and the resurrection that the time that look like God was most out-of-control cross was a time after God was in control because it wasn't just that God fixed the problem of the cross right it was that the cross actually was the thing that God was using should be good to mankind. It look like I was out-of-control but that was actually God was doing his greatest work right memory all of its whiteness is what leaders do is extrapolate from that and says that was true. The cross don't you think it might be true in your life to make up those times, it looks like God might be most out-of-control that God might be doing his greatest work. Peter's like, hey, I thought that God had pulled out the promo. Jesus died on the cross with turnaround, look at it and I now realize God would never more in charge that he was across Bletchley to do much goes like this is like there's three kinds of movies you see their happy movies that have happy endings. These academies I like their sad movies that you know have really tragic endings that the critics like which I don't like because you know going all but so much more real to life. Yeah, I got a movie so that I can escape the depression of life so that I can be happy for a few minutes.
Don't make me you said there's 1/3 time and is really probably the best time and that is a movie with a happy ending that the happy ending is made up of all the tragic things that happened in the movie that somehow produces good example I that I get you if you months ago was that besides by M. Night Shyamalan Leon got word member. Besides, basically, is you got like an alien attack you get this one guy who's got all these problems in his family. He's got a brother who had a failed baseball career. His wife died in a rack. His boy has asthma. His little girls OCD and she leaves cups of water everywhere, but at the end of the movie. These are the very things that enable the alien to be killed and defeated, but never seen $1 billion but the good ending at the end was made up things that look like tragedy for a while. The best stories are those were the bad things on our part a great conclusion to be in and in that moment all the pain that we live with is swallowed up into something beautiful. What if you sold your life to the lens of the cross of the resurrection.
What if you believe what you saw and believed that there was a glorious Sunday morning coming when every sad thing would, untrue when there would be an inheritance. The death disease could never touch and use all the help even the most painful parts of your life.
God was working toward that glorious in if you Saul, that you could just grasp it and live in it for just a second. You believe that what would that give you what you say. Hope to Peter says verse six. In this and this is what in this promise, you rejoice there now for a little while, if necessary, you been grieved by various trials, the ears of the really interesting about the two birds in that sentence rejoice in grieved first. They're both very intense verbs rejoice means intense rejoicing. Peter will in just a few verses say joy that is inexpressible.
Had you ever been so overwhelmingly happy about that.
You could speak like my five-year-old when she got her American girl doll for Christmas just four minutes of silence with joy inexpressible. You can't speak he's talking about a joy does not display. I'm happy he's talking about a joy that is so intense that words can't can't flush it out, grieved, grieved, is the Greek word Lou Pao, which means an intense grievance. The same word was used of Jesus when he says he was sorrowful at the doubt when he was on his way to the cross agree that crushed him right sets you notice the boat intense verbs.
Second, they're both present tense verbs, both present tense verbs you put together.
Here's what you get walking less and walking with Jesus is often simultaneously great joy deeply walking with Jesus is often simultaneously great joy in the pain. So if you don't think that's possible. Some of you can't have joy in the midst of bad circumstances because your joy is in certain circumstances, you enjoy what you have is happiness. Happiness is where the world won't work for happiness comes from is what when what you want to happen happens when what you want to happen happens in your happy minutes.
Write your happen then the immensity of UBC like that visitors enjoy happiness. Happiness is when the happenings of your life where they should be joyous, something different altogether. Then Lisa's got a joy so you can have joy in the midst of painful circumstances because your joy is certain set of circumstances that others of you did other Christians is one my pet peeves, numb yourself to reality that there is pain and you kind of put this positive spin on its you know where were you this is everything you walk out the surreal look on your face all chipper you know God is good all the time you let go and let God. Don't worry, God put a rainbow on a dark cloud. There's a silver lining. When Jesus went to the cross, Jesus is not like, well, praise Lord was overwhelmed with sorrow wet cried out to God, Christians, part C can only go so deep because their ultimate hope is in God who brings back light from the dead you searching kind of joy. Thankfully, ultimate joy comes from a guy who brings light from the dead, a challenging start to our new series called I am an alien from Senate life with Katie Greer to hear more from Pastor JD online JD Greer.com will be able to browse through our archive of previous messages or visit Pastor JD's black. These free resources are made possible by generous listeners like you to donate to support Senate life so we can keep expanding to reach more people with the life-changing power of the gospel. When you join us in that mission today. Thanks by sending you a copy of a brand-new resource from Pastor Jamie 10 day devotional based on the series.
We wrapped up yesterday assured reflecting on your security and can't.
It's a great tool to help you walk through 10 topics about the insurance salvation perfect this year the friend or loved one as well. It's a resource you can return to again and again and again whenever you need a reminder that God is never going to like to get you a copy of the assured devotional today and will send you a copy when you donate to support this ministry suggested getting level is $25 or more so to request your copy of the but, eight 663-3520 never again find 5220 short 10 day but when you donate online. JD Greer on the website. Be sure to sign up for our ministry and paint and blog posts from Pastor Katie delivered straight to your it's a great way to stay connected with them. It might Katie Greer, I'm only minutes. So much for being with us this weekend. Next, I write here on Senate life ministry