Summary: As Peter opens his letter, he describes his readers as aliens (pilgrims, strangers). This is true of all believers because; 1. The Father has chosen us. 2. The Son has washed us. 3. The Spirit has sanctified us.
I was reading through the news on the Internet this past week – as is my regular habit, and I came across a most interesting article. According to the article, it has been reported that there are aliens living among us. One of the witnesses quoted in this article says that there may be hundreds of thousands of them living right here in the United States. One official reported that the number was more likely in the millions.
He said, and I quote, “they’re everywhere! They could be living next door to you; many of them are probably working in the same offices, on the same construction sites and in the same factories as regular human beings. In many cases they are almost indistinguishable from regular humans. In a few cases, they can be detected rather easily.”
As the reporter went on with his story, he talked to one official about the history of alien encounters. This official said, “We believe that they have been inhabiting earth for thousands of years. There has been some attempt in the past to eliminate them, but without much success. It seems as if they are multiplying themselves. I believe that it is their mission to overrun and eventually control the world.”
Another person tried to describe these aliens; “They look and dress just like your average human being. You really have to pay attention to be able to tell who they are. They come in both male and female bodies. They come in all races. Some are tall and skinny; some are short and rather heavy. Some are short and skinny, and some are tall and heavy. They really fool you.” He went on to say; “all I can say, is you have to watch yourself. They are out to get you. You never know when you will encounter one of these aliens – in the workplace, in the supermarket – heavens, they could be sitting right next to you on the bus.”
Now, I don’t know about you, but I found this article to be really fascinating. And, do you know why? Because I believe that it is 100% true. I personally believe that there are aliens living among us. I believe that this planet has been invaded. In fact, I believe that there are some sitting right here in this church, in these pews this morning. In fact, I would go so far as to say, that if there aren’t I would be greatly disappointed.
Now, before you come to the conclusion that your Pastor has gone completely insane, turn with me to 1 Peter 1:1-2. Starting this morning, we are going to begin a new series. For the next few months, we will be looking at the book of 1 Peter.
1 Peter 1:1-2 (NASB)
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen 2according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.
Confession time: I really didn’t read an article on the Internet. But, the facts that I shared with you are true nonetheless. There really are aliens living all over the world. In fact, were them! Peter says very clearly that we are residing as aliens. Some of your Bibles may translate the word to be "Pilgrims" or "Strangers."
When he wrote these words, he was not referring to people who were living in a foreign land, but to people who do not belong to this earth. The Christians who were scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia were legal residents of those regions, but – and this is the important distinction – their true citizenship was not of this earth. Truly our citizenship is in another world – and for that reason – in the truest sense of the word, we are aliens!
As Peter opens his letter, let’s take a quick look at how it is we identify ourselves as aliens.
First of all, we are not of this earth, because we were chosen for another world. Look at verse 1 and the first part of verse 2:
“To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen 2according to the foreknowledge of God the Father.”
Notice that Peter says we are “chosen.” Do you know why we do not belong to this earth – why we are truly aliens? Because our heavenly Father has chosen us for His kingdom.
Now, let’s be sure that we understand clearly what this does not mean. It does not mean that God looked down on earth, saw all of his human creation and just arbitrarily picked those whom he would save. We weren’t chosen through some divine crapshoot. Roll the dice, and if your number comes up – then you are lucky enough to be chosen to be saved. If not, well . . . it’s the lake of fire, weeping and gnashing of teeth for you.