Summary: Being ready to bear our witness for Christ
TITLE: Always Ready
TEXT: 1Peter 3:13-23
CONCL: A Romanian pastor was captured and tortured in order to get him to tell where other Christians were meeting so they could be arrested as well. But they could not get the pastor to break and disclose the location of the other Christians. So, the authorities went and found the pastor’s 14-year-old son and brought him to the prison.
Then, in front of the pastor, they beat and tortured his son.After taking as much as he could, the pastor called out to his son and said, “I love you my son. I must tell them what they want to know.” But, the son called back, “No, father. They may kill me. But do not do me the disgrace of giving me a traitor for a father.”
We are living in days of fear. It is similar to the time in which Peter wrote to the Christians in Rome to strengthen their faith and prepare them to be witnesses for Jesus.
I. BE SANCTIFIED (vs.13-15a)
A. To Sanctify Means to Set Apart (15a) "But sanctify the
Lord Jesus Christ in your hearts..."
1. If you are a Christian, you should set apart Jesus Christ as Lord of your heart!
2. That means that He is boss
3. It means He is in charge.
4. It means He is worshiped and adored.
5. It means He can direct our thoughts, words and actions
B. Preparing to Face Persecution (vs.13-14)
1. Jesus said we would face persecution
2. It is an honor to suffer for Jesus rather than for wrong
# Someone asked C.S. Lewis, “Why do the righteous suffer?” “Why not?” he replied. “They’re the only ones who should be able to take it.”
4. Whatever happens, we can overcome
(1Jn 4:4) Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
II. BE READY (vs.15b-17)
A. When People Ask Questions, (15b) "And be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason..."
1. Suppose one day, someone asked you, "How do I become a Christian?" Would you be able to tell them?
2. You can’t share something you don’t possess
B. Remember, the World is Bound for Hell
1. We are surrounded by people who do not believe in the Bible, Christ, or the Church
2. Jesus loved the lost and we should love them enough to tell them about Jesus
III. BE HOPEFUL (vs.15c-18)
A. We Have a Hope Others Don't Have (15c) "...of the hope that is in you..."
1. Our hope is in Jesus
# My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.
2. We are overcomers
(Joh 16:33) These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world
B. We Don't Cower in Fear
1. In the Middle Ages many Christians retreated to monasteries & lived apart from the world.
2. We are in the world, but not part of it,
(Joh 15:18-19) If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
CONCL: Black Bart was a thief whose very name struck fear as he terrorized the Wells Fargo stage line. From San Francisco to New York, his name became synonymous with the danger of the frontier. Between 1875 and 1883 he robbed 29 different stagecoach crews. But,he did it all without firing a shot. Because a hood hid his face, no victim ever saw his face. He never took a hostage and was never trailed by a sheriff. Later, in prison he said that he didn’t need to fire a shot; all he had to do was to use fear to paralyze his victims. “Fear, the face of the unknown, was my weapon of choice, my weapon of intimidation.”
We live in a changing world marked by terrorism, wars, and the constant threat of nuclear, biological or chemical extinction. But praise God, whatever fearful situation we may face, remember we are not alone:
(Rom 8:38-39) "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."