Summary: Make sure of your salvation, but it doesn’t say make sure by looking back at a decision that you made. The way that you make sure of your calling and election is by practicing these qualities.
Let me give you a couple of warnings before I get started today. We had an awesome, awesome service last service, but let me just say this. Stick with me through the whole talk. Typically, you can hear a message and doze off for a little bit. And catch five minutes here and think, ‘Ooh! That was good!’ Because that’s the way I think. It’s just ADD, just grab whatever you can, and go. But this is one of those messages where you have to track with me the whole way because it will be very easy for you to grab something in the beginning and just have your mind go nuts. And just run off with it. This is what he said. No, listen to what I say all the way through. Ok, I know. I’ll make it quick so that you can stay focused. I don’t focus well. I’m not even focused right now. So it’s just- this is going to be hard. It was a great, great service, and there are just a lot of really important truths. But here’s the reason why it may be difficult. It may sound different from what you were taught and that’s a scary thing to say. And that’s why I want you to observe the Scriptures and look at the Scriptures I’m bringing up. Evaluate for yourself if what I’m bringing up isn’t true because I know there will be some arguments with this, but I ask you to make them Biblical arguments. Show me Scripture that will contradict anything I’m saying because I’m telling you some of this is going to be new to you, new ground to you. And as I studied it I realized I’m not strong enough on some of this as I ought to be, and you need to know I take this morning very seriously. I’ve prayed a lot for this morning. I have fasted for this service, and said, ‘God, we have to get this. We have to understand this, but don’t let any words come out of my mouth that are untrue. Make this Biblical. Make this clear and help the people stick with me through this whole thing because it’s important stuff.’ So would you stand with me as we read the Word of God?
You understand why we stand? It’s just we want to do this every so often just to remind you of the reverence for God’s Word. Someone was telling me last service they sat in front of some sixteen year old girl, and she’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m so tired. I don’t want to stand. It’s just like this’- but you understand why we do this? I know you’re tired. You don’t want to stand, but there’s a reverence I want us to have for the Word of God. I want to remind you that these are not just a person’s opinion. We didn’t come in a room to just get someone’s opinion on something. We just want to see it in black and white what did God say. And this is what we studied last week. Remember, we didn’t get through the whole passage, but this is the part we got through.
Second Peter Chapter 1 verses 5-8. “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleaned from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities, you will never fall. For in this way, there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” [2 Peter 1:5-8 ESV]
Father, help us to understand this. God, unpack this for us. Help us to just in our minds, in our hearts, just to consume this. And God, guide me now. I don’t want to say anything that is untrue. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen
How did you do this week with this, making every effort? Remember, it says make every effort toward pursuing those character qualities. Think back during your week. Was it something you were passionate about? Was it something you were really seeking and making every effort because you wanted those qualities so badly? Because as I studied this, one of my concerns the deeper I got into this is how we make things so optional. And I need to come up with a better word by tonight, but optional is the best word I can think of. If as Christians, everything is just kind of optional. Do we need to pursue what we said last week? Well, yes, not really, I’d probably go to heaven without doing those things. When I read the Bible, I’m thinking I don’t think it’s nearly as optional as we think it is. For example, following Jesus, we can say that that’s optional. Right? I mean it’s your choice. Either you follow Him or you don’t. Right? Either you believe that He died on that Cross for you, and He rose again. You choose to follow Him or you don’t. It’s everyone’s option. But is it really optional? Because if you don’t follow Him, you spend eternity in hell, but it’s your choice. You know what I mean? It’s like it’s this- I know it’s a choice, but I couldn’t put it out of- I was thinking all week. What is the word? How do I explain that? But we’re so casual about this, and then when it comes to these character qualities like I said last week. You know the Bible commands us make every effort towards this. And you’re saying, ‘Ok, maybe if I have time for it.’ We’re so casual about these things, and I’m thinking, ‘Gosh, the more I read this, I don’t think it’s that simple.’ I don’t think we can just simply dismiss- I understand the freedom we have in Christ. But you’ll see as we study this passage. Is it really that optional? Yeah, you know if you do these things, you won’t live an unfruitful life, but let’s look at the passion. Let’s look at verse 9.