Summary: A message related to the Second Coming of Christ.
OUR TEN COMMANDMENTS
INTRO: How many of you know the Ten Commandments? I’m not talking about the ones given to Israel by God through Moses. Instead, I am referring to the “ten commandments” given to us by God through Peter. They go like this:
I. “Thou shalt be of sound judgment”
II. “Thou shalt be of sober spirit for the purpose of prayer”
III. “Thou shalt keep fervent in your love toward one another”
IV. “Thou shalt be hospitable”
V. “Thou shalt be good stewards of God’s gifts”
VI. “Thou shalt speak as the oracles of God”
VII. “Thou shalt not be surprised at fiery ordeals”
VIII. “Thou shalt not be ashamed to suffer as a Christian”
IX. “Thou shalt glorify God in the name ‘Christian’”
X. “Thou shalt entrust thy soul unto God” (NIV)
Now the interesting thing about these particular ten commandments is that they all relate to the fact that Jesus could come again at any time. Peter realized that he was living in the last days. He had announced that the “last days” had begun just ten days after Jesus had ascended into heaven. He knew that Jesus’ coming will mark the end of this world as we know it. For that reason, we are to view His coming as an ever present reality.
So we shall consider each of the ten commandments as given by God through Peter that are pertinent to the ever present possibility of the end of time. In fact, the “ten commandments” begin with the statement “The end of all things is at hand; therefore...”
I. BE OF SOUND JUDGMENT (v. 7).
Good decisions are not often made abruptly, in anger or surprise. They are not based on impulse, desire or passion. Those are the things from which stupid decisions are made. The Christian knows that there are more important considerations to life than how much he possesses. Jesus said, “Beware, and be on you guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15).
A decision that makes you richer but takes you farther away from God is not one that comes from sound judgment.
II. BE OF SOBER SPIRIT FOR THE PURPOSE OF PRAYER (v. 7b).
Even though life has its upheavals, the Christian is to remain calm. Sometimes we sing a hymn which says, “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine; Oh what a foretaste of glory divine.” To lack assurance is to lack faith in our “Blessed Assurer.”
Also, our prayers are aided by our secure hearts. In times of trouble, we must not let doubt overcome our assurance, thus rendering our prayers without effect (James 1:2-8).
III. KEEP FERVENT IN YOUR LOVE (v. 8).
The word “fervent” means to be intense. Our mutual support for one another is indispensable. As a community of believers waiting for Jesus’ coming, our attitude toward Him shows itself in our attitude toward one another (1 John 4:20-21).
This commandment is especially important during times of trial and persecution, such as was being endured by disciples when Peter wrote this epistle. We certainly are made stronger when we have the support of loving brethren. We must stand as one with one another and against those who seek to destroy (Hebrews 3:12-13; 10:23-25).
IV. BE HOSPITABLE (v. 9).
Hospitality is to show kindness to those outside one’s immediate household. People who are traveling, preachers and teachers of the Word, people in need due to accident or tragedy, are all examples of times when hospitality is needed.
But, as with all giving, it is to be given “without complaint.” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
V. BE GOOD STEWARDS (v. 10).
We should be unselfish when it comes to using our gifts for the benefit of others (Romans 12:9-16). It is not being a good steward to bury one’s talent; nor to use it selfishly.
We are given additional incentive to practice good stewardship by being reminded that it is only by God’s wonderful grace that we have the gifts we do (Galatians 2:20).
VI. SPEAK AS THE UTTERANCES OF GOD (v. 11).
God has spoken to us through His Son, who in turn chose apostles and prophets to function as His emissaries. Because “the end of all things is at hand,” it is vitally important that we preach and teach only those things which God has appointed.
We simply do not have the luxury of each going his own way and doing his own thing. It will be the true gospel of Jesus Christ which we proclaim that will save ourselves and others (1 Timothy 4:16). Other gospels will not.
VII. BE NOT SURPRISED AT FIERY ORDEALS (v. 12).
It is not an unusual thing for Jesus’ disciples to suffer indignities at the hands of the world. Jesus had explained that it would be this way: (John 15:18-20).