Summary: A look at how we should respond to the truths seen in Peter's 1st Epistle.
Responding To The Message We Have Received
1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
June 24-26 2005, in New York, Billy Graham stood in front of thousands to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ at a public Crusade for the last time. Mr. Graham’s said, “It’s my prayer that here, in New York, people of all denominations will start praying day and night that God will continue to speak to us. This should not be the end of anything; it should be the beginning of a new day with the Lord in New York and in this tristate area,” It ended up being the beginning of a new life for thousands of converts to Christ. One example was A 12-year-old girl who accepted Christ said, “I’ve been doing a lot of sins and I want Jesus to come and forgive me so that I won’t go to hell. I want to go to heaven and stay with Jesus, and I want Him to come to my heart. Something in my heart told me I have to be born again, and I have to be different.” We have all seen the footage of the Billy Graham Crusades where hundreds and thousands make their way to the front of a packed stadium to respond to the invitation to salvation.
It never gets old seeing people respond to the life changing gospel of Jesus Christ! Each week, after each sermon we have a "time of invitation". The purpose of doing this is to give the congregation an opportunity to respond to God's message. It is encouraging to see people come forward publicly during the invitation... but I am more concerned with the response to the message after they walk out the door of the church. Many times I have seen people come to the Altar and profess faith in Christ and never return. I have seen people come leave a puddle of tears in the altar and cry out to God to restore them and then a few weeks later they are right back in their backslidden condition. I have seen people come to the altar in an attempt to leave their burdens with the Lord but they often pick those burdens up and carry them home with them. I have learned that you cannot measure the success of a sermon by how many people come to the altar, but by how people respond when they return to their daily lives. -- The goal of a sermon is for people to see the truth of God's Word and to respond accordingly.
For the past few months we have been examining Peter's message to the churches of Asia Minor. And what he taught them directly applies to us today. In this epistle Peter has covered subjects such as:
1) The living hope that we possess as Christians
2) The fact that we should live Holy lives unto the Lord
3) We have been taught to submit to authority
a) Slaves were to submit to their masters' authority
b) Wives are to submit to their husband's authority
c) Christians are to submit to the government's authority
4) We have seen the reality of Christian suffering
5) As well as the reason for Christian suffering