Summary: A message designed to fremind Christians of the great salvation we have.
Taking Salvation For Granted
Most of us take things for granted. As much as kids hate it when we say things like this…let’s think back: Do we realize that there was a time BEFORE air-conditioning and automatic transmissions in cars; self-defrosting freezers in refrigerators; credit cards; hot water in your faucet; interstate highways…etc.
Believe it or not…there was a time when we didn’t have remote controls for our television sets!
The same is true in the Spiritual Realm. I think we take our salvation for granted. Many of us have forgotten what it was like before we found salvation.
In Christ, You have it so good. You are accepted, saved, indwelt by His Spirit, forgiven, made new…and we have a great future waiting for us in heaven.
In vs. 6-9 Peter is trying to get the Christians to rejoice in their salvation. Even though their faith is being tested, He wants them to understand the great privilege they have of being saved. So he spends a few verses chiding them—poking at them—because he thinks they aren’t understanding what they’ve got in their salvation.
By studying this passage, Peter also wants to ask us, “Do you realize how good you have it?”
I. Salvation is the Subject of Prophetic Investigation. Vs. 10,11
Matthew 13:17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
A. They wrote about grace—vs. 10 – but they were told it wasn’t for them. They were still living under the law system. Grace wasn’t for them. They still had to hear about sacrifices and feast days and offerings and obeying God’s commandments. We get to hear about and KNOW grace. Vs. 13 says fix your hope on the grace that comes from knowing Jesus Christ. But those prophets didn’t get to know that grace. But when Paul wrote II Corinthians, he said, “Now is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation.” The prophets didn’t get to know a time of grace, but we do.
B. Vs. 11 says that as these prophets wrote, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, they wrote about a Savior who would suffer and die for their sins. The second half of the book of Isaiah is about the suffering savior. Isaiah wrote about it, but didn’t know about it. The prophets were interested in what they were writing about. So they searched—but all they got was the answer: “It’s not for your time…” (vs. 12)
C. They wrote about the glories of a coming kingdom. Daniel is about the coming world kingdoms and the Messiah. Daniel 2:44 says, “In the days of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever.” Most of Zechariah is about the coming kingdom. Zechariah 2:10 says, “Sing for joy and be glad, oh daughter of Zion, for behold I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” declares the Lord. Zechariah 8: 3 -- “Thus says the Lord, I will return to Zion and I will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem…” They wrote about it, but when they tried to find out more, the Spirit just told them, “It’s not for your time.”
This comes right back to us—II Corinthians 6:2 says “Now is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation.” When Christ was reading from the book of Isaiah in the synagogue (Luke 4:18-21), he read, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind; to set free those who are oppressed and to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” And then he sits down and says, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Jesus said, “All those things that Isaiah prophesied about—now is the day it is happening. I’m here to present the Gospel.” All those things that the Old Testament prophets could only write about are now presented to us in the good news about Jesus Christ and the Cross of Calvary. We’ve got it—not in a mystery, but in reality.
When Jesus walked the earth, even his disciples didn’t understand about the Cross. Acts 1 says that EVEN AFTER THE RESURRECTION, they were still asking questions about the kingdom. Folks, we’ve got not only the Old Testament but the COMPLETE New Testament – we’ve got no excuse for not knowing what God is up to. We’ve got the power of the printing press and hundreds of solid Christian writers to dig into this stuff and explain it in ways that we can understand. We’ve got new modern Bible translations that put the words into words we can understand—in our own language. We’ve got the Holy Spirit living inside us (as John 16 says) to guide us into the truth. The Old Testament prophets (according to I Peter 1:10) had the Holy Spirit guiding them about what to write—but didn’t have the Holy Spirit living in them to teach them the answers. WE DO. We should know what the Cross means. We should know about the coming kingdom. The only excuse we have is that we are too lazy to search the scriptures to find out what it says. Biblically illiterate Christians are an insult to these Old Testament prophets who really wanted to know—but weren’t going to be able to find out.