Summary: WE SHOULD NOT LIVE IN FEAR, WE SHOULD NEVER RETURN TO "NORMAL" (THE APATHETIC WAY IT WAS) SO, WHAT SHOULD BELIEVERS DO NOW? HOW CAN WE PERSONALLY BE PREPARED AND LIVE FOR GOD IN THESE LAST DAYS?
INTRO: IN THE UNCERTAIN DAYS WE LIVE, BELIEVERS SHOULD NOT LIVE IN FEAR, NEITHER DO WE WANT TO RETURN TO "NORMAL" AND FORGET WHAT GOD IS TEACHING US..SO WHAT
SHOULD WE DO? PETER SAYS "DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION"(3:14)...AND OFFERS THREE SUGGESTIONS
ON HOW TO ACCOMPLISH THAT:
I. SANCTIFY (V.15a)
"Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts."
"Sanctify"= "to set apart, to make holy"
1. First and foremost, ask Jesus Christ to save you
and allow him to become Lord (boss) of your life.
2. Make sure you are properly "connected" with Him.
3. Settle the matter of Salvation
a. realize sinfulness
b. repent of sin
c. receive him personally (sinners prayer)
4. Once we set him apart as Lord of our lives,
we are then instructed to...
II. TESTIFY (v 15b)
"always be ready to make a defense to everyone who
asks you to give an account of the hope that is
within you." (NASB)
1.Conversations in workplaces, casual gatherings,
gas stations, bus stops, etc. will revolve around
the terrorist attacks for quite some time...
2.People will express fears, anxieties, concerns,
etc. about events and about the future.
3.THIS IS A PERFECT TIME for believers to honestly
express concerns, BUT TO ALSO EXPRESS OUR HOPE
AND ASSURANCE IN CHRIST.
4.WHEN THEY ASK HOW WE CAN BE HOPEFUL, TELL THEM
ABOUT JESUS CHRIST...HOW HE SAVED YOU, AND HOW
HE HELPS YOU COPE
5.INTRODUCE THEM TO THE FACT THAT THEY CAN ALSO FIND
HOPE AND ASSURANCE IN JESUS.
**THIS WINDOW OF WITNESSING OPPORTUNITY HAS BEEN
GIVEN TO US FOR A SHORT TIME...WILL WE UTILIZE
IT?? PEOPLE ARE MORE "TEACHABLE" ABOUT GOD RIGHT
NOW THAN THEY HAVE BEEN IN A LONG TIME.
6. SO, SANCTIFY Christ as Lord,
TESTIFY about our assurance and hope
but there’s one more instruction:
III. JUSTIFY (V.16)
"JUSTIFY: = "TO ALIGN, TO LINE UP WITH"
"AND KEEP A GOOD CONSCIENCE SO THAT IN THE
THING IN WHICH YOU ARE SLANDERED, THOSE
WHO REVILE YOU IN CHRIST MAY BE PUT TO SHAME"
1. The lost world says "okay, you SAY Jesus is
Lord, you TESTIFY of assurance and hope...
NOW PROVE IT BY YOUR LIFE.. DOES YOUR LIFE
LINE UP WITH WHAT YOU ARE SAYING?
2. Believers are admonished to ALIGN (JUSTIFY)
OUR LIVES WITH THE WORD OF GOD.
3. DO SO IN SUCH A WAY THAT EVEN WHEN SLANDERED,
YOU COME OUT "SQUEAKY CLEAN"...AND THUS YOUR
OPPONENT IS EMBARASSED..AND SOMETIMES SHAMED
SO MUCH THAT BE COMES "UNDER CONVICTION",
APOLOGISES, REPENTS, AND MAY GET SAVED!
4. CHRISTIANS WILL BE SLANDERED...FALSELY ACCUSED
ETC. WE CANNOT HELP THAT, but WE CAN LIVE IN
SUCH A WAY THAT THE "RECORD SPEAKS FOR ITSELF".
ILL: A CHRISTIAN BUSINESSMAN WAS FALSELY ACCUSED
OF EMBEZZLEMENT BY HIS LONG-TIME BUSINESS
PARTNER. THE CHRISTIAN SAID "GET YOUR OWN
AUDITOR...AUDIT THE BOOKS." THE AUDITOR SAID
"OUR INVESTIGATION INDICATES NO IMPROPRIETY
WHATSOEVER...AN EXCELLENT JOB OF BALANCING...
THE RECORD SPEAKS FOR ITSELF."
AT THIS MEETING, THE ACCUSER CONFESSED TO
FALSE ACCUSATION, REPENTED, WAS FORGIVEN BY
THE GRACIOUS CHRISTIAN, AND RECEIVED JESUS AS
**(CAN YOUR LIFE (OR MINE) WITHSTAND GOD’S
TO LIVE EFFECTIVELY AS BELIEVERS IN THESE UNCERTAIN