Summary: A man goes through life having one of these two experiences: he is either perishing, moving ever downward toward the grave; or he is being saved, moving ever upward toward eternal life.
Why Do Men Still Perish?
Text: 1 Peter 3:9
Intro: Why has Christ not yet returned to earth?
Because of God’s love for man. This passage of scripture tells us that He does not want any person to perish, not a single person.
By the way, God is not slack in fulfilling His promise nor is He powerless to return and judge the earth. He has not returned for one reason and one reason only. He wants more and more people to come to repentance. He is giving man ample opportunity.
So with such a wide open door of opportunity, why do Men and Women still perish?
There really is know excuse because this passage of scripture says that God is longsuffering to us-ward.
The word longsuffering means...
* that God is patient with us.
* that God bears and suffers a long time with us.
* that God perseveres and is constant in suffering with us.
* that God is stedfast and enduring in being patient with us.
Very simply, God is slow to give in and to judge and condemn us. God loves and cares for us despite our sin and rebellion, cursing and rejection. This is the very reason He sent Christ to save us. He loves and cares for us; therefore, He is longsuffering.
“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).
“Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” (Romans 2:4).
Turn with me to 1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”
Whether it is Men, Women, or Children, they are placed into one of two categories here, perishing or being saved.
A man goes through life having one of these two experiences: he is either perishing, moving ever downward toward the grave; or he is being saved, moving ever upward toward eternal life.
In the Greek, both words are continuous action; that is, a man is perishing or is being saved. The words are not static; a man is not sitting still. He is ever “perishing,” more and more being gripped by the flesh and being conditioned to accept a perishing, dying world; or he is ever “being saved,” more and more being freed to walk righteously and godly in this present world.
The man who is saved is being conditioned to break loose from a perishing, dying world and to look for the glorious appearing of the new world.
I. God Is Not Willing For Anyone To Perish.
A. What Is Perishing? .
The terrible word perishing means to be lost, to be utterly destroyed, to lose eternal life, to be spiritually destitute, to be cut off.
1. Perishing means to be in a lost state in this world.
It means to be aging, deteriorating, decaying, dying. without life (purpose, meaning, significance) without peace, (assurance, confidence, security in God’s keeping) without hope (of living forever).
2. Perishing means to be in a lost state in the world to come.
It means having to die, suffering separation from God and from all loved ones,
facing judgment, being condemned, experiencing all that is hell.
B. A Biblical Example Of Perishing
Turn to Luke 16:19-13
Recently I unfolded a metropolitan newspaper and glanced at the bold, two-inch headline, "MAN ON FIRE." It was an incident where a mid-western union official had been forced into a car, taken to the outskirts of town, drenched with gasoline or some highly flammable fluid, and set on fire. His picture was on the front of most every newspaper in the country. The newspaper described the painful misery of his charred body, and millions of people sympathized with the man. People are naturally sym- pathetic and their hearts go out to those who are victims of tragedy.
On December 1, 1958, the news of the Chicago school fire that burned 89 children and three nuns to death had raised the sympathy of the whole nation. Fire and tragedy are two words that go together. One New York newspaper called this particular fire, " A GLIMPSE OF HELL."
Not long ago, two ships collided somewhere out at sea off the New York coast. One of these ships was loaded with a million gallons of gasoline. The explosion and fire that followed resulted in many merchant seamen going down in what the newspaper called " AN UNQUENCHABLE FIERY GRAVE."