Focal Passages: 2 Peter 3:8-9; 1 Thess. 4:1-5; I Thess. 5:15-22
Years ago, a woman out West wrote, “I read your Sunday school lessons and believe you can help me. I became a Christian at 11 and have doubted my salvation ever since. At first, my pain was emotional; now it’s physical. At 81, I know I won’t live on and on. If I die tonight, however, I have no idea where I’ll wake up. I don’t share my doubt because everyone assumes I’m saved. I’m a regular worshiper and have served in various leadership roles in the church. Will you help?”
I shared Christ with her, how to accept Christ’s assurance, and asked her to write again to say how things are going.
She wrote, “For the first time since childhood, I sleep in peace knowing I’ll wake up in heaven when I die.”
Perhaps you’ve prayed for someone for years, yet the person has not accepted Christ.
Peter wrote that Christ delays His coming because He’s patient, “not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).
Christ’s delay provides us time for evangelism.
No lost person wanders into a church crying, “Find me; I’m lost.”
Jesus counts on us to find the lost (see Matt. 28:19-20). He has no other plan.
Next, the big picture includes moral purity.
Our lives must prove what we profess to believe. A Christian friend shares that when opportunity arises for infidelity, his response is ready. He asks himself, “Why would I order hamburger when I have steak at home?”
A safeguarded life, with strategy in place ahead of attack, avoids temptation; and, because God makes His will known through His word, we’re wise to make Bible study a priority.
Paul wrote that Christians should live “not with lustful desires, like the Gentiles who don’t know God” (1 Thess. 4:3,5).
Finally, the big picture reveals God’s desire for us to pursue “what is good for one another and for all” (5:15).
An unknown poet said it well:
“Isn’t it strange that princes and kings, and clowns that caper in sawdust rings,
And common people like you and me are builders for eternity?
Each is given a bag of tools, a shapeless mass, a book of rules;
And each will make, before life has flown, a stumbling block or a stepping stone.”