How Should We Live in View of The Hope?

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Last week we heard about how we are to hear and believe the word of God, and to act according to it.  Do we believe what the Lord says?  Do we believe what is written in the whole of the Bible as the Word of God?  Three weeks ago I spoke about sanctifying ourselves because of the hope of the return of the Messiah Yeshua, for the Word of the LORD says that without holiness no one will see Him.  Yeshua prayed for us to be sanctified by the truth, and said that the word of God the Father is truth. (Jn 17:15-19)  It seems that the Holy Spirit is wanting to say something to us as a congregation.  And not to us only, but I believe to the Body of Messiah-at-large.  Let’s listen, and do.

God is our Father, and Yeshua came to die for us so that we could live in our Father’s house as His holy and righteous and pure sons and daughters.  The Holy Spirit lives in the spiritually born-again believer to help us live in the fear of the Lord, whom we love, and be transformed into His image, bringing honor to our Father’s name.

The Apostle Peter asks the rhetorical question: “What manner of persons ought we to be in these end-times of the last days?” (2Pt 3:10-14, 17-18

How many times do we ask our children or our friends what do they want to do when they grow up; or, what do you want to do after your studies?  Perhaps a better question to ask is:  what kind of person do you want to be when you grow up; in your studies; when you die?  This seems to be the question that Peter is asking us, and giving God’s answer to.

Let us look at the passage that we always read when a baby is dedicated to YHVH God by the parents:  Gen 18:17-19   

Parents, we are to teach our children what is good, and what is bad, so that they learn to judge righteously.  That means that we ourselves need to know to distinguish between what is good and what is bad; what is right and what is wrong; what is acceptable and what is not.  It is our responsibility as fathers and mothers, especially for us who know and love our Lord and our God.  This is “home-schooling”, whether or not our children go to public or private schools.  Learning the truth and the way of our heavenly Father’s “school” – the “school of Messiah/Christ” – is something that must be taught, and must be learned. (Is 1:16-17)  Knowing the good, and choosing it, is not “natural”.  Sin is natural.  Holiness is of God.  The Spirit of Christ is holy – the Holy Spirit. (Dt 4:7-10; 6:6-7)  

As the deception in these times is growing stronger, it is not so easy to discern what is fake from what is real!  Artificial Intelligence can counterfeit real people’s faces and voices, and make us believe that it is actually them.  But our God is not a God of confusion, but of peace.  Our God is not a liar, but the God of truth.  Our God is not a deceiver, but the God of integrity.  If we know, and believe what God says, we are standing on the Rock when the enemy tries to deceive as many people as he can, including the believers. (Mt 24:24; 7:24-27)

These “works of the world” will dissolve, the apostle Peter tells us!  What kind of person do we want to be in holy conduct and godliness?!  The Lord is coming!

God said that He chose Abraham, and knew him, that Abraham would command his children and his household – his servants and slaves included, and his wife – to walk in righteousness and justice.  Look at what is happening in Israel today, with half of the country claiming that their side is just, and what they want justifies the means; and the other half says the same thing for themselves.  Where is the righteousness?  Where is the justice?  Which side is “right”, and which side is “wrong”?  Does the Word of God tell us?   In the Tenach, David writes in two psalms:  Ps 14:1-4; 53:1-4    In the NT, Paul quotes from them in Rom 3:9-12.  There is no one righteous, or who does good:  only God, and He is neither left nor right. 

Yeshua rebuked the Sadducees (“left”), the Pharisees (“right”), and the Scribes (“center”).  They did not know or fear the LORD, and did not know the Scriptures properly.  Each sought to be justified in themselves, telling God:  “Don’t worry; we’ll take care of this ourselves.  We know what is needed.  We know what is good and right for our people and our country.”  As we head towards civil war, and within families! They were all hypocrites! (Mt 22:15-45; 23:1-39)   He was speaking truth to their hearts; He loved them, and wanted them to come to Him so that they might be saved, but they did not want to.  Not yet, even today!

We need to guard our hearts from taking a side that seems good in our eyes, but is not the righteousness of God, which is the only righteousness that will bring peace and unity in a country, and in a church/congregation.  We are “Hebrews” in this world, passing through on our way to the City of God.  We are ambassadors of Messiah in the world, conducting ourselves in a manner worthy of representing His Kingdom, which is not of this world.  Our message to whomsoever that we meet along our way in following our Good Shepherd is:  “Repent, and believe the gospel, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”  And, because that is true, we need to sanctify ourselves, with the help of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, so that our hope is assured, and that we are not hypocrites in the eyes of the Lord, or in those who do not yet believe.

We want to be more like the Son of God:  holy and righteous, who gave His life for sinners, calling them to repentance and faith unto eternal life in Him.  Amen! 

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