Christians are strangers in this world. Since we are not of this world but we live in this world, we need to learn what our relationship to this world ought to be. First, we need to learn that....
We Are Selected Before the World
1 Peter 1:2 says, "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace be multiplied." In one verse, we see that the Holy Trinity works together for salvation. God the Father thought it. God the Spirit wrought it. And God the Son bought it.
We Are Scattered Through the World
1 Peter 1:1 says that these strangers are "scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappodocia, Asia, and Bithynia." In the year 79, Nero wanted to rebuild Rome so he burned the areas he considered slums. The people rebelled and so Nero decided to get a scapegoat. He looked around and chose Christians because they "strange." History tells us that Nero persecuted Christians in horrific ways. As a result, they were scattered as strangers, but also scattered as seeds.
We Are Secure from the World
1 Peter 1:3 says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."
We are born again "until a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (see 1 Peter 1:3). Because I'm a part of Him and He can never die, I can never die. I am not just looking at Jesus; I am a part of Jesus. I'm a part of His resurrected body. Because He lives, I live. And what is the living Lord doing right now? He lives to intercede for you and I (see Hebrews 7:25).
We Are Satisfied without this World
1 Peter 1:4-5 says that we are saved to "an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." You don't have to buy into the world's lies about what will satisfy. God has something better — infinitely better to satisfy you and me — an eternal inheritance.
Thank God for the keeping power of our Lord! Psalm 37:23-24 says, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and He delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with His hand."
We May Be Sorrowful in This World
1 Peter 1:6 says that the trials will be "for a season." God controls them. He knows what you need and how long you need it. Job said "But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold" (Job 23:10).
Some may say, "But the fire is too hot. I can't stand it." Yes, it may feel that way, but do you trust that God knows what He is doing? No jeweler is more careful with his gold than the Father is with His children.
We Will Be Saved Out of This World
1 Peter 1:7-9 says, "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls."
The end of our faith is when we see Him face to face. At His glorious re-appearing, every believer on earth will be caught up and taken out of this world. And the One not seen but dearly loved, will be seen face to face. It will be worth it all when we see Him. Saved out of this world to behold our Lord face to face.
This world is not our home. Don't try to build a nest down here. God's got something far better for you and I. Let's pray that we will never forget that we are pilgrims just passing through until we see Him face to face.
When we come to Him in repentance and faith, we are empowered-and expected-to live the Christian life not by trying, but by trusting. Faith is not only how we receive salvation, it is how we walk, day by day, in grace. Only by faith can we extend forgiveness to others, share God's truth, and leave a godly legacy. As the tapestry of your life unfolds, may you begin to see the wonders of living each day, moment by moment, a life of faith and forgiveness.