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Seeing The Bigger Picture (1 of 12)
THE BOOK OF I PETER
I Peter 1:1-9
Wednesday, January 3, 2007
INTRODUCTION: This evening we will begin our study of I and II Peter. Peter's letters are addressed to the saints scattered throughout the Roman Empire. Persecution had come to the early church, resulting in the Diaspora or the dispersing of believers. You will notice again in (vs. 1), he mentions five different regions where they were in hiding.
Things have changed very little since early Bible times. In places like China and North Korea, the saints are still forced to meet in underground gatherings. To worship openly would mean prison time or in some places, certain death.
ILLUS: The closer we come to the Lord's return, the more we see persecution on the rise. Just this week, Palestinian extremists marched through Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus, and threatened the Christian shop owners and residents who live there.
In a recent article by WorldNet Daily, they tell of Palestinian gunmen who attacked the YMCA and set fire to their headquarters in a large West Bank city controlled by the Hamas.1
Persecution has always been something believers have had to deal with in one part of the world or the other. Fortunately, for us, we have not yet had to endure suffering as others have. But be assured of this one thing; it's coming soon to a town near you!
The title of our message is "Seeing the Bigger Picture." Peter wants the saints to look above their trouble and see beyond the persecution—he wants them to see the bigger picture; God has something better for them. Let's take a look at three things:
I. The Elect of God
II. The Resurrection of Christ
III. The Persecution of Believers
I. THE ELECT OF GOD (VV 1, 2)
A. Who are the elect of God? (vs. 1a)
1. We are not going to spend a lot of unnecessary
time on election, predestination and foreknowledge. I think people waste too much time on the ...
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