Rich Welcome

2 Peter 1:9-11 

9But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 10Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Remote Village

            Have you been to remote village where modern vehicles cannot go?

Somewhere in Asia, a teacher was assigned to a very remote village that can only be reached on foot. Two villagers who served as guides met him at the foot of the mountain. After few days of hiking up the mountain, they arrived at a certain place. There were villagers in their most famous ethnic attire were eagerly waiting at a distance.

The very tired teacher asked his guide, “Who are those people?” “They are people of my village eagerly waiting for your arrival,” the guide responded. “Where is the village?” the teacher wondered. “It is still about 2 hours walk from here!” the guide said. “What? They walked for two hours just to meet me?” the teacher was surprised. “Yes! All villagers, young and old alike, know that you were coming to teach our children; we are excited to meet our new teacher,” the guide explained.

That picture illustrates the excitement when believers are welcomed into the kingdom of God. What do you think? Christ declared in Luke 15:10, 10I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.

            Anyone who believes in Christ will be welcomed into his kingdom. What is it that we particularly believe about Christ? By faith, we believe that our sins were crucified with Christ. His blood poured at the cross washed away our sins.

As expression of faith in him we pray, “Lord Jesus, come into my life and be my Lord and Savior.” Have you invited Christ to be your Lord and Savior? If so, the Lord sent his Holy Spirit into your heart as guarantee that he saved you from hell.

            Everyone sinned. The penalty of sin is eternal death, eternal torture in hell. But by faith God welcomes all believers of Christ into his kingdom. His Holy Spirit transforms us to have lifestyle, behavior, attitude, even habits acceptable to him. Godly lifestyle of righteousness shows that we’re purified so that we avoid sin.

            Apostle Peter preaches that faith in Christ produces goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, affection and love. These qualities manifest that the Holy Spirit transforms and purifies us into believers pleasing to him.

1.  Purified

9But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 

            The English translation, “Cleansed” is properly interpreted as “purified.”

When it says, “cleansed from past sins,” it implies removal of sin. By faith we believe that the Lord removed our sins from us and crucified them with Christ.

            In comparison, the term “purified” is thorough cleansing of sins so that sins won’t infect anymore. By faith we believe that the blood of Christ poured on the cross washed away all spiritual impurities from us, so that sin should no longer pollute our mind; by faith, sin cannot manipulate us anymore. We were purified.

            Well, what does the pronoun “them” pertain to? It pertains to goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, affection and love. These qualities are transformational proofs of faith in Christ. As these qualities increase in us, we also grow spiritually effective and productive, by faith in Christ.

In contrast, if goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, affection and love are not manifested in our life, them reflects spiritual blindness, nearsightedness and forgetfulness. There’s no visible transformation yet.

We should always remembers and not forget the blood of Christ shed at the cross has purified us from past sins. Sin should not control us anymore.

Faith in Christ is most manifested pragmatically in our transformed life.

King David

If you are to choose one biblical character to identify with, who would he/she be? Many believers can identify themselves with the spiritual life of King David and not with his kingship. The Lord blessed King David in many ways. David was a shepherd before he became king of Israel. David defeated all his enemies when he relied upon the Lord. But, there’s one enemy that caused him miserable spiritually. Who was it?

Someone suggested, “Our worst enemy is ourselves.” Can you believe that?

It’s biblically proven when David followed his human foolish desire; he committed foolishly the worst mistake in his life. He committed murder and adultery.

We are not better than King David. We all have our own foolish mistakes.

How can we recover from terrible mistake? Let’s learn how David recovered from his terrible mistake. He prayed in Psalm 51:16-17, 16You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. 17My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.

It’s a practice of faith in God to seek his forgiveness. The Lord is delighted when we sincerely repent of our sins. Sincere repentance delights the Lord.

We should not be satisfied with our spirituality. We need spiritual exercise.

Repentance is spiritual exercise. Spiritual exercise helps us increase qualities that manifest our faith in God.

Physical body requires regular exercise also, not just food and water. We exercise to maintain good health and not necessarily to build muscles and agility. Competition motivates many sports-minded people to visit their favorite gym; others exercise as lifestyle. However for us, spiritual competition is not necessary, but as spiritual exercise and lifestyle, we should diligently practise our faith.

2.  Practise

10Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 

            When it says, “If you do these things, you will never stumble,” the term “do” implies diligence. When we diligently practise “goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, affection and love,” it helps us to be spiritually alert; we can avoid spiritual mistakes and never stumble. Additionally, we can also confirm that the Lord had called and elected us to be his children; doubts will fade away.

            Do you like walking and biking? Everyone should seriously exercise, right? You may want to join the Olympics or not, regular exercise should be a lifestyle.

It is very advisable, if we want to explore the limitation of life in its fullness.

            Someone said, “Young people have much time and energy but they have no money; adults have much energy and money but they have no time; retirees have much money and time but they don’t have energy.” What does that imply?

            Nobody can have all things they want in this life. No such thing as perfect life on earth because perfect life is reserved in heaven. Nevertheless, retirees may not have the energy of young people but they can, at least, exercise somehow.

Cold Water in Spring

            I have personally proven it that exercise is very advisable for older people.

When fishing season opened one spring ago, we went fishing at Pine Falls in Winnipeg River. To reach the spot where I was supposed to catch fish, I jumped instinctively over the water while carrying my Tackle Box and Fishing Rod. But at that moment, I missed by few inches the spot where I should land my feet.

I just cannot jump any longer than I used to do. So, you can just imagine what happened. I fell into water; my pants, shoes and under garments were wet. In spring, the water is cold. What’s worst? Someone witnessed it.

That terrible mistake hurt me; it should remind me that I’ve grown older.

Embarrassment can be more hurtful than anything else.  Can you agree?

            Terrible mistakes are most memorable way to remind us not to repeat the same mistake. Normally, when we do things that we regularly do on day to day basis, we are not very prayerful. When we are not mindful in practicing our faith, the Lord allows memorable mistakes just to remind us clearly, even if it hurts. But, God rescues us if we are tempted to give up. It declares in 1 Corinthians 10 13: 13No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

            God is provider. He provides for our basic necessities; he also provides for us ways to make sure we exert much effort to be effective and productive in our faith in him. His provision extends to eternity and not just here on earth. What provision can you imagine that God had prepared for us in eternity?

3.  Provide

11and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

            What can you imagine when it says, “rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ?” Can you imagine a generous and abundant supply from the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Kings and lords supply provisions for their servants; if you combine all provisions that masters and lords supply to their servants, Christ the Lord of lords can supply provisions even more endlessly.

            Provisions from Christ the King of kings and the Lord of lords are endlessly unlimited because they extend until forever. That reality is not readily understood much more personalized by anybody else. Why? It’s by faith to acknowledge it.

Arrival to Canada

            Fourteen year ago, on November 7, 2009, we landed in Winnipeg. Church members warmly welcomed us at the airport. God moved the heart of church members to provide for our needs, so that we did not worry about groceries for a month and beddings also including all basic appliances. Praise belongs to God.

The warm welcome of TMEC members on a very cold November morning and the provisions they supplied are most cherished memories. They remind us how great it would be when the King of kings and the Lord of lords welcomes richly each of us with abundant provisions into his eternal heaven.

Not everyone who comes to Canada from other counties could experience the memorable privilege that we cherish and experienced as family.

Similarly, when we are transported into eternal realm, the word of God warned in Daniel 12:1-3, 1There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. 2Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. 3Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. 

This is a prophecy of the end times. People may believe it or deny it; it will not matter that much. It will certainly be fulfilled. It is by faith we believe it. Everyone will be transported into eternity: believers are welcomed into eternal heaven and others will be transported into eternal oblivion of obscurity.

It is godly wisdom that causes believers to prepare for eternal residency. How? It says, “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”

Pray to be filled with the Spirit of wisdom. It says in 1 Corinthians 1:30, 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

It’s wise to choose to believe in Christ and live with him eternally in heaven.

            Believers have the Holy Spirit of Christ, the wisdom of God; He empowers us lead others to trust Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. As He helps us live in righteousness and holiness, others will be inspired to live in godly righteousness also.  If leading others to Christ is converted to wattage of electric light bulb, how bright would you be in eternity? Will you be shining bright just like 100-watt light bulb or will you be blinking just like 5-watt Christmas light?

The more we lead someone to Christ, the brighter our light shines like stars forever and ever. How do you interpret what Christ declared in Revelation 2:17? 17To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.

            In heaven we do not need to introduce ourselves. Our light will speak about who we are. Did you hear that? Pray that the Holy Spirit of Christ inspire each of us lead someone to believe in him as their personal Lord and Savior.

            May Christ will richly and warmly welcome all of us into his eternal heaven!

            Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus Christ!

><((‘> .. ><((‘> … ><(((“> tmec\2023 <“)))>< … <‘))>< .. <‘))><

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.