Google+ 02/12/13 Immunity for The Good?

1 Peter 3:13-15

 

Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good?

But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it.

So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats.

Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life.

And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. 

 

I hope that Scripture makes you stop and think for just a moment when you read it.  It certainly does that for me.  The controversy over who wrote 1 Peter is a perfect example of how things that seem obvious, are argued to death!  In verse 1 of this wonderful Epistle, the author tells us who he is.  The author calls himself "Peter, the apostle of Jesus."  Now, there are several books in the Bible whose authorship is either not known, or in serious question and debate.  That is because the author really never identifies himself.  This is not the case here!  This stating of the obvious, carries through to the opening verse of our Scripture for today.  Peter, the apostle of Jesus (in case anyone was still not sure!), asks a question.  The answer to the question seems so obvious.  Peter says, "Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good?"  Come on, you can all say it with me.  The logical answer, of course, is "No One!"  Several years ago I was hired to be the music minister and principal of a local New Testament Church and school.  My "marching orders" from the elders were to grow the school in numbers and bring a vibrant spirit back to worship through music.  While I was serving this church and school, the "senior pastor" was called to the mission field, three Sundays out of every month.  The elders of the church came to me again and said that they would like me to also preach on those three Sundays.  I agreed.  In two years' time, the church grew from 45 people to 400 people.  The school grew from 30 students to over 500 students.  We built a new building and all was well with the world.  So you may be thinking I am still there because, after all,  "who would want to harm me if I was eager to do good?"  No, you guessed it.  As you know if you have read my bio on the website, I am no longer there!  One of the elders came to me and proclaimed that "I had done good for everyone."  I was thinking that I was about to get a raise!  The next statement was to thank me for my service and explain that his son was also a pastor, and now that the church was flourishing, they would be bringing him down "from the north" to pastor the church and run the school!  I just smiled and, even then, read the next line of our Scripture.  What comfort it brings to read that "even if I suffered for doing right, God would reward me."  God has made good on His promise!  The rest of our Scripture today says to not worry about other people's hearts and to worship Christ as the Lord of our lives.  Then comes the most important statement Peter makes in this passage.  For all of you that aren't sure that evangelism is what we are supposed to do as our primary Christian "occupation," listen carefully.   What are we supposed to do about these misguided folks that want to harm us even when we are doing good?  We are to testify to them about Jesus Christ!  Are you kidding me?  About now, we are all saying, "But you don't understand.  These people just wronged me!"  Yes they have and our Scripture tells us that the acts they have committed are ungodly.  Nevertheless, we are to talk about our Christian hope and be ready to explain it.  Be careful, our Scripture does not say we should "hang out" and fellowship with them every day in the temple.  These activities are reserved for our "Family of God" and all those that are seeking to have a closer walk with God.  "Lost people" can be trying to do good and just need directional help on the pathway of life.   As people cross your path today and forever, look for opportunities to explain your Christian hope to them.  Our Scripture suggests that this opportunity may often arise when others are trying to do you harm for doing good for God.  This statement could not be more accurate.  Satan must attack you if you are doing good for God.  After all, "good" is the devil's enemy.  Remember Satan is battling God and His Son Jesus Christ every single day.  God is the ultimate good.  If you are doing good for the Kingdom, what would make you think that you are immune?!