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How to receive a rich welcome into Heaven. 2 Peter 1:3-11
How to receive a rich welcome into Heaven
2 Peter 1:3-11

Last week we took a look at 1 Peter

1 Peter was written by the Apostle Peter (once a fisherman, called by Jesus to be a fisher of men, leader of the 12 disciples, the same one who denied Jesus three times and then who was restored by Christ, on the day of Pentecost- as he preached, three thousand put their faith in Christ as Savior and Lord.)

Peter wrote 1 Peter to encourage the believers who were being persecuted by Nero (who burned Rome down and then proceeded to blame the Christians).

In writing 1 Peter, Peter gave a compelling picture of Jesus, His work, who we are in Christ, and then he exhorts us in how to live as the followers of Jesus.

Two of 1 Peter's big emphases in include: 1. bearing up under unjust treatment 2. Loving one another

This morning we are going to venture into 2 Peter.

Instead of doing an overview of the entirety of 2 Peter (I hope you took the time this week to read the entire book) we are going to zero in on 2 Peter 1:3-11

In 1 Peter 1:3-11 we are told some big things as it relates to knowing and following Christ

1. In Jesus, we have everything we need. No good thing do we lack for life or godliness.
2. Knowing Christ and growing in our relationship with him and in our faith takes our cooperation and effort
3. A rich welcome into Heaven awaits the followers of Christ

READ TEXT

Lessons and principles of 2 Peter 1:3-11

I. IN JESUS WE HAVE EVERYTHING WE NEED. NO GOOD THING DO WE LACK FOR LIFE OR GODLINESS. v.
3

In Christ, and hence in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we have God's promise to us to meet all of needs.

Note these Scriptures that we are to lean on and remember.

"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

Psalm 23:1 "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want"

"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work" 2 Corinthians 9:8

Interesting passage for the context is that of being a joyful giver. The promise is this: Give joyfully, generously, and faithfully and watch what God does for you. Reminds me of Malachi 4 and God's promise as it regards tithing.

"For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless." Psalm 84:11

Matthew 6:25-34 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.


Something to remember: One of God's names is Jehovah Jireh (God our provider)

This comes from Genesis 22:14 "So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided."


NO GOOD THING DO WE LACK.

II. KNOWING CHRIST AND GROWING IN OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM TAKES OUR COOPERATION AND EFFORT v.5-10

It would be nice if we could all of a sudden- at the moment of conversion- be: patient, kind, loving, generous, sexually pure, self controlled, faithful, forgiving, hard working, full of knowledge of the will of God, etc. LIFE DOESN'T WORK LIKE THAT.

In v.5-10 of 2 Peter 1, Peter unpacks for us our part in the process of sanctification and becoming like Christ and growing in our relationship with Him.

Not only does Peter detail what is required of us, he stresses the importance of it, saying; "Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall." v.10. Such reminds me of Philippians 2:12 which says; "Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling."

With the aforementioned in mind, note the 7 related and progressive qualities that we are to strive to grow in.

Note this: Our striving which is all about drawing near to God will result in a deep relationship with Jesus. We will know Him

Note this: Our striving cannot be merely of the flesh. The Holy Spirit and His help is required. Further- it can only be done when we have a heart that truly wants to please God. If our heart, mind, and soul is not in, we will not grow.

FAITH -- Peter's pyramid of maturity begins with Saving faith as it's foundation

To grow in Christ first off necessitates a relationship with Jesus based on faith-- faith which is sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1)

Until one enters into a relationship with Christ by faith, one remains an enemy of God and under His wrath (detailed by Peter in 2 Peter 3). To receive God's forgiveness and the promises of God, faith in Christ is required. It is from this foundation of faith that we, in cooperation with God, work out our salvation.

TO FAITH WE ARE TO ADD....

a. Goodness- moral excellence, the character of Christ. Whatever is true, pure, right, lovely, noble, admirable, whatever is praiseworthy or excellent (Phil 4:8)
b. Knowledge: By the Word of God. Get into it. Study it. Love it. Do it. Then will know right from wrong and will be able to discern false teaching (big theme of 2 Peter 2)
c. Self control: This is about mastering ones moods, desires, lusts, etc. It's about saying NO to the flesh and YES to God. It impacts how much you eat, what you do with your mind and body when faced with sexual temptation, how you express your anger, how you speak, etc
d. Perseverance: Over and over again the Scriptures exhort us to stand firm in our faith. To hold on, to bear up under suffering and trial. We are to stay faithful!
e. Godliness: Practical religion. Living with an awareness of God's presence. Striving to be like Jesus
f. Brotherly kindness: Remember the emphasis of 1 Peter and how every chapter talks about how we to love our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Affection for the family of God.
g. Love: To love as Christ has loved us. This is love for all people and even our enemies. Reminds me of the song "They will know we are Christians by our love"

In giving ourselves to the pursuit of these things we will come to know Christ. Further, we will bear much fruit and come to have a great assurance of faith. See 1 Peter 2:8, 1 Timothy 3:13.

Note: Growth in these attributes will come only as we draw close to Christ-- through prayer, his word, a mind set on him, and loving obedience. The closer we draw to Christ the more we will be like him.

WE ARE TO DO OUR PART TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR FAITH IS STRONG!


III. A RICH WELCOME INTO HEAVEN AWAITS THE FOLLOWERS OF JESUS CHRIST v.11

2 Peter 1:10-11 says; "Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

Heaven and being with Christ our Savior, is the goal of every believer. Our desire is to meet face to face with the one who has died for us and taken the punishment that we deserve. Our desire is to meet him and thank him and then to enter into the rest that he has promised to those who love him. A rest that entails a new Heaven and a New Earth and the complete absence of all things sinful.

The promise of Christ to us is that a rich welcome awaits those who serve Him faithfully. A rich welcome awaits those who in faith and repentance have taken Jesus as their Savior and Lord. A rich welcome awaits us who love Him.

***The promise of Christ is that a rich welcome awaits those who do their part in the process of becoming like Christ! This is the point of Peter's highlighting the 7 qualities of v.5-7****.

In imagining the rich welcome that Peter writes of, consider what the master says to the faithful servant in the parable of the talents "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!" Matthew 25:21

Also note what Paul says in 2 Timothy 4:7-8 "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing."

Some Bible verses on Heaven

Isaiah 65:17 "Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.

Jesus in John 14:1-4 says of Heaven; "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going."

In 2 Peter 3:13 it says; "But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness."

"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14

Hebrews 11:16 speaking of the ancients who walked by faith says; "Instead, they were longing for a better country-a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them."

Of Heaven, Revelation 21:27 says; "Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life."

For even more info on Heaven:

-Read all of Revelation 21-22.
-Read also of the Garden of Eden from Genesis 1-2
-Read of the picture that is given of the Promised Land (being a type for the Heaven to come) Numbers 13:1-25
-Read I Corinthians 15 which talks of the nature of our resurrection bodies
-Read Isaiah 65:17-25 which provides a picture of Heaven and the life to come
-Read also Hebrews 4:1-11
-Read Mark 12:18-27

CONCLUSION

How to receive a rich welcome into Heaven

1. Turn to Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins. Put your faith in Christ as Savior and Lord
2. Develop your walk with Christ in the here and now. Get to know Jesus
3. Work out your salvation with fear and trembling. Make your calling and election sure. God has His part, but we have ours

Remember this: We lack no good thing. In Christ we have everything we need for life and godliness.