Living for Heaven in a World Gone to Hell

1 Peter 3:8-12 – Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

The Christian life can be a confusing life. The Bible says we are citizens of heaven, yet the world we live in often feels like hell. Peter opened his letter helping us understand this calling Christians “exiles”.

Today, we live between heaven and hell. Every day, the divisions we make pull the culture of hell up into our lives or invite the culture of Heaven down into our lives. This is the list of options that Peter provides:

Culture of hell

  1. Repay evil for evil – vengeance escalates the conflict toward a lose-lose outcome
  2. Return reviling for reviling – slander, defamation, mockery, lying, destroy a reputation
  3. Tongue that speaks evil and deceit – lying, fraud, deceitfulness, framing all information about someone in the most negative light
  4. Do evil against God – a coward that gives in to the godless mob by joining in their foolishness and evil

Culture of Heaven

  1. Unity of mind – not a uniformity on everything, but a unity on what matters so that there is not division but peace
  2. Sympathy – costly compassion seeking to understand someone’s life experience and what has made them the way they are
  3. Brotherly love – caring for someone instead of using them by putting their interests above your own
  4. Tender heart – like family that loves one another by guarding against hardness of heart
  5. Humble mind – willing to listen and learn while open to instruction and correction
  6. Endure evil (deeds) and reviling (words) – base your responses upon God’s character and not their conduct
  7. Bless others – not agree or enable them but seek their best and remain silent as needed to bring peace

To download the free e-book ODD LIFE: Good God which is a study in 1 Peter for individuals, groups, and families from Pastor Mark click HERE. To listen to Pastor Mark’s 9 sermons on 1 Peter preached in the summer of 2020, click HERE. These and other resources are made possible by our ministry partners who support Real Faith as a Bible teaching ministry of Mark Driscoll Ministries to whom we say THANK YOU! 

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