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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Summer in St. Pete’s

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I live in Lincoln, Illinois. I have now for nearly 8
years and look forward to this being my home for
a long time. However, I have always enjoyed visits
to Florida. Who doesn’t? One of those locations
was a beach front on the gulf named St. Pete’s (or
St. Petersburg).
When I am there, I am only a visitor. I am in
some ways an alien. St. Pete’s is not my home.
In I Peter, the Apostle will remind hurting, suffering,
persecuted followers of Jesus Christ that this
world is not their home either. They are to live as
aliens here on Earth knowing their real home is in
heaven. Really? Aliens?
Many of you will remember the 1990s TV series
“The X-Files” that was about government dealings
with aliens and claimed to expose a sinister
“Master plan” - a grand conspiracy between
aliens and government agencies to eventually set
up Earth as an alien colony. (Way cool!)
Hollywood has made billions off movies of the
notion of secret alien plans at work in human history.
Several TV shows now waste a lot of time contemplating that aliens have left ancient secret
messages in various records of prehistoric cultures.
The business of aliens is lucrative to say the least.
And of course, there are thousands of examples
of alien conspiracy theories that claim to
uncover the meaning of human existence in
secretive hidden plots: plots by aliens, plots by
freemasons, plots by huge financial companies,
revelations made in star signs, or messages telling
us that we must prepare for the awakening of
galactic consciousness at a date written in crop
circles.
What a load of junk. One might be tempted to
dismiss all this and conclude that it is simply an
example of people rejecting God. When they start
believing in nothing, they end up believing in anything!
True, but actually, all these alien enthusiasts
point out a simple fact: people want to know
there is something greater and bigger beyond this
planet. There has to be something more to life
than what we see around us. The Apostle Peter
couldn’t agree more.
Seeing the desperate searching in other people
should remind us Christians about the precious
truth that we already know. Of course there is
more after this life...Jesus told us there was.
 

 If you want to know secret government conspiracies about secret alien visitors, then you can read about them online on any one of a million
websites. If you want to know the details of the “Xfiles” master plan, then you can watch it on endless reruns on television. But if you want to know the REAL master plan, God's master plan, the one revealed in and by Jesus Christ, then we need to turn to the Holy Scriptures.
As Christians, we are described as “aliens and
strangers” in this world (1 Peter 2:11). In other
words, just like the old gospel singers used to sing,
“This world is not my home. I’m just a passing
through!”
“Live long and prosper!”
We will be in the book of I Peter for most of the
summer. Through this study we will see how Peter
encourages believers who face suffering and persecution to keep a heavenly perspective. In his
day, the world was doing all it could to stop Christianity.
If you think about it, his culture sounds a lot
like what we are going through now and what is
about to get even more intense. How then are we
to live in a world that is growing in hatred and hostility for Christianity? Peter is about to help us with that question.
June 8- Hope for Discouraged People
1 Peter 1:1-12
June 15- Choosing to Live Differently
1 Peter 1:13-2:3
June 22- Remember Who You Are
1 Peter 2:4-10
June 29- Overcoming Selfishness
1 Peter 2:11-25

[Ron Otto, Preaching Minister
Lincoln Christian Church]

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