Daily Archives: August 21, 2018

Robert Jeffress: Trump Belief in ‘Eye for an Eye’ Is ‘Effective Way to Run a Country’

Texas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress has voiced his support for President Donald Trump’s tough foreign policy efforts, stating that an “eye for an eye” is an “effective way to run a country.”
— Read on www.christianpost.com/amp/robert-jeffress-trump-eye-for-an-eye-effective-way-to-run-a-country-226889/

August 21, 2018 Morning Verse Of The Day

18 Even when they had made for themselves a golden calf and said, ‘This is your God who brought you up out of Egypt,’ and had committed great blasphemies, 19 you in your great mercies did not forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of cloud to lead them in the way did not depart from them by day, nor the pillar of fire by night to light for them the way by which they should go. 20 You gave your good Spirit to instruct them and did not withhold your manna from their mouth and gave them water for their thirst. 21 Forty years you sustained them in the wilderness, and they lacked nothing. Their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not swell.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ne 9:18–21). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

20 The “good Spirit” and the “manna” recall Numbers 11. On “their thirst,” see v. 15; Isaiah 21:14; 44:3.[1]

9:18–21 In these verses, the poet describes the faithfulness of God to the Israelites in the wilderness despite their wretched behavior. Molded calf is a reference to the act of rebellion described in Ex. 32. Manifold mercies describes deep feelings like those of a mother for her child. You did not forsake them is repeated from v. 17. God would have been justified in abandoning His people because of their extreme sinfulness and wicked rebellion; yet He was compelled by His character not to do so. You also gave Your good Spirit: God not only gave gifts to His people, He made Himself known in their midst. Forty years: The wilderness experience (Deut. 2:7) is viewed in two ways in the Bible: (1) as a period of prolonged punishment because of rebellion; and (2) as a period of continued mercy because of God’s unchanging character. clothes … feet: God’s provisions were daily experiences of divine miracles (Deut. 8:4; 29:5).[2]

9:18–21 God’s mercy was put to the test in the making of the golden calf (see Ex 32). Yet even this serious offense was met with mercy. God’s presence remained with them in the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire, and his provision continued during their entire forty years in the wilderness. God even sent his good Spirit (Hb ruachka hatovah) to instruct his people, probably a reference to the seventy elders chosen by Moses (Nm 11:16–17, 23–30) who received some of the Spirit Moses had (Nm 11:25).[3]

[1] Yamauchi, E. M. (2010). Ezra and Nehemiah. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 Chronicles–Job (Revised Edition) (Vol. 4, p. 527). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 596). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[3] Anderson, C. R. (2017). Nehemiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 734). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

August 21 A Little Piece of Bread

“Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for [the Lord] Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.’ ”

Hebrews 13:5


God promises to provide for all your needs.

In World War II the death of many adults left many orphans. At the close of the war, the Allies provided some camps to feed the orphans and to try and find a place to relocate them. The children began to develop and grow, receiving the finest food and care. But in one of the camps, the officials became perplexed because the children couldn’t sleep. They would eat three good meals, but at night they would lie awake. The camp authorities brought in some doctors to do a study of these orphans to find out why they couldn’t sleep.

The doctors came up with a solution. Every night when the little children were put to bed, someone would come down the row of beds and place in each little hand a piece of bread. So the last thing the children experienced at night was grasping  a piece of bread. In a matter of days they were all sleeping through the night. Why? Even though they were fed to the full during the day, experience had taught them that there was no hope for tomorrow. When they had that bread tucked in their hands, they knew that at least they would have breakfast the next day.

Similarly, God has given you a piece of bread for your hand. That bread is this promise: “My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). If you have that piece of bread in your hand, you can sleep.

You don’t need to stockpile for the future. God is the owner of everything in the world, and He controls all the assets to provide for you because you are His child. Life for the Christian consists not in the abundance of things he possesses (Luke 12:15), but in being content with the things that he has (Heb. 13:5).


Suggestions for Prayer: Thank God for His promise to provide for all your needs.

For Further Study: In Psalm 37:25, what was David’s testimony about the Lord?[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. (1997). Strength for today. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

How Do You Know if Your Church is Healthy? — Tim Challies

There are healthy churches and unhealthy churches (so, so many unhealthy churches). How would you know the difference? I was asked that question recently and this is my attempt at an answer.

via How Do You Know if Your Church is Healthy? — Tim Challies

Barack Obama traveled to South Africa in July and delivered a speech at the 2018 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in Johannesburg.

During the speech Obama called for guaranteed income.

Obama also praised South African President Cyril Ramaphosa for quote, “Inspiring great hope in this country.”

Tucker Carlson pointed out these stunning comments on his show.

Tucker Carlson: Obama began his remarks by thanking South African President Cyril Ramaphosa for, quote, “Inspiring great hope in this country.” Now if you’ve been following what’s going on in South Africa you might be shocked by that because it turns out Ramaphosa recently declared that he would change the South African constitution and he will do it for the explicit purpose of persecuting a racial minority, seizing their land without compensation not because they committed a specific crime but because they are the wrong color… Thanks to policies like this many South Africans have already been murdered in race killings and many more are fleeing the country for their lives. It’s not covered here but it’s covered in the rest of the world and it’s real.

Via Tucker Carlson Tonight:

On Monday the South African government began seizing white-owned farms without compensation.

News.com.AU reported:

THE South African government has begun the process of seizing land from white farmers.

Local newspaper City Press reports two game farms in the northern province of Limpopo are the first to be targeted for unilateral seizure after negotiations with the owners to purchase the properties stalled.

While the government says it intends to pay, owners Akkerland Boerdery wanted 200 million rand ($18.7 million) for the land — they’re being offered just 20 million rand ($1.87 million).

via In July Obama Praised South African Leader for “Inspiring Great Hope” …On Monday the South African Leader Seized White-Owned Farms — The Gateway Pundit

JOHN BRENNAN EXPOSED: Former Secret Service Agent Confirms Ex-CIA Chief Plotted With Harry Reid To ‘Take Down’ Trump : These Christian Times

While the liberal media refuses to do actual reporting and instead has become the Enemy of the American people. It becomes more and more evident who sides they are colluding with. What they have failed to report are facts on the whole bogus Russian Collusion. The individuals involved and the damage they have cause to America. A former Secret Service has let the kitty out of the bag and dropped devastating proof about John Brennan.   Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino absolutely destroyed unhinged former Obama CIA chief John Brennan and reveals Liberal and Former Senator Harry Reid were involved to destroy President Trump. This is an 18 minute video, but worth the watch to see the bigger picture on players involved who to destroy America and President Trump.

— Read on www.thesechristiantimes.com/2018/08/21/john-brennan-exposed-former-secret-service-agent-confirms-ex-cia-chief-plotted-with-harry-reid-to-take-down-trump/

08/21/18 False Faith — ChuckLawless.com

READING: Jeremiah 41-44

“As for the word you spoke to us in the name of the Lord,

we are not going to listen to you!”

Jeremiah 44:16

If you make a commitment to follow God’s word, you had better do it. God will keep His word, including His commitment to bring judgment if we don’t keep our commitment to Him.

The people remaining in Judah in Jeremiah’s day sought his prayer support, and they affirmed their commitment to do whatever God told them to do: “May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we don’t act according to every word the Lord your God sends you to tell us. Whether it is pleasant or unpleasant, we will obey the Lord our God to whom we are sending you so that it may go well with us. We will certainly obey the Lord our God!”(Jer. 42:5-6).

Listen again to their commitment. They said they would do every word the Lord commanded. Up front, they didn’t worry about whether God’s Word was “pleasant” or “unpleasant.” Indeed, they said it would go well with them if they followed the Lord.

Such commitment. Such faith. Such willingness to follow. At least in words.

In the end, they disobeyed Jeremiah’s words to remain in Judah, made their way to Egypt, and turned to pagan worship that cost them much. It would do most of us good to be more careful in our pronouncements of faithfulness when we have no intention to listen to God in the first place.


  • Evaluate your own heart to determine how much of your following God is really only in words.
  • What commitments to God have you made in the past but have never kept?

PRAYER: “God, help me to read my heart properly today. Show me who I really am.”

TOMORROW’S READING:Obadiah, Psalms 82, 83

via 08/21/18 False Faith — ChuckLawless.com

The Narcissistic Pastor: 10 signs that you may be one – Charles Stone

Narcissism is a deadly trait for a pastor. It can take down our ministry. In this post I suggest 10 traits that might evidence a narcissistic pastor.

Ancient Greek mythology offers an important lesson for anyone in ministry, or in any leadership position for that matter. As one fable goes, Narcissus was a beautiful hunter. As a boy his face looked as if it were chiseled from the purest marble. His beauty attracted others to him but he could never let anyone get close even though they tried to extend their love to him. He resisted because he had found another love. Here’s what happened in the story and the implications for someone who might have traits of a narcissistic pastor.

One day at age 16 as be walked along the mythical river Styx, he stopped to sip water from a calm pool. As he knelt, the image he saw in the pool transfixed him. He immediately discovered his new love, the image of himself. His obsession with his own image kept him from giving or receiving love from others. The story says that because he could not bear to leave his reflection, he lay down by the pool and pined away for himself. Eventually the earth absorbed him and he became the flower narcissus. Thus, the word narcissist came to mean a person who has a fixation with himself.

What are some indicators that a pastor or a leader may be a narcissist? And what are the dangers to his or her ministry and family?

Peter Steinki, a prolific author and church ministry consultant, has working with hundreds of churches and pastors in the last 40 years. He once worked with 65 pastors who had affairs and found that narcissism lay at the root of most of those failures. These pastors’ need for others to value them and their need to feel important led them to sexualize their desires. Their narcissistic tendencies led them to moral failure.

Based on my experience with others and upon the insight of others like Steinki, I believe that if a pastor shows signs of narcissism and doesn’t admit them and seek help, he has doomed himself to failure. The narcissistic pastor lives with an inflated sense of self-importance and an insatiable drive to be liked and to be at the center of attention. Satan will capitalize on these traits and tempt him to compromise his morals and values. A narcissistic pastor will create a false self to cover his fear of humiliation. Exposure to the real person is anathema to him. Steinki says that a narcissistic pastor’s drive to avoid disclosure often results in these kinds of behaviors.[1]

1 Rage if he experiences shame for shame exposes his true self.

2 An inordinate need for praise in order to feel important.

3 The feeling of entitlement to special treatment.

4 The immense need for continual feedback of how important she is.

5 The feeling of superiority and its reinforcement from others.

6 Strong reaction to rejection and disapproval, sometimes with intense rage.

7 The lack of the capacity to mourn, a defense against depression.

8 Calculating and conniving behavior to “maintain” supplies of continuous adulation.

9 An impaired capacity for commitment.

10 No capacity for self-focus or self-examination.

Unfortunately, ministry can give rise to narcissism. We are often in the limelight and get kudos and compliments from others that feed our egos. In the past two decades it seems that annually some well-known pastor commits adultery or fails in some public moral way, often rooted in narcissistic tendencies. Unfortunately, narcissists often exude qualities we laud: self-confidence, a magnetic personality, strong platform skills, and the ability to motivate others. Narcissism is deadly. Perhaps that’s one reason the bible often speaks against pride and for humility.

I’d like to hear about your experience with a narcissistic leader. Would you add any traits to this list? Have you ever seen a narcissistic pastor change? What helped him change?

Related posts:

Do Pastors Wield too Much Power?

Mashed Potatoes, Pride and God’s Eyes

[1] Peter L. Steinke, “Clergy Affairs,” Journal of Psychology and Christianity Vol. 8 No. 4 (1989), pp.60-61.
— Read on charlesstone.com/the-narcissistic-pastor-10-signs-that-you-may-be-one/


And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.

—Genesis 28:17

God has indeed lent to every man the power to lock his heart and stalk away darkly into his self-chosen night, as He has lent to every man the ability to respond to His overtures of grace, but while the “no” choice may be ours, the “yes” choice is always God’s….

How deeply do men err who conceive of God as subject to our human will or as standing respectfully to wait upon our human pleasure. Though He in condescending love may seem to place Himself at our disposal, yet never for the least division of a moment does He abdicate His throne or void His right as Lord of man and nature. He is that Majesty on high. To Him all angels cry aloud, the heavens and all the powers therein: to Him cherubim and seraphim continually do cry, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth, heaven and earth are full of the majesty of thy glory.” He is the Fear of Isaac and the Dread of Jacob, and before Him prophet and patriarch and saint have knelt in breathless awe and adoration. POM039-041

Lord, help me recapture some of that dread and awe and admiration with which You were viewed in the Old Testament. I’ve become too familiar, and I’ve distorted and cheapened the picture in the process. Amen. [1]

[1] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

Liberty Defined | Mises Institute

Liberty means to exercise human rights in any manner a person chooses so long as it does not interfere with the exercise of the rights of others. This means, above all else, keeping government out of our lives. Only this path leads to the unleashing of human energies that build civilization, provide security, generate wealth, and protect the people from systematic rights violations. In this sense, only liberty can truly ward off tyranny, the great and eternal foe of mankind.

The definition of liberty I use is the same one that was accepted by Thomas Jefferson and his generation. It is the understanding derived from the great freedom tradition, for Jefferson himself took his understanding from John Locke (1632–1704). I use the term “liberal” without irony or contempt, for the liberal tradition in the true sense, dating from the late Middle Ages until the early part of the twentieth century, was devoted to freeing society from the shackles of the state. This is an agenda I embrace, and one that I believe all should embrace.

To believe in liberty is not to believe in any particular social and economic outcome. It is to trust in the spontaneous order that emerges when the state does not intervene in human volition and human cooperation. It permits people to work out their problems for themselves, build lives for themselves, take risks and accept responsibility for the results, and make their own decisions.

Our standards of living are made possible by the blessed institution of liberty. When liberty is under attack, everything we hold dear is under attack. Governments, by their very nature, notoriously compete with liberty, even when the stated purpose for establishing a particular government is to protect liberty.

Take the United States, for example. Our country was established with the greatest ideals and respect for individual freedom ever known. Yet look at where we are today: runaway spending and uncontrollable debt; a monstrous bureaucracy regulating our every move; total disregard for private property, free markets, sound money, and personal privacy; and a foreign policy of military expansionism. The restraints placed on our government in the Constitution by the Founders did not work. Powerful special interests rule, and there seems to be no way to fight against them. While the middle class is being destroyed, the poor suffer, the justly rich are being looted, and the unjustly rich are getting richer. The wealth of the country has fallen into the hands of a few at the expense of the many. Some say this is because of a lack of regulations on Wall Street, but that is not right. The root of this issue reaches far deeper than that.

The threat to liberty is not limited to the United States. Dollar hegemony has globalized the crisis. Nothing like this has ever happened before. All economies are interrelated and dependent on the dollar’s maintaining its value, while at the same time the endless expansion of the dollar money supply is expected to bail out everyone.

This dollar globalization is made more dangerous by nearly all governments acting irresponsibly by expanding their powers and living beyond their means. Worldwide debt is a problem that will continue to grow if we continue on this path. Yet all governments, and especially ours, do not hesitate to further expand their powers at the expense of liberty in a futile effort to force an outcome of their design on us. They simply expand and plummet further into debt.

Understanding how governments always compete with liberty and destroy progress, creativity, and prosperity is crucial to our effort to reverse the course on which we find ourselves. The contest between abusive government power and individual freedom is an age-old problem. The concept of liberty, recognized as a natural right, has required thousands of years to be understood by the masses in reaction to the tyranny imposed by those whose only desire is to rule over others and live off their enslavement.

This conflict was understood by the defenders of the Roman Republic, the Israelites of the Old Testament, the rebellious barons of 1215 who demanded the right of habeas corpus, and certainly by the Founders of America, who imagined the possibility of a society without kings and despots and thereby established a framework that has inspired liberation movements ever since. It is understood by growing numbers of people who are crying out for answers and demanding an end to Washington’s hegemony over the world.

And yet even among the friends of liberty, many people are deceived into believing that government can make them safe from all harm, provide fairly distributed economic security, and improve individual moral behavior. If the government is granted a monopoly on the use of force to achieve these goals, history shows that that power is always abused. Every single time.

Over the centuries, progress has been made in understanding the concept of individual liberty and the need to constantly remain vigilant in order to limit government’s abuse of its powers. Though steady progress has been made, periodic setbacks and stagnations have occurred. For the past one hundred years, the United States and most of the world have witnessed a setback for the cause of liberty. Despite all the advances in technology, despite a more refined understanding of the rights of minorities, despite all the economic advances, the individual has far less protection against the state than a century ago.

Since the beginning of the last century, many seeds of destruction have been planted that are now maturing into a systematic assault on our freedoms. With a horrendous financial and currency crisis both upon us and looming into the future as far as the eye can see, it has become quite apparent that national debt is unsustainable, liberty is threatened, and the people’s anger and fears are growing. Most importantly, it is now clear that government promises and panaceas are worthless. Government has once again failed and the demand for change is growing louder by the day. Just witness the dramatic back-and-forth swings of the parties in power.

The only thing that the promises of government did was to delude the people into a false sense of security. Complacency and mistrust generated a tremendous moral hazard, causing dangerous behavior by a large number of people. Self-reliance and individual responsibility were replaced by organized thugs who weaseled their way into achieving control over the process whereby the looted wealth of the country was distributed.

The choice we now face: further steps toward authoritarianism or a renewed effort in promoting the cause of liberty. There is no third option. This course must incorporate a modern and more sophisticated understanding of the magnificence of the market economy, especially the moral and practical urgency of monetary reform. The abysmal shortcomings of a government power that undermines the creative genius of free minds and private property must be fully understood.

This conflict between government and liberty, brought to a boiling point by the world’s biggest bankruptcy in history, has generated the angry protests that have spontaneously broken out around the country—and the world. The producers are rebelling and the recipients of largess are angry and restless.

The crisis demands an intellectual revolution. Fortunately, this revolution is under way, and if one earnestly looks for it, it can be found. Participation in it is open to everyone. Not only have our ideas of liberty developed over centuries, they are currently being eagerly debated, and a modern, advanced understanding of the concept is on the horizon. The Revolution is alive and well.

The goal is liberty. The results of liberty are all the things we love, none of which can be finally provided by government. We must have the opportunity to provide them for ourselves, as individuals, as families, as a society, and as a country.

[This is excerpted from the introduction of Ron Paul’s Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues that Affect Our Freedom.]
— Read on mises.org/library/liberty-defined-2

August 20 Daily Help

THE Father loves the Son without any end, and thus does the Son love his people. Rest confident that even down to the grave Christ will go with you, and that up again from it he will be your guide to the celestial hills. Moreover, the Father loves the Son without any measure, and the same immeasurable love the Son bestows upon his chosen ones. The whole heart of Christ is dedicated to his people. He “loved us and gave himself for us.” His is a love which passeth knowledge. Ah! we have indeed a precious Saviour, one who loves without measure, without change, without beginning, and without end, even as the Father loves him![1]

[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 236). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

“Evil is a made-up concept”

The End Time

By Elizabeth Prata

  • “I’m a good person”
  • “People are basically good.”
  • “There’s no such thing as evil.”
  • “Can we all just get along? Can we get along?” (Spoken by Rodney King whose 1992 acts of resisting arrest and beating by LA police was videotaped by amateur video & sparked massive riots in the city).

The unsaved mind rejects evil in the world. Why? Because then they would have to face their own evil. As cartoonist Walt Kelly’s character Pogo famously said,

“We have met the enemy and he is us.” 

In contrast to the world’s view of humanity, the Bible says of us humans that we are enemies of God, doing evil in His sight all day long. (Genesis 6:5).

  • “as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one”; (Romans 3:10)
  • For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23)
  • The heart is deceitful…

View original post 1,107 more words

August 20, 2018 Evening Verse Of The Day

The Benefits Promised

Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you. (1:10–11)

Peter urges believers to select the positive option already stated in verse 8. Reiterating verse 5 (“applying all diligence”), the apostle commands believers to be all the more diligent spiritually, so as to know and enjoy the reality of their eternal salvation. Be … diligent (spoudasate) is the verb form of the noun spoudē (“diligence”) used in verse 5 and again conveys urgency and eagerness. To emphasize the right believers have to enjoy assurance, the apostle speaks not of their faith, but God’s sovereign choice. Believers are able to make certain—in Hebrews 9:17 the word for certain [ bebaios ] is used in the sense of a legal validity or confirmation—God’s calling and choosing of them. To make (poieisthai) is reflexive, indicating believers are to assure themselves. Calling and choosing are inseparable realities indicating God’s effectual call of believers to salvation (Rom. 11:29; 2 Thess. 2:14; 2 Tim. 1:9; cf. Matt. 4:17; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 17:30) based on His sovereign election of them in eternity past (Rom. 8:29; Eph. 1:4, 11; Titus 1:2; 1 Peter 2:9). Peter’s concern is that believers have confidence and assurance that they are included in the elect. God knows His elect (cf. 2 Tim. 1:9, and the discussion of 1 Peter 1:1–5 in John MacArthur, 1 Peter, MacArthur New Testament Commentary [Chicago: Moody, 2004], 13–38), and His elect should enjoy the knowledge that they are His.

As long as Christians practice these things—increasingly pursue the moral virtues essential to holy living—they give evidence to themselves and enjoy assurance that God has granted them eternal life (cf. Heb. 6:11). Practice refers to the pattern of daily conduct (cf. Rom. 12:9–13; Gal. 5:22–25; Eph. 5:15; Col. 3:12–17). If it is in keeping with the moral virtues Peter described, believers will never stumble into doubt, despair, or fear, which allows them to confidently enjoy an abundant and productive spiritual life (cf. Ps. 16:11; John 10:10; Eph. 1:18; 2:7; 1 Tim. 6:17).

In this way, again referring to the constant pursuit of holiness, the blessings of assurance and perseverance come to believers. As a result, the entrance into the eternal kingdom of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to them. Assurance of one’s having entered into the eternal kingdom is the experience of the Christian who practices what Peter has listed. That was great encouragement to the apostle’s weary readers. No believer needs to live with doubt regarding salvation, but he may have assurance abundantly supplied in the present. A rich heavenly reward in the future may also be implied (cf. 2 Tim. 4:8; Heb. 4:9; 12:28; 1 Peter 5:4; Rev. 2:10; 22:12).

The Lord will reward His children based on their faithful pursuit of righteousness (see again 1 Cor. 3:11–14; 2 Cor. 5:10). Assurance in this life and riches in heaven are the benefits of spiritual diligence and fruitfulness.[1]

11 The final “promise” extended by the gracious Lord and Savior is to “lavishly provide” (NIV, “receive”; once more, epichorēgeō) entrance into his eternal kingdom. This reward awaits those who have confirmed their calling through a virtuous life worthy of the divine name. Entrance is not earned, lest the Petrine ethic be misconstrued; rather, it is predicated on grace, all grace, lavishly provided by the divine Benefactor.[2]

A Christian’s rewards (v. 11)

The overwhelming generosity of God is shown in this verse and Peter encourages positive thinking regarding the life to come. Peter here urges his readers to strive for the best. Maybe the Roman Games were in Peter’s mind; there athletes would compete for the prize, and generally speaking it was the best prepared and most determined who would succeed in the contest.

The Bible clearly states that by personal effort none can save or sanctify him- or herself; it all has to be of God’s mercy. Added to that is a further great mystery: for God will reward the faithful servant of Jesus Christ.

A Christian’s great reward

John Bunyan takes up this theme and uses it to glorious effect in the second part of The Pilgrim’s Progress. He describes the passing-over of Mr Valiant-for-Truth:

It was noised abroad, that Mr. Valiant-for-Truth was taken with a summons, that his pitcher was broken at the fountain. When he understood it, he called for his friends, and told them of it. Then he said, ‘I am going to my Father’s; and though with great difficulty I am got hither, yet now I do not repent me of all the trouble I have been at to arrive where I am. My sword I give to him that shall succeed me in my pilgrimage, and my courage and skill to him that can get it. My marks and scars I carry with me, to be a witness for me, that I have fought his battles, who now will be my rewarder.’ When the day that he must go hence was come, many accompanied him to the river side, into which as he went, he said, ‘Death, where is thy sting?’ and as he went down deeper, he said, ‘Grave, where is thy victory?’ So he passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side.

How wonderful it must be to receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ![3]

1:11 / Furthermore, they will receive a rich welcome into the divine kingdom. The Greek is literally, “the entry for you will be richly abundantly supplied,” using epichorēgeoin, as in verse 5. The writer, well aware of the limitations of words to depict spiritual truths, piles on vocabulary to try to emphasize, underline, and stress the overflowing generosity of the divine action, and the splendor of the Christian prospect. Faithful pilgrims on earth will be astonished at the lavish provision God has prepared for them when they come to enter the next world.

That entry, as Hebrews 10:19 points out, is made possible as a direct consequence of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. So Peter here describes the eternal kingdom as that of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, even though the kingdom is more often specified in the nt as God’s. But no distinction is intended. Peter gives a twofold description of the divine kingdom. It is eternal, and thus as different as can be from the transient powers and the hollow glamor of earthly realms. It is the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Entrance is gained only as a consequence of a living relationship with him. And once within that kingdom, believers discover that its sphere is one of harmonious life with him.[4]

The eternal Christian (1:10–11)

Peter has already written in verse 5 that we are to ‘make every effort’ as Christians, but since then he has listed eight areas in which growth is required. Now he reinforces his argument: be all the more eager. He even echoes the same Greek word (spoudē, the noun, in verse 5; spoudazō, the verb, in verse 11), but he underlines it twice by adding therefore and be all the more. His serious concern is that we take the responsibility to continue to the end of our Christian lives more deeply grounded within the same hope with which we started.

Two words describe the content of our hope: calling and election. Both come with a long biblical pedigree. Our election is God’s sovereign choice of us in Christ from before time. Paul said that God ‘chose us in [Christ] before the creation of the world,’ and as Peter has said in verse 3, our calling is anchored in Jesus’ call to follow him. Peter is expressing himself with his usual care, for just as God’s sovereignty once more occupies centre stage (1:3–4), so does our responsibility. We are to be all the more eager to make our calling and election sure. Without contributing anything to our salvation, the acid test of the genuineness of our faith is that either we make costly life changes on the basis of it, or we treat sin and judgment as irrelevant to a Christian. The word make (poieisthai) is in a form which emphasizes our responsibility in this activity. It is as if Peter were saying, ‘you, for your part, make sure …’ The word sure (bebaios) has a legal flavour, suggesting ‘ratified’. So the wonderful truth that Christians have been eternally called and chosen is not an abstract matter of irrelevant theology which requires no response apart from an intellectual assent. Rather, the evidence that we have been called and chosen will be the energy that we put in to making our calling and election sure.

If we do ‘make every effort’, Peter assures us of blessings that will last for eternity. First, we will never fall. That does not mean that we will never sin, because the Bible never promises us that kind of perfection outside heaven. Nor is it a rigid guarantee of salvation that frees us from activity and responsibility. Instead, it means that we will never ‘suffer a reverse’,22 because God will never change his mind about how to get people into heaven, and will never send us back because we are not good enough. Specifically, it means that a Christian who is permanently devoted to following Jesus will never fall into the kind of error the false teachers had blundered into because of their blindness and short-sightedness. They had failed to take seriously their responsibility to live Christianly. The attitude that takes hold of Christ by faith and then lives a life of obedience to him is the one that proves that our salvation will last.

The second blessing that will last for an eternity is that Christians will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. You will receive is the passive form of the verb epichorēgeō, ‘provide’, translated ‘add to’ in verse 5. Here it means ‘you will be provided with’, and it is Jesus Christ who takes the responsibility for paying the price. Michael Green paints a picture of a victorious marathon runner being welcomed to the finishing-tape by a delighted home crowd. The welcome will be rich, not because God is repaying a price to the Christian, but because he is lavishly meeting our needs for an eternity of serving him as our King. Throughout the gospels, the idea of Christ’s kingdom has both a present and a future aspect, where what is true and available today is put alongside what is true and available only to those who believe the promise. When Christ returns as Lord and Saviour, though, it will all be present. As Lord he will rule his kingdom, visibly and eternally, and as Saviour he will be able both to condemn sin and to save sinners.[5]

1:10–11. This section concludes with a word of challenge and encouragement. False teachers attacked the faith of the original readers of 2 Peter. Some of them were beginning to doubt their faith. Peter, particularly in verse 2 above, went out of his way to reassure them of the validity of their faith. Thus, the expression make your calling and election sure must not be construed to suggest that God has any doubts regarding their faith or calling. The problem of doubt or questioning is one the readers struggled with, not God.

As you begin to see changes and transformations occurring in your life, this should reassure you that God has called you to himself. These changes serve to “make your calling and election sure.” The opposite is also true. If your life shows no positive changes and this causes you no concern, then you should wonder and question whether you are a true believer in Jesus Christ.

If you respond positively to the challenge, you will find encouragement in the words, you will never fall. This does not mean that you will never have a problem or that you will never sin again. The picture is that of a march, and the point here is that the true believer will never fall out of the march to heaven. You will never be left behind, but you can be assured of a glorious welcome into your eternal home. God will never change his mind about you, nor will he alter the means by which you get to heaven. True believers can be assured that God will never send us away from heaven because we are not good enough.[6]

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

A literal translation of the beginning of this text is, “for in this way” (NASB). That is, by personally affirming his calling and election, the believer enters Christ’s kingdom.

  • Rewards

God responds to man’s faithfulness and richly provides for him an entrance into the kingdom. Note that Peter employs the word rich to describe not the manner but the event of the believer’s entrance into heaven. When God welcomes the believer to his heavenly abode, he considers the believer his child. Therefore, God lavishes gifts upon him to make him a rich person who enters heaven as a victor. John Albert Bengel writes, “You may be able to enter, not as having escaped from a shipwreck, or from fire, but as it were in triumph.” (Incidentally, contrast the text “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” [1 Peter 4:18] with this text. Obviously, the contexts of these two verses call for a difference in expression.)

Peter uses the personal pronoun you and tells the readers, “You will receive a rich welcome.” The meaning of the verb to receive, which is the same Greek verb translated “to add” in verse 5, implies that God will bless abundantly all those who cultivate spiritual virtues.

  • Place

Only in this verse the adjective eternal is used to describe the kingdom (compare Ps. 145:13; and see 2 Tim. 4:18, “heavenly kingdom”). Christ’s kingdom is eternal because he himself is eternal. In other words, the kingdom of Jesus is not subject to limitations of cosmic time; it exists forever. In this kingdom, Christ is king. As Jesus clearly teaches, God rules through his Son, Jesus Christ (Matt. 28:18).

Peter is fond of calling Jesus Christ “our Lord and Savior” (see 2:20; 3:2, 18). In verse 1 he calls Jesus “God and Savior” to emphasize his divinity.

  • Significance

Because the recipients of this epistle know the Lord as their Savior, Peter is not teaching that they will enter either the church or the kingdom of Christ here on earth. The future tense causes us to look expectantly to the coming of Christ’s eternal kingdom. We do not simply identify the kingdom with heaven, even though believers when they die enter this kingdom. The broader perspective, in Peter’s own words, is that “we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness” (3:13).

Doctrinal Considerations in 1:10–11

How do I know that I am a child of God? When I search my spiritual life, I know that the certainty of salvation does not come to me through dreams, visions, and revelations. I have assurance of salvation because God has given me his Word, has revealed himself in Jesus Christ, and has worked and continues to work in my heart through the Holy Spirit. God has created faith in my soul so that I put my complete confidence and trust in him.

I know not how this saving faith

To me he did impart,

Nor how believing in his Word

Wrought peace within my heart.

But “I know whom I have believed,

and am persuaded that he is able

To keep that which I’ve committed

Unto him against that day.” [2 Tim. 1:12, KJV]

—Daniel W. Whittle

What is the effect of this gift of faith? When I obediently listen to God’s call and do his will, when I experience God’s nearness in my soul, then I begin to understand that God’s calling and election are an unspeakable source of comfort to me. I realize that as long as I reflect God’s virtues in my life, I shall never fall. I know that God is able to keep me from falling and to present me faultless before him in love and with great joy (Jude 24).[7]

1:11 Not only is there safety in constant spiritual progress, there is also the promise of a richly-provided entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Peter refers here not to the fact of our entry but to the manner of it. The only basis of admission to the heavenly kingdom is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. But some will have a more abundant entrance than others. There will be degrees of reward. And the rewards are here said to depend on the degree of one’s conformity to the Savior.[8]

1:10–11 The ultimate goal is full and final salvation

This leads Peter to urge his fellow-Christians to demonstrate the reality of their own standing with God (by following the first path outlined above). In this way they will be kept from failure in this life and be welcomed enthusiastically into the Lord’s eternal kingdom (see Mt. 25:21–23). Peter is not here teaching that our salvation is to be earned by good works, nor that we can forfeit our relationship to Christ once we have genuinely responded to his call. Rather, he is reminding us that the development of a genuinely Christlike character is the only proof (to ourselves as well as to others) of our Christian status even though at times we sadly fail. This is consistent with the teaching of Jesus (Mt. 7:16–21), James (Jas. 3:2), John (1 Jn. 1:7–10; 3:10) and Paul (Gal. 5:16–25).

Notes. 10 Eager is the same root as make every effort in v 5 and may be a deliberate reference back. Make your calling and election sure is the tension which runs right through the first letter (see 1 Pet. 1:2, 17; cf. Phil. 2:12–13). Here too Peter stresses that we who have received a faith as precious (1:1) have yet to avoid being ineffective and unproductive in Christ’s service. Further, he hints that one can even fall from grace (Jude 24 uses the verb in the same sense). It does not here refer to sinning (as in Jas. 3:2) so there is no teaching of sinless perfection here. 11 Instead of this gloomy prospect, the Christian should look forward to a welcome into Christ’s eternal kingdom. The last phrase must refer to its full inauguration when Jesus returns. Receive a rich welcome translates the verb used for ‘add’ in v 5 above (see the note there). God’s lavish reward is a spur to lavish living for him.[9]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2005). 2 Peter and Jude (pp. 44–45). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

[2] Charles, D. J. (2006). 2 Peter. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, p. 391). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Anderson, C. (2007). Opening up 2 Peter (pp. 34–36). Leominster: Day One Publications.

[4] Hillyer, N. (2011). 1 and 2 Peter, Jude (pp. 169–170). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Lucas, R. C., & Green, C. (1995). The message of 2 Peter & Jude: the promise of His coming (pp. 63–64). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[6] Walls, D., & Anders, M. (1999). I & II Peter, I, II & III John, Jude (Vol. 11, p. 111). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[7] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Epistles of Peter and the Epistle of Jude (Vol. 16, pp. 257–258). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[8] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 2291). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[9] Wheaton, D. H. (1994). 2 Peter. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., pp. 1390–1391). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.