1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
The book of First Peter launches with one of the most glorious and hopeful passages imaginable. It is addressed to people who have fled Jerusalem, and all that was familiar, to live as foreigners and strangers in other countries. They distanced themselves from Jerusalem to escape persecution and death because they had trusted in the death and resurrection of Jesus and had exchanged social acceptance for an admission to Heaven. Peter wants to encourage them as they struggle with their new lives...so full of change and challenge. We, too, in our day have left many aspects of our personal Jerusalem's behind as we have also trusted in the work of the Savior. We are no longer under the world system or the deceptive mastery of Satan. Sometimes we are tempted to look back at our old Jerusalems just as Lot's wife looked back at Sodom because the familiar past is often more comfortable than the unknown future. But consider the words of Peter...especially the adjectives he uses in the passage above: "great mercy", "living hope", an "imperishable, undefiled, unfading ,heavenly" inheritance. And consider the action words: "caused us", "born again", "reserved in heaven", "protected by the power of God", "revealed in the last time". Our fulfillment now comes from the flavor of hope more than the satisfactions of society or the savor of sensory delight. But it is a real hope, a powerful hope, an eternal hope that only has its birth here on earth's crust because it is a Heavenly hope and Heaven is our sure destination. But, most of all, it is a real and certain hope and can be relied on as surely as the sun has risen this morning. I hope the risen Son has planted this hope in your heart!