God's people have a role to play in immanentizing the eschaton. The great end toward which God is working is the destruction of evil and the restoration of all things.
Scripture: 1 Peter 1:1-25
- The letter of 1 Peter is attributed to Peter by early church fathers and it is referred to in 2 Peter 3:1.
- Peter wrote his letter to encourage the church during a time of persecution and harassment.
- Peter’s letter is eschatological, encouraging the church by reminding us of what God is doing in history.
- Peter begins with a blessing, goes on to remind us of our salvation in Christ, and concludes by expounding the implications of our salvation for the Christian life.
- Peter assures the persecuted church that in Christ they will be strengthened, blessed, and ultimately vindicated.
- Peter writes as an eye witness of Christ, and he marvels at the faith of those who never saw Jesus and yet persevere.
- Babylon refers to Rome, the symbolic empire of rebellion.
- Peter, a Jewish apostle, is concerned to connect Christ’s Church to its roots in the Old Testament.
- Whether we are blessed or persecuted, we’re to be witnesses to the grace of the gospel.
- Because we are heirs of all God’s promises in the gospel, we endure injustice with patience entrusting ourselves to God.
- Since we are chosen by God from all eternity, nothing can rob us of the joy of our citizenship in the Lord.
- God is always faithful in His electing promises, despite appearances to the contrary (cf. Rom. 11:1-5).
- We are elect exiles chosen by the Father, sanctified by the Spirit for obedience to Christ.
- God is now gathering a new people from among Jews and Gentiles throughout the world, for obedience to Christ.
- Purchased by Christ’s blood, God’s people are empowered for obedience in the new covenant (Heb. 8, Jer. 31).
- Jesus is the greater Joshua who brings us into our inheritance.
- The world outside of Christ is a rebel kingdom. In it we are strangers and aliens.
- As God’s new humanity in Christ, we are to stand out for our obedience as we live within the world. We’re to obey Christ until the day of His appearing.
- Christ has overcome the world and in Him we have victory.
- Christ is coming in judgment upon all rebellion, but there is still time for repentance.
- As Christ’s ambassadors we are to bring salvation to the rebel world.
- We are to immanentize the eschaton, i.e., we are to make the future eschatological hope visible now through our lives.
- The end of the story is that the Lord will judge by fire and restore all things.
- In the meantime we have a role to play, to bring about the restoration of God’s world by our words and actions.
- Outline the context in which Peter is writing.
- How does instruction in God’s eschatological purposes serve to encourage the suffering people of God?
- What does it mean to immanentize the eschaton?
- What is our role in the great end toward which God is working, i.e., the destruction of evil and the restoration of all things?
- Are we part of God’s eschatological purpose, or will we be judged by God as rebels?