God's word is revealed as absolute, unchanging, inspired and inerrant. It was written through the work of the Holy Spirit by men who were specially called by God to record His oracles. That very word was preserved without error. Even today it remains faithful and trustworthy as the only mirror in which we may see the true nature and condition of or sinful hearts and minds. It is the only reliable means by which we can understand our world and our times.
There is a great temptation today to consider the world of the past as somehow more magnificent, more sacred, more God-honoring, than our own times. In fact, there is the present danger that we may idealize and even idolize the past as if it were better. We must not make an idol of the past. On the other hand, the generation that fails to recognize the providential hand of God throughout history lacks roots and foundation.
Many today look ahead with fear and trepidation with an expectation that the world is heading for a dark destiny. Economic problems, political unrest, terrorist activities, and abundance of sin in the world give cause for concern but above all of these God is sovereign. God upholds everything in the universe by the power of His Word.
The scriptures present the God who governs and sustains all things despite the fall of Adam. In fact, Adam's sin has impacted the whole world, all time and every generation, including those times we see as more illumined by the light of God's word - all have been indelibly stained by sin. Genesis 6:5 records, “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Left to himself man is without hope, trapped on the treadmill of corruption and decay.
Left to ourselves we are also hopelessly incorrigible. Thankfully, God does not leave man without hope. He sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to live and die for sinners like you and I. In 2 Corinthians 5:21 Paul says: “”For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. By this we may know with certainty that there is hope and Divine Light for dark times, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Because of the unimaginable sacrifice Jesus Christ made man can be reconciled with God. The price of the peace found through that sacrifice is immense, pervasive, a cause of exceeding joy and gratitude to those who have found it. The sure knowledge of peace with God is of great comfort as we experience the trials of life.
In every age, until Jesus Christ returns again, Satan goes about as a hungry lion seeking to devour. We need constant reminding that Jesus Christ gathers in His elect in every age, in every place, until the fullness of time is at hand. The apostle Peter offered the persecuted Christians of the Roman world great hope. 1 Peter 1:6-9 tells us: “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith, the salvation of your souls." The days in which we live are wicked indeed, and so are we, but God still is gracious towards sinners who turn to Him confessing their sins and then find in Him overwhelming and abundant reason for hope and with optimistic expectation for the future.
Peter writes to encourage men and women, who though still sinners, that God, “according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (v. 3). No matter what happens, we are safe for two reasons. The first is that our salvation is “kept in heaven for us” as “an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled” (v. 4), so we can’t spoil it. Secondly, we who are still on earth “are kept by the power of God through faith” (v. 4), so we need not fear.
This salvation, now so readily available to us, was not like that in other times. Simply because the Word of God, and many good books expounding it, have never before been printed and placed in so many hands as in our days. This is the Word, “which lives and abides for ever” (v. 23), “enduring for ever.” And which “by the gospel is preached to you” (v. 25).
The Word has declared by God’s sovereign and gracious providence not only to “strangers scattered” nearly two thousand years ago, but also to us today, both from the Old and the New Testaments. Of this salvation “the prophets inquired and searched diligently” (v. 10) and led by “the Spirit of Christ which was in them” as they “testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that would follow” (v. 11). They were blessed, as were their hearers, but none has benefited as much from it as we today. "To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into." (v. 12).
Our hope is that these words ‘now reported to you’ do not come in vain, and to your eternal condemnation; but rather with blessed fruit, ‘by grace through faith’ to the eternal glory and praise of the Lord Jesus. Indeed, we may expect great things from the Lord God who pardons our sins.