A Voice in the
Wilderness

site navigation

free newsletter


                           *** PORTIONS ***

Re: After We Leave...

"For this reason I will not be negligent to always remind you of these
things, though you know and are established in the present truth. Yes,
I think it is right, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up
with reminders, knowing that shortly I must put off my tabernacle, just
as our Lord Jesus Christ made known to me. Moreover I will be careful
to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my
departure." (2Pet1:12-15)

These four verses are utterly jam-packed. First of all, just as Paul
always does, Peter does, also. Continually "reminding" people of
various doctrinal matters. If any of you think that we do an awful lot
of 'harping' on certain themes, well... it is in the same spirit of
"reminding". As subscribers come and go, new people, if they didn't
catch certain things at the website, they have been missed. So we
continually speak of topics and doctrines over and over.

But notice in this passage that Peter is doing more than reminding. He
is issuing some final comments before he is to be martyred. Many
musical works and plays have been written/performed on the "Seven Last
Words of Jesus". Well, these words, right here, are the "Last Words of
Peter". He says "knowing" that he will shortly put off his
"tabernacle". Notice his choice of word. Tabernacle being a tent-like
structure. He didn't say "building" or "foundation"; terms of
'permanence'. But uses a term of a "temporary" state. Of one who is
merely "traveling through" this earth. Being "foreigners and pilgrims
on the earth". (Heb11:13)

Notice that he says that Christ "..made known to me.." How did Peter
know that he was about to be martyred? From Fox's 'Book of Martyrs' is
an account, if it is true:  Nero was seeking to kill Peter, and so at
the encouragement of fellow-believers, he begins to leave (Rome?). But
as he gets to the gate, "..he saw the Lord Christ come to meet him, to
whom he, worshipping, said, 'Lord, whither dost Thou go?' To whom He
answered and said, 'I am come again to be crucified.' By this, Peter,
perceiving his suffering to be understood, returned into the city.."
where he was later crucified upside down.

And so, as Peter knows that his time is near, what does he do? Cower 
around, hiding? Hoping the Roman authorities wouldn't catch him? No.
He is being "..careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of
these things after my departure.."  How do people prepare for others
for the time when they have died?  The local funeral homes suggest in 
their commercials that the "most loving gift" is pre-paid funeral 
arrangements, so that the bereaved loved ones don't have to think about 
those things as they are grieving. But Peter is making sure the 
Believers are reminded of Doctrine. The book of 2Peter is a little 
nutshell of the most essential doctrines: faithful living in spiritual 
growth, the origins of Scripture, warnings against false doctrine, 
Christ's return and the false doctrines that will oppose those truths, 
etc. And here refers to his first epistle "both of which" (2Pt3:1)
1Peter he wrote to Jewish Believers, and 2Peter to Gentiles.  They were
written -specifically- so that when he "departed", what he had been
teaching -verbally- would remain and be available for people to
continue to read and be "reminded".

You see, Peter was not about to 'die'. Well, sure, his body
(tabernacle) would be buried. But he is preparing to leave behind the
doctrine in written form (through the epistles) for after his
"departure". He was only "leaving" this earth. As Paul said, "having a
desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.  Nevertheless
to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you." (Phil1:23-24)

To you, Dear Believer...

Some of you may not get to experience the imminent Rapture. The Lord 
may call you Home before that. Many of us are anticipating the "voice 
of the archangel and..trumpet of God" (1Th4:16)  By whatever means we
leave this earth, the time is soon at hand...

When we leave, what will we have left behind for others? Peter wrote
two epistles. I know of many of you who have put various things
(Bibles, tracts, tapes, CDs, etc) in places for your loved ones to find
them.  One of the CD orders of the VW website ordered 'two' CDs. One
for personal use; the other to go in their safe deposit box. Why? To be
there for when they will be gone from this earth, and relatives are
coming along to discover their will and personal effects.

When those left behind come around, sorting through our personal 
effects, what will they find? Will they find those secret stashes of 
Playboy and Penthouse under the mattress? Of what have our lives
consisted? What will they see our lives to have -really- been...? Not
merely that self-righteous facade we were projecting to them...!

"But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should 
overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day.  
We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as 
others do, but let us watch and be sober...putting on the breastplate
of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation." (1Th5:4-9)

There is a grievous error being proclaimed in these days, that God's 
grace "accepts us JUST AS WE ARE" and that God is not concerned about 
"how we live" subsequently.  Well, then, many of them are also "having
a form of godliness but denying its power" and are not "loving His
appearing" (2Tm3:5, 4:8b)

But you see, hand-in-hand with anticipating Christ's return "when He is 
revealed" is also our desire to "purify [ourselves], just as He is
pure".  (1Jn3:2-3)  So, when we meet Christ in the clouds, will we
suddenly be thinking about what we left behind, with shame? Will we
gladly greet Him or "be [separated] from Him in shame at His coming" 
(1Jn2:28) ??

Amen!