What Are You Living For?
You end up worshipping that which is most important to you. Anything that is more valuable to you than the will of God is your idol and so that which you consider the most valuable is that which you’ll end up worshipping.
Alright, thank you very much. Always nice to be put on the air with a friendly voice. I appreciate you fellows and girls at the transmitters. Bless your heart. Hello radio friends. How in the world are you? Are you doing Alright? Well, I trust so. This is your good friend, Bob Cook, and you and I are back together again for a little while. I treasure these times where we can spend together over the Word of God. God’s inerrant, infallible, inspired Word; the Bible. Forever, oh Lord, thy Word is settled in heaven. That is what they say about this blessed book into which you and I now look.
We’re in 2 Peter chapter 3, and Peter is talking about the fact that judgment is coming, but that God is merciful, long suffering to us. Not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
Why has the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ been delayed? Because God isn’t willing that any should perish. He’s waiting for others to come to him. The Father seeketh, Jesus said as recorded in John 4, “The Father seeketh such to worship him. Great heart of God longs for your company, for your communion, for your consecration to Him.” The next time you look at people, you go out on the street, go to the store, go to work, attend some gathering or other, and you see people around you. Stop and think and say God wants these people to be saved and let a prayer rise from your heart even then, “Oh God, save these people.” If more of us will be praying, more would come to Christ. So, the next time you see people in the store, in the business, in the street, in some rally or meeting or whatever it is, look at them and let your heart just rise up in compassion and whisper a prayer, “Oh God, save these people.” And then follow the leading of the Holy Spirit of God as he leads you in conversation with various ones throughout the day.
Did you know that God could put you in touch with people who are ready to receive Christ? That’s the real meaning of what our Lord Jesus said, “Pray ye therefore the Lord of harvest that he may send forth laborers into his harvest.” It’s God’s harvest. His plans are already made from the beginning of the world. He knows who’s ready to open their hearts to Him. And so, in infinite mercy, he can guide you and me into contact with people who are ready to receive the Lord Jesus Christ and you can share your savior with them and lead them to Him.
So, day after day as you go out, would you just pray Lord lead me to some soul today, someone with whom I may share you my blessed savior? He will. I promise you. He’s not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Now, Peter goes back again to his theme of judgment. He says, “the day of the Lord.” Now that is the culmination of the time when God is waiting on people and now judgment has arrived. It will come as a thief in the night in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise and the elements shall melt with fervent heat.
Sounds very much like an atomic explosion doesn’t it? And that’s exactly what’s going to happen when God gets finished with this old earth and is ready to create new heavens and a new earth according to the prophecy we have in the book of Revelation. When God is ready for that, all he has to do is pull the trigger on the atoms and let them burn. See? What keeps this old earth from burning up? There is in the earth enough atomic energy suspended to just reduce it in an instant, to a memory.
We all know that I guess by now, don’t we? And that which keeps the flame of the atom suspended is the mercy of God. Jonathan Edwards preached his famous sermon on “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” and he used the figure of speech of holding a noxious insect over the fire momentarily before letting it drop. He picked up a cockroach or a spider or something and the flames are burning on the hearth and you step over toward the fireplace and hold it momentarily and then let it drop into the flames.
He compared the judgment of God to the burning flames about which he spoke: people were convicted of their sins and cried out to God for mercy. Peter uses the same figure of speech. The elements will melt with fervent heat and the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. And so he said in verse 13, “We look for a new heavens and a new earth according to God’s promise wherein dwelleth righteousness.”
We got hope. Well, he’s seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved. And I want to help you to a point of view here that may be quite profitable to you as the years go by. Learn to look at that which is around you as being transient, all of it. Money certainly is. The only time I was ever a millionaire was in mainland China back in 1948. The inflation there was so bad that you had to carry the paper money in a suitcase if you went to the market to buy anything. I had a cup of coffee and a sweet roll in some restaurant or other, and I paid ¥2,040 for it. Money, it’s paper. It used to be worth something but then it wasn’t worth very much.
Property is not going to last. See? He’s seeing then that, “All these things shall be burned up.” That’s what he says here; shall be dissolved. When you look at property and you say that’s mine, you know. Wait 100 years, where is it going to be? Won’t be around, neither will you. Look at that beautiful new car. It just warms your heart to look at it, doesn’t it? Shining there in the sunshine. How long is it going to last? Maybe five, six, seven years, ten if you take very good care of it. It’d be gone. It’d be on somebody’s junk keep.
Well, did the hymn writer say, “change and decay in all around I see; O thou who changest not, abide with me.” All these things shall be dissolved. We spend so much of our time and energy on something that isn’t going to last. Merv Rosell, my evangelist friend of many years, told a story concerning a little girl who very much wanted to spend her allowance on a little necklace that she saw in the Five and Dime. And she was there one day with her parents and she said, “Oh, daddy, mama, please, I want that so much. Please let me spend my allowance on that.”
She’d been saving up something, so she felt she could spend it. Well, they said “Dear, maybe you ought to wait until you can have something that will really be valuable and that will really last.”
“Oh no, I want that.” And so they let her take all of the money out of her piggy bank, her whole allowance that she’d save up and she bought that necklace in the Five and Dime, a pretty little golden chain. Well, you know, what turns green in the summertime, cheap jewelry. She found that out and she wore it and it made a little green mark around her neck as the thin plating on those little links wore off.
And she had to lay it aside and then came her birthday. And then the birthday present, there was a small package which she opened last and in that small package there was a necklace of genuine gold and pearls, something so very lovely and it was something that wasn’t going to tarnish; it wasn’t going to be spoiled after awhile. All these things shall be dissolved. We spend a lot of our time and effort and substance on things that won’t last.
So Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3, “We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen, for the things which are seen are temporal but the things which are not seen are eternal,” looking out to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Well, you say, “Brother Cook, we live in a world where you have to have things in order…” Oh, yes, I know that. But as my friend Jim Wright said many years ago, “It all depends on whether you have things or whether things have you.”
“All these things should be dissolved” says Peter. Don’t live your life on the basis of the temporal only. Yes, you have to have a car. Yes, you have to have a house to live in. Yes, you have to have clothes to cover your body. Yes, you need a job in order to provide food and shelter for your loved ones. Yes, we have to have these things. I know that and so do you. These are not matters about which we’re arguing. The point we’re bringing out is it’s not going to be here after awhile. It will be gone.
Where will you be then? What will be your condition? When the things that have seemed so important momentarily are gone. You follow what I’m saying there? Seeing then all these things shall be dissolved. Now, he asks a question, “What manner a person ought ye to be, in all holy conversation and godliness looking for and hasting under the coming of the day of God. We look for a new heavens and a new earth and because we look for such things, be diligent that you may be found by Him in peace without spot and blameless.”
What kind of people should we be? And we won’t get a chance to finish our discussion of these texts before the broadcast time runs out. But we’ll start on it, shall we? Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved. Now the reason why you give any attention at all to spiritual matters is that that’s all that lasts. That’s all that lasts. All the rest will have gone so far as value is concerned and you then will be left only with that which is of eternal value.
Jesus said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust do corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt and where thieves do not break through and steal for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” You end up worshipping that which is most important to you. You don’t have to have a little tin idol in order to be an idolater. Anything that is more valuable to you than the will of God is your idol and so that which you consider the most valuable is that which you’ll end up worshipping. Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
He says, “What manner of persons ought ye to be.” Why? Because all of this around me is not going to be left. I’ll be left alone with only that which I have invested in eternity, so let me be careful about it. I’ll get back to this the next time we get together.
Father God today, help us to live for eternity. I ask in Jesus name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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