Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Making reservations

We've all made reservations in life - sometimes the reservation was costly, sometimes the event, hotel, restaurant or whatever exceeded our expectations, and other times it was a big disappointment.  Sometimes we've left it too late, other times we've cancelled our reservation.  But I want to leave with you two verses from Peter's letters about the most serious reservations that will ever be made.

Peter says:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you

Peter is telling us that it is possible to have a place in heaven reserved here and now.  Perhaps many of his readers were people who had been disinherited, and had lost out on wealth because of their faith in Christ, but Peter is telling them that their faith in Christ has brought them into greater riches than they could ever imagine, riches that they can never lose.

He assures us that this hope is not some vain, empty pipe dream.  It is a hope that is living through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  The overwhelming evidence for the literal, historical, physical resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead assures us that our future is secure.  His resurrection is the assurance that our sins have been fully paid for and there is no condemnation for us (see Romans 8 v 34).  His resurrection is the assurance that death has been defeated and cannot hold us (see 1 Thessalonians 4 v 13-18).

The only ones who have this glory reserved for them, according to Peter, are those who are born again.  This is the great necessity in life.  Many things in our world have changed since the Lord Jesus was here, but here is one of the things that haven't - "You must be born again" (see John 3 v 1-7).

The second reservation is found in Peter's second letter:
These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.

Peter is speaking about those who have turned away from the Gospel and the Saviour.  They are booking their place in eternal darkness (Jude says the same). 

Let me just point something out in the passing here, an annihilationist correspondent once told me that blackness of darkness is a way of describing annihilation - the person is out into darkness never to be seen again, but Peter is not talking about what the person will experience from our point of view, he is speaking about what the person will experience from their point of view - they will be in this darkness, and the Lord said about it, "in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (see here).

The fearful reality is that if you turn away from the Saviour this is where your sins will bring you - you could be booking your place there now.  Don't go through with that reservation - it will be worse than you could imagine.  Book your place in heaven by coming to Christ for salvation - you won't be disappointed!