What To Do When Things Seem To Be Falling Apart

What To Do When Things Seem To Be Falling Apart

Wednesday’s Column: Third’s Words

Gary Pollard

The country seems to be falling apart. What can we do right now in our messed up culture? These are some observations from I & II Peter:

  1. Focus, first and foremost, on our reward (I Pt 1.3-5). 
  2. View hardship as a way to grow (1.6-9). 
  3. Appreciate our grace, since it gives us sustained innocence in God’s eyes (1.10-12). 
  4. When times get hard, put 100% of our hope in the second coming (1.13). 
  5. We won’t get caught up in our worldly culture, but double down on being moral like Jesus (1.14-20). 
  6. Put all of our confidence and hope in God (as opposed to people) (1.21). 
  7. Practice genuine love for our Christian family (1.22-23). 
  8. Keep the brevity of our lives in the forefront of our minds (1.24-25). 
  9. Get rid of negative character attributes (2.1). 
  10. Spend more time in Bible study (2.2-8). 
  11. Remember that we’re a sovereign nation as God’s people (2.9-10). 
  12. Set a good example, especially around worldly people (2.11-12). 
  13. Submit to all governing authorities, both because it’s what God wants and because it reflects the church well (2.13-17). 
  14. Go through difficulty with patience and grace (2.18-25). 
  15. Husbands and wives can cultivate and strengthen their marriages (3.1-7). 
  16. Make our church family our highest priority (3.8). 
  17. Be good to people who mistreat us (3.9-13). 
  18. Don’t stress about people who mistreat us because of our beliefs (3.14-22). 
  19. Resist the temptation to fall back on sinful habits when difficulty happens (4.1-6). 
  20. Remember that our lives are short (4.7). 
  21. Love our Christian family, take care of them, and be unified in our relationship with God (4.8-11). 
  22. Expect difficulty, and see it as suffering with Jesus (4.12-14). 
  23. Trust God with our lives when things get difficult (4.15-19). 
  24. Give our lives completely to God (5.6). 
  25. Give all of our anxieties to God (5.7). 
  26. Remember that Satan is our true enemy, and he wants us to mess up — don’t let him win (5.8-9). 
  27. Remember that even worst-case scenarios are short-lived (5.10). 
  28. Remember that apostles and prophets predicted that things would get rough toward the end (II Pt 3.1-4; cf II Thess 2.1-3; II Tim 3.1). 
  29. Remember that God is fully in charge of Earth’s destiny (3.5-8). 
  30. Remember that this Earth is temporary (3.10). 
  31. Remember that God expects us to live as if tomorrow’s the end (3.11-12). 
  32. Remember that we’re living for a new earth and sky (3.13, cf Rev 21.1-2; Is 65.17; Mt 19.28). 
  33. “Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found without spot or imperfection, and at peace. And consider God’s patience to be salvation…” (3.14-15). 
“Escargot?”

“Escargot?”

Wednesday’s Column: Third’s Words

Gary III

Gary Pollard

[Note: I titled it escargot because I used to get eschatology and escargot confused. Plus, in his section concerning the end of time Peter prefaces with, “The Lord isn’t slow concerning His promises the way we consider slowness.” Snails are slow. The end of time seems far away, hence escargot]

A lot of movies detailing a world-ending event are designed to elicit a fearful response from viewers (for thrills, of course). Whether it’s the Walking Dead’s zombie apocalypse, Independence Day’s alien invasion, or Knowing’s solar flare (although Nicolas Cage’s acting is probably the most terrifying thing about the movie…), the end of time is usually portrayed as a terrifying event requiring humanity to go to incredible lengths to avoid it. 

Christianity is so beautiful because we’re actually dying for the end to come! 

I Corinthians 1.7 – “…as you wait for the revealing of our lord Jesus Christ…” Wait is apekdechomia, which means to welcome something with great anticipation. The same word is used to I Peter 3.20 where God eagerly waited for the earth to run away from sin in the days of Noah. 

Philippians 3.20 – “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a savior, the lord Jesus Christ…” Paul encouraged the Philippian church to imitate the examples of selflessness he had listed, especially since enemies of the cross were in existence (maybe even an indirect reference to Euodia and Syntyche). Unlike the enemies of the cross, we’re waiting for God to save us from this world. 

Romans 8.19 – “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God…” And 23, “Not only creation, but we who have the firstfruits of the Spirit groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” Redemption is apolutrosis, which describes release from a captive state or from interrogation. We eagerly anticipate the last day. 

Hebrews 9.28 – “…so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” Verse 27 makes it very clear that we face judgment immediately after death! Jesus’ second coming is to save us from this world, which was made dysfunctional because of sin. 

II Peter 3.12 – “Since all these things will be undone, what sort of people should you be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hurrying the coming of the day of God, because of which the sky will be set on fire and dismantled, and the earth and the works done within it will be dissolved.” Peter is describing the end, but far from terrifying, we are waiting for and hurrying that last day. 

A lot’s going on in our world, much of it scary and anxiety-inducing. Oh well! “Come back, lord Jesus” (Rev. 22.20).