Nearsightedness

Nearsightedness

2Peter 1:1-9

It is obvious that Peter is addressing those who are born-again believers, children of God, SAVED! We see this in the first words of this chapter. Notice;

“to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ:”

(verse 1b).

We see in the opening verses of this chapter that Peter identifies himself with those to whom he is writing. Notice his references to “us,” and “our” several times in the first verses we see here. He is clearly talking to his brethren the church. I want to direct your interests to verse 5 now, and look at something that is forgotten by most church members today. It is not a popular subject but one that bears pointing out. According to verse five the precious faith that they received in verse no. 1 brings with it a great deal of responsibility. We, after we become christians are responsible doing some things for ourselves and for the Glory of God. It will not just all happen automatically. We must ever strive toward the mark that the apostle Paul wrote about and forget those things that are behind. Look at what we see in verses 5 thru 8.

2Pe 1:5 “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.”

Obviously there are some things that we are to do for ourselves. God is not going to just save us and not use us in any way. God did not save us just to take us on to heaven. He did not just want to keep us out of hell. He also has something for us to do here. I recently read where another man said that God made you for a purpose. I do believe this. Don’t you? Well we may have some different purpose to achieve for the Glory of God, but we all have some of the same responsibilities. There was one law for the children of Israel to live by. All of them went to the same tabernacle in the wilderness. All of them worshipped the same God and in the same way. And they all worshipped, praised, served, sacrificed, followed lived for the same God by following the same word of God. Even though they may have had different stations in life, and in society, yet they all had the same responsibilities toward God. We too are responsible for some things and we are to live up to these responsibilities. If we fail, we suffer. It does not affect the being of God or alter His Divinity in any way when we fail. But it does us hurt and weakens us in our relationship with Him and with our fellow man. Look at the things that Peter tells us to do for ourselves.

“add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.”

But in telling us to do these things Peter also explains to us why.

2Pe 1:8 “For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that” ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

In so doing we will strengthen our relationship with Jesus. We will be drawn closer to Him and know Him better. While, on the other hand, if we do not add these things to our lives, we will not be fruitful toward Christ. There will however be repercussions. Notice verse no. 9.

2Pe 1:9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.”

The result of failing to add these things to our lives on our own and in our time in the way that we should is a very dangerous situation called near-sightedness. Notice that this blindness is not a total blindness but the inability to see afar off. This is a case of nearsightedness. I want us to look at the dangers of nearsighted-ness now. First let us look at some who have suffered this condition and paid the awful cost for their sin.

I. The children of Israel at Mt. Sinai…(Exodus 32:1)

Their focus was on the man of God, and not upon God Himself.It is hard for us to comprehend the extent to which humanity is capable of failing in the things of God. One of the greatest pictures of the weakness of the flesh is that of the children of Israel here in Exodus 32. These are the people who have been calling on God for hundreds of years for a deliverer to lead them out of the bondage they had suffered. These arethe same people who had just seen all the plagues that God had sent on Egypt. They had seen the Red sea as it parted to allow them passage on dry ground. And they had seen as the sea closed again upon the army that was following them to destroy them. They had seen the bitter waters made sweet. They had eaten the manna from heaven. They had eaten the quail that God brought to them. That pillar of fire that stood between Pharoah’s army and Israel must have been a sight to behold. They had witnessed all of these things. Then came the day that God called Moses up the mountain to receive the ten commandments. As soon as they lost sight of the Man of God it

seems that they also lost their faith. When they were out of Moses sight, or he was out of their sight, then, God was out of mind. They were near sighted and could not see past the man of God to the God who was leading him and performing all of the powerful miracles that they were witnessing. Look at what happened. They forgot all of the things that God had already done for them. Friends, if we don’t stay faithful, this is what will happen to us. It does happen in our lives from time to time. We forget all the things that God has done for us in the past because of circumstances. We forget how good that God has been to us because we find ourselves in need, or in danger. This is one more reason that church attendance is so vitally important to us as children of God. We spend the whole week with others. We are away from the house of God, away from the people of God, and, for the most part, away from the word of God. We belong for the presence of God in our daily lives, but sometimes it seems that He is so far distant that it frightens us, and we become weak. Then somewhere down the line we may miss church. It bothers us the first time or two that we do it, but after a while if we keep on missing, it bothers us less. I have heard it said many times that Baptists are like old cars, first they start missing, then one day they just quit altogether. To get out of church is to get away from all of the things that we have in this world to remind us of God. It is at church that we are most reminded of who we are, the fact that we are part of a body of believers, and the fact that we are children of God. When we are away, we forget, and God slowly but surely slips out of sight and out of mind. We become nearsighted, and then we find ourselves in the mess that Israel found themselves in. We lose sight of God.

Look what happened to them. They lost sight of the man that most reminded them of all that God had done for them. The man that God was using to lead them, and they were ready to go their own way. Notice what they said, “as for this Moses, we wot not what has become of him.” They showed no respect. Then they sought an idol to worship, and began to worship a false god. If we don’t stay faithful to assemble, we will do the same thing. You may have a hobby, a past-time that you enjoy. There will come a day that you will have to choose whether to go to church or go and do this thing. Just one time won’t hurt. But once you convince yourself that it is alright to miss church the first time, next time will be easier. And the next time will be easier. etc. etc. etc. And one day you find that the thing you enjoy which drew you away from church has become an idol. It has come between you and the God that saved you, and you have to go right back to where you got away, in order to get back in. You don’t just slink back in with God, there is a requirement of repentance in order to enjoy forgiveness and enjoy the fellowship again that you once had with God.

II. Lot in choosing the land of the plain. (Gen. 13:8-12) Lot could not see past prosperity, wealth, security. Lot is a good example of what most people are nearsighted about in our day. Most people are focused on the present. On the very near future. They can not see far down the road because the desires of their flesh are in the way. A new car is nice, a big house is nice, a lot of money would be real nice, but they are not nearly as important as where we stand with the Lord. Lot was in a position that allowed him to take his choice of the best of what God had to offer. When it all came right down to it, Lot and Abraham could have both enjoyed the blessings of God and the protection of God, and the provision of God. Lot, though, was blind to the truth of all that God had promised, and all that God had already done. He had seen Abraham and lived with him for years now. He saw how God had delivered Abraham and protected Abraham. He was witness firsthand to the power of God in delivering in battle because it was he that Abraham had gone to war with those kings to deliver, as we have been studying on Wed. nights. Abraham and his household, just a few hundred, went up against all those kings and their armies. The great difference was that they had God on their side. And Lot had witnessed the power of God. But Lot was nearsighted. He could not see past the things of this world. Abraham proved his faith by offering Lot the first choice. He knew the promise of God, and he also knew that God had known about all of this beforehand. He trusted in the foreknowledge and power of God to take care of him and guide him in all that he did in order to bring him to the blessings that had been promised. He was not afraid of what Lot might choose because he was not seeking the world’s rewards. Lot on the other hand, Next let us look at some who were not so near-sighted.

I. David in going to fight Goliath

II. Our Lord who “for the joy that was set before him,

endured the cross, despising the shame,”

I am reminded of the apostle Paul in 2 Timothy when he knew, he was about to die. Look at what he said. “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good I1ght,I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shal1give me at that day: and not to me only, but to all them also that love his appearing.” 2Tim 4:6-7 Even when Paul was getting ready to die, he was looking ahead. He could see the far distant future. He was looking unto the Lord. Have you been near-sighted? Are you focusing your heart and your affections on the world to come or the world that you are living in? Maybe we have been caught up in life here and gotten off track. God wants you to set your affections on Him and the day that we are going to be with Him. He wants us to want Him more each day. Are you looking unto Jesus, today. If not won’t you ask Him to forgive you and help you to be more mindful of Him

and what He has already done for you. He so loves you that He already sees you seated in heavenly places. He so loves you that He already has a place prepared for you. He so loves you that He will come again, and receive you unto Himself.

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nearsightedness

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