The African Forum on Religion and Government (AFReG) calls on all Christians to increase our prayers as a faith community dialoguing on issues that contribute to Africans Arising Together in the 21st Century.” This week, Tuesday, December 15, 2020, our theme is “Living in the Light of Eternity.”
Praise the Lord! We are in December. Christmas is just around the corner. We are in the middle of the Advent season. For centuries, the Advent season has traditionally been a time when the Christian Church has celebrated two things:
- The first coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. We celebrate Emmanuel—God is with us (Matthew 1: 23). We celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- The second coming. We anticipate the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ as promised (John 14: 2-3, Acts 1: 11).
In the book of Revelations, we have a symbolic preview of events at the end of history as we know it now. All these point to the fullness of life that God has brought us. Life that does not end with life on this earth, but continues for eternity. People who are shortsighted, will live only for this life and try to make the most of this life and its attractions and values. However, the wise will live in the light of the reality of eternity.
In the third Chapter of the second letter of Peter to the Christians in the Diaspora, Peter reiterates the fact that God’s promises will be fulfilled. Though some will scoff and discount the Lord’s coming again to usher in the fullness of eternity, the Lord will surely come—history as we know it will end. And eternity will be manifested in full. Then Peter posed the question: if this is so, then how ought we to live? (2 Peter 3: 11). His answers constitute a major source of insight on how we can live in the light of eternity.
- Lead lives of holiness and godliness (2 Peter 3: 11). Once we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, He comes to live with us. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our lives makes possible the new life of holiness and godliness. In the light of eternity, Peter calls us to ensure that the lives we live reflect that holiness and godliness. We become the salt and the light of the world as the Lord Jesus Himself put it (Matthew 5: 13 – 16).
- Strive to be found at peace with Him, without spot or blemish (2 Peter 3: 14). Sometimes we take the Christian life for granted because we live under grace. Because we live in a tainted world, our living lives of holiness and godliness by God’s grace entail a striving. Here Peter points to being at peace. Being at peace with God and with God’s people as well as being peace builders in the communities to which God has placed us. We ought to be committed to being spotless (without spot or blemish). There are so many situations where domestic, community and national conflicts seem to draw in even Christians. In the light of eternity let us be at peace and be God’s instruments of peace. This is where our stand for justice in our communities also comes in.
- Beware that you are not carried away with the error of the lawless and lose your own stability (2 Peter 3: 14). There are many false prophets today. Some of the pulls and pushes towards seeing material prosperity as the only sign of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are so tempting. The substitution of miracles for proclaiming the Gospel that transforms our lives has become the order of the day in some circles. In the light of eternity, we are told to beware, lest we get carried away and lose our own stability in the Lord.
- Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3: 18). No matter how old we are in the Lord we must continue living in the light of eternity and growing in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ until we are called home or the Lord comes again. Our constant study of His Word, our life of prayer and fellowship with other Christians, our walking with Him, trusting Him and obeying Him are just some of the means of growing in this grace and knowledge.
- To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity (2 Peter 3: 18). Having an orientation of giving ALL the glory to God is a sign that we are indeed living in the light of eternity. In none of this should we take credit for ourselves or feel people should put us on a pedestal. Only to God be the glory now, every day of our lives and to the day of eternity—which is a day that never ends—ushered in by the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Let us reflect quietly in our prayers on the following questions: Are we living lives of holiness and godliness? Are we at peace with God? Are we at peace with our spouses, families, church, and communities? Are we holding fast to the Gospel and responding to the Lord in such a way that we are not carried away by errors and false teachings? Are we growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ? Are we giving glory to God in everything? Whatever the Lord lays on our hearts as answers to these questions, let us talk to Him and accept His direction in our lives.
Let us give thanks to God for saving us and putting us on the path for eternity.
Let us pray for the world in which we live where many do not live in the light of eternity and therefore yield to injustice, racism, and other vices.
Let us pray for political leaders who are Christians to live in the light of eternity so that our nations can be at peace and be governed properly.