Informer Home

Receiving The End Of Your Faith

Receiving The End Of Your Faith

by Wayne Fussell

Published in
The Christian Informer
January, 2001


What's New?
  
Welcome
  
Announcements
  
Daily Reading
  
Links
  
Send Mail

  

Order:
     
Subscription to this publication





Last updated:
January 9, 2001.
 

DID YOU KNOW THAT most newspapers use to announce astounding news on the front page is called "second coming" type. That large, black, heavy type is reserved only for the most amazing and extraordinary news such as the second coming of Christ. The end of World War II was proclaimed with this type. The assassination of John F. Kennedy and the shooting of Ronald Reagan was declared with "second coming" type. Many great events have been heralded with this bold headline.

One of these days, the event for which this type is named will occur. Jesus will come again just as He promised in John 14:1-3. No type will be set, and no headlines will be read, for it all will be burned up. In fact, there will be no need for the newspapers to herald His coming for "every eye shall see Him" (Revelation 1:7). It will be a horrible day for some. They will call for the rocks and mountains to fall on them and hide them from the wrath of God (Revelation 6:16). To the saved, it will be a wonderful day, for they will hear the Lord say, "Well done...enter into the joys of thy Lord" (Matthew 25:21).

It was to this day the apostle Peter was referring when he said in 1 Peter 1:7-9, "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls." When Jesus comes again, our joy will be full and our reward will be great. Is that all there is to the end (or purpose) of our faith? Just pie in the sky in the sweet by and by? No, and Peter gives us some ends of our faith in the text. At least six things are suggested in this text.

FAITH IS THE MECHANISM OF OUR CHRISTIAN LIFE

Peter talks about the "trial of your faith" and "receiving the end of your faith." Our relationship with God is based on faith. We are saved by faith (Romans 5:1). We are sustained by faith (1 Peter 1:5). The Hebrew writer tells us that faith stands under our hope and is the proof of the things we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1). Yes, faith is the mechanism that drives our Christian life.

JOY IS THE FRUIT OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

Peter says, "we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory." Jesus said that the joy He gives is a "joy no man taketh from you" (John 16:22). This joy is not just "having fun," although it doesn't exclude it, but it is a joy so deep and satisfying that it is present even in the time of difficulties. It is something bubbling up from within that says, "It's good to be a Christian!" It is like having a "good time" going on inside of our very being all the time. This is the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and part of the "abundant life" (John 10:10). But our joy will be complete only when Jesus returns (1 Thessalonians 2:19).

LOVE IS THE MOTIVE FORCE OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

Peter says, "Whom having not seen, ye love." It is love for Christ that motivates us to live for the Lord so that we will be ready when He comes. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:14 that "the love of Christ constraineth us." Love is the compelling motive for all the Christian does. Love proceeds from faith (1 Timothy 1:5). Faith and love work hand in hand. Paul informs us that the faith that avails is a "faith which worketh by love" (Galatians 5:6). It is our love for Christ that causes us to "love His appearing" (2 Timothy 4:8), and only those who love the appearing of Jesus will be ready when He returns.

HOPE IS THE CONFIDENCE OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

It is hope that causes us to "rejoice with joy unspeakable" as we look to the "end of our faith." Paul calls the Father "the God of hope" in Romans 15:13, and he prays that "ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost." He further says that we are saved by hope (Romans 8:24). Hope sustains us today. But Hope will culminate in sight when He comes again. All will be right when He returns if we are found faithful to Him.

TRANSFORMATION IS THE PRODUCT OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

This the purpose of the trial of our faith - that we "might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." Paul urges, "Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Romans 12:2). He says that God predestined that we "be conformed to the image of his Son" (Romans 8:29). Then in 2 Corinthians 3:18, he states, "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."

The word "transformed" comes from the Greek word metamorphoo which means "to change into another form." The word "metamorphosis" is derived from this word, which is the process by which an ugly caterpillar changes into a beautiful butterfly. The Christian experiences a metamorphosis into the beautiful image of Christ. And he does so "from glory to glory," which suggests that our transformation is progressive. It does not happen all at once, but gradually. And transformation comes by "beholding," which suggests contemplation and meditation, not just a momentary glance. When we behold His glory as it is revealed in the mirror of His word, we are gradually changed "into the same image from glory to glory." But when He comes again we will have complete transformation then (1 John 3:1-3).

SALVATION OF OUR SOULS IS THE END (PURPOSE) OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

Peter says, "receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls." Salvation is the message of the Bible from beginning to end. God is the God of our salvation. In the Old Testament it takes a physical form. First as salvation from Egyptian captivity, then salvation from sundry enemies, then salvation from Babylonian captivity, or in the Psalms and in Job as salvation from personal troubles. In the New Testament, salvation becomes salvation from sin and its punishment. As Zacharias prophesied concerning the Messiah, "To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins" (Luke 1:77). We have this salvation today (2 Corinthians 6:2), but we will have it completely when Jesus comes again. "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation (Heb 9:28).

A special word was on the lips of First Century Christians. It was Maranatha (1 Corinthians 16:22), which means "Lord come." They looked forward with eager anticipation to the second coming of Christ. Their desire was, "Even so come Lord Jesus." One day mankind will witness the great event for which the "second coming" type was named for - the return of Jesus Christ. Then we will receive the complete end of our faith, the salvation of our souls. May we say with the apostle Paul, "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day" (2 Timothy 1:12).


TOP OF PAGE