Diligence and the Kingdom of God

Diligence and the Kingdom of God

An Exegesis on 2 Peter 1:4-12

“And beside this,
giving all diligence, add to your faith…”
2 Peter 1:5

2 Peter 1:4-12
(Read these passages
prayerfully and truthfully!)

Peter knowing “his departure was at hand” was setting forth specific truths in his last Epistle to the church to ensure that their faith would continue to abound. He sets forth with utter clarity the growth required to enter the Kingdom of God.

In this fatherly display of love for God’s people, Peter speaks calmly and truthfully of his own approaching martyrdom. His concern is not for himself; his burden is for their continued growth and vitality in the diligence required to enter the Kingdom of God. He presents a “ladder” for them to continue to add the steps necessary to receive an “entrance” into the Kingdom of God. Without this divine diligence they would fall into “barren and unfruitful” living. Peter exhorts God’s people to give “ALL diligence” to add to their faith the virtues and graces necessary to fulfill the purposes of God.

“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…”
2 Peter 1:5

Why does Peter so powerfully exhort God’s people to this diligence?

“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”
2 Peter 1:8

The cultivation of these graces in our lives is the source of our fruitfulness! Any knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ which leaves us “barren and unfruitful” is the result of a spiritual blindness and a forgetting of the marvelous love which accompanied our salvation.

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

Fruitless living is a testimony of our blindness and forgetfulness, in the loss of the wonder of our salvation. The diligent in heart must bear fruit; anything less is a contradiction of the nature and the ways of God (John 15:2).

Peter goes on to declare:

“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall…”
2 Peter 1:10

Many speak of election and of being the called of God. Peter here exhorts us to give diligence to “make our calling and election sure”! It is foolish to glory in being called while failing to live diligently; it is a deception of those who hear but do not obey. Read these scriptures carefully, prayerfully, and honestly, for there is no greater delusion than the sin of presumption!

Peter, in the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit, lays before God’s people the secret of entering into the Kingdom of God: by giving all diligence to the things of God. It is important to read this in the full context for our learning…

“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”
2 Peter 1:10-11

Salvation is free and is the result of faith in the mercies and wonder of God in Christ. Entrance into the Kingdom of God requires something far more than a simple confession. Until we realize the difference between an initial salvation and the entering into Kingdom of God, we will continue to see the apathy and the blindness of the Laodicean Church ethos! A gospel which does not make the distinction between these two, where mere confession alone replaces the necessity of diligence, will leave us blind and indifferent to our own condition.

“For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.”
Revelation 3:17

When confession becomes the standard of the church, when men are satisfied in what they know rather than in what they walk and many are content to live lives which do not impact those in the world around us we can be sure of our desperate condition before God.

Barren is the life which rests upon something other than the development of Christ within.

“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth”
Revelation 3:16

Lukewarm living and lives devoid of the works of Faith are the revelation of the Laodicean “spirit”.

The two deadly sins of religion…

1. Faith without works
2. Works without faith.

In Hebrews the Holy spirit declares emphatically…

“And we desire that every one of you
do shew the same diligence
to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
That ye be not slothful…”
Hebrews 6:11-12

For more on “Diligence” Click Here

Brian Troxel

The Cry of the Prophets

The Cry of the Prophets

“For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace,
and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,
until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness,
and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.”
Isaiah 62:1

The other night while sitting before the Lord I saw and felt a wave of slumber and lethargy sweeping over the Church in our land. It was a darkness that was whispering the deadly ministration of a false sense of comfort and well-being. The subtlety was like a heavy dose of a strong narcotic inducing a stupor of terrifying proportions; a wave of deception sweeping into the very buildings where God’s people meet. It was a spiritual sedative wrapped in the guise of God’s word speaking peace and an illusion of safety. This is in the wake of a people who no longer have the “love (agape) of truth” beating within their hearts but had fallen prey to coldness of heart; satisfied with the teachings of a declared righteousness rather than heeding the call of God to true righteousness. They turned the truth of God into lasciviousness, claiming salvation irrespective of how they lived their lives.

“For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
Jude 1:4-5

It is a Gospel which has disconnected grace from righteousness and mercy from the acknowledgement of sin and repentance. It is a Gospel that speaks of peace while men and women live in the bondage of indulgence, sensual gratification and self-seeking. It is a ministration which has “two horns like a lamb, and (yet) speaks as a dragon” (Revelation 13:11). This dragon of old, the great deceiver who deceived Eve in the garden by speaking “hath not God said”, is still speaking the LIE of twisting God’s Word to bring damnation and judgment upon all who would listen to his beguiling words. It offers peace and security in the place of repentance and speaks slumber in the time of war lulling God’s people to sleep on the eve “of the Day of the Lord”. Deceived people are unprepared people; people who say “I am rich (spiritually and materially) and have need of nothing” not knowing the true spiritual condition of being “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17). THIS IS GOD’S WORD TO HIS CHURCH.

The true prophets of God feel the weight of this deception and bear upon their hearts God’s care for His Church. They can find no rest within until the “righteousness” of God goes forth from her in the brightness and glory of her God. They know of the burden to see the shining forth of God’s salvation burning as a lamp illuminating the world with the brightness of His Own Being!

God is speaking…

“Sound the Alarm in my Holy Mountain”

The storm is about to break and we stand on the brink of the greatest destruction and genocide the world has ever witnessed, slumbering, not understanding the ferocity of the tempest about to engulf our land.

“For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away*; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be”
Matthew 24:37-39

“I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not”
Isaiah 66:4

* It is the unknowing, the unbelieving and the unprepared who were taken away. Noah had entered into the Ark before the storm broke. Blessed are the meek and the obedient for “they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him” (Malachi 3:17) It is a day to prepare our hearts for the storm which is about to break in our land.

Brian Troxel

“Peace, Peace”

“Peace, Peace”

False prophets 2

“For they have healed the hurt
of the daughter of my people slightly, saying,
Peace, peace; when there is no peace”
Jeremiah 8:11

In every generation false ministers speak peace and comfort when God’s desire is righteousness. There can be no true peace apart from God’s righteousness. These false comforters speak peace “when there is no peace”. They have never confronted the sin within themselves and therefore cannot and will not speak to the sins of His people. Righteousness is simply a religious term with no meaning in those who proclaim such a message. These are false and impotent expressions within His house. Words like mercy, forgiveness and grace have little value without an expression of righteousness. If sin is not understood as the evil and horror it is, then the sacrifice and shedding of Christ’s blood holds little weight in the hearts of His people.

We live in a day of tremendous obscurity as the result of a false and man-centered preaching of the gospel. While these ministrations lure His people into slumber of spirit and a false sense of peace and safety, death and destruction lie at the door.

Your prophets have seen false and foolish things for you;
and they have not revealed your iniquity,
to turn back your captivity
Lamentations 2:14

It is in preaching the righteousness of God in Christ that His people discover the wretchedness of their ways and can avail themselves of the beauty of His grace, mercy and truth. It is in the ministration of His Holiness that we discover His power to save us and raise us up to be a flaming expression of Him. He came to save us from our sins not to leave us in them. He came to give us a peace which cannot be taken from us because it is founded in Him. It is a peace that the world cannot give. Those who speak peace when there is no peace are liars and traitors to the word of God. They seek to soothe and console when God desires conviction and repentance.

What is the end of such preaching? What does a church look like that endures such false and beguiling words? Read the next verse from the Book of Lamentations.

“All who pass by clap their hands at you.
They hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem,
saying, Is this the city which they called the perfection of beauty,
the joy of all the earth?”
Lamentations 2:15

Men mock and scorn the very thing that should reveal the power, the love and the glory of our God. When the church as a whole listens to the falseness of this gospel His face and heart are hidden from the world around us.

The Church at Laodicea

“Because you say, I am rich, and I am made rich,
and I have need of nothing,
and do not know that you are wretched and miserable
and poor and blind and naked”
Revelation 3:17

This is God’s church! Why did she not know her true condition? Why did she not know of her wretchedness and poverty? Her condition was the result of a false gospel which spoke peace and comfort instead of preaching the truth. Deception is anything which hides God and prevents His people from truth. Truth is the revelation of Jesus the Christ; in His piercing light we see Him and we see ourselves. It is in this ministration that men and women find powerful comforts of mercy and grace whereby we are set free from our sins and our poverty becomes the storehouse of His riches; the blind eyes see, our nakedness is clothed in the garments of His salvation and His joy becomes our strength.

Woe to those who seek to comfort His people with anything less than the living truth of God. Woe to those who would speak comfort to people who are at home in this world. Woe to those who seek out and listen to those who would lie to them.

This is a day for crying out to God for truth that we may turn from our ways and back to His ways; that the hurt and the cause of our lukewarm hearts would be discovered and healed so we may rise up in the purity and fire of a love that cannot be quenched.

“For when they shall say, Peace and safety;
then sudden destruction cometh upon them,
as travail upon a woman with child;
and they shall not escape”
1 Thessalonians 5:3

This is a word to God’s people not the politicians of the world.

Ω

“If I am content to heal a hurt slightly, saying “Peace, peace,”
where is no peace; if I forget the poignant word
“Let love be without dissimulation*
and blunt the edge of truth,
speaking not right things but smooth things,
then I know nothing of Calvary love…”
Amy Carmichael

*Note: The meaning indicated here is to speak the same to all people; we do not blunt the edge of truth because of friendships, associations and people with whom we seek advantage. Calvary’s Love destroys the seeking of the approval of men for it brings us to the same heart as the One who offered Himself at Calvary. He died for Jews, Gentiles, slaves and free men. His blood is without dissimulation and so must be our ministration of Him!

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info