CDPCKL · The Last Days of Earth 2.0 (1 Peter 4:1-12)

The Last Days of Earth 2.0 (1 Peter 4:1-12)

Our scriptures divide the history of mankind — and the history of our earth — into three great phases, three “versions”: three great updates of the operating system.

Earth, version 1.0, ran from the moment God said, “Let there be light,” until the moment God closed the door of Noah’s ark and the flood judgement began.

Earth, version 2.0, ran from the moment God called Noah’s family back out of the ark until…now. We are still living on Earth 2.0, which is going to run until the day God closes the doors of Jesus’ Church and the final judgement begins.

Earth, version 3.0, will run from the moment God calls his people back out of Jesus’ Church and sets them free to finally fill the earth with peace and joy and perfect order. And version 3.0 is going to be the final update, the perfected operating system.

Now, there is evidence that Earth, version 1.0, went on for a lot longer than we can comfortably comprehend. Scripture itself gives us only a brief sketch of earth’s history before Noah’s flood, because — quite frankly — that was version 1.0 and we live in version 2.0. God does not give us a great deal of detail about those times because that would be like us taking a class in how to operate Windows 3.1. It’s ancient history! Yes, that ancient operating system did lay the foundation for our operating systems today, but we don’t really need to know all the niggly little details of what went wrong with Earth 1.0. Scripture gives us all the information we need, just enough so that we can know how to operate in the midst of 2.0.

And one thing scripture tells us about Earth 1.0 is that — to those who lived during those ages — it felt like it was going to go on forever. Jesus himself once commented that “in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away.”

And this is an important piece of information for us to have because to us it feels like Earth 2.0 is going to go on forever. We live surrounded by empires of unimaginable power. We live during a time where some people are seriously wondering if some sort of immortality through science might be within our grasp! It all feels so massive, so real, so unbeatable.

And for us, as Christians…well, it’s enough to make us seriously question what we are doing.

Because, from the beginning of his letter, Peter has been urging us all to invest in what is going to last forever. Unfortunately, what is actually going to last forever, and what looks like is going to last forever are two different things. Peter has been telling us to invest in people instead of nations and empires and economic systems. But people die pretty quickly! whereas nations and empires and economic systems look like they are going to last forever — at least: far longer than any single person does!

So common sense would tell us that, if we want to follow Peter’s commands and invest in what is going to last, it would be wiser for us to invest in nations and empires and economic systems. We should do our best to work our way into the center of things, into the centers of power. That way maybe we’ll make a difference as Christians, right? And even if we fail to make a difference, then at least we will have positioned our children and grandchildren to have some kind of future!

…wow. What a temptation!

And that is why, last week, Peter took his friends in ancient Roman Asia on a deep dive into history. He took us all the way back to Earth, version 1.0, to show us that, once before, the empires of this world looked immortal, eternal, right up to the day Noah entered the ark. And then they were taken away: beyond life, beyond any detailed memory — while Noah’s family lived on, safe within the ark, saved through water.

And the point Peter was making is that we Christians are also safe within an ark, a sanctuary, a living temple built and protected by Jesus Christ himself. We often do not feel safe, because the doors of our ark are still open, waiting to gather in new refugees, and the world outside looks so overwhelmingly powerful. But Peter told us not to worry — do not be afraid! — because even the angelic empires that lie behind the world’s physical empires have been bound, their powers limited, by Jesus’ resurrection and his rule. All the powers of this world are actually an illusion: they continue to exist only because Jesus allows them to, because those deceptive powers still do have a part to play in God’s plan before the final day comes.

We Christians also have a part to play before the final day comes. We are here, safe within the ark of Jesus’ Church, safe from all spiritual harm. We are here, waiting patiently in the days of Christ while the Church is being built. But even though we are called to wait patiently, we are not called to wait idly. We are called to do something. And that is what Peter is going to talk about today.

So, last week, Peter told us that baptism is not about the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God.

In other words, baptism is not some magical thing where we are suddenly transformed into saints who never sin and never suffer. Physically, mentally, emotionally, a baptized Christian is just a standard human being, who suffers and fails just like any other human being. The difference is this: spiritually, a baptized Christian has changed locations — from outside Jesus’ Church to within; from death outside God’s presence, to life within the Holy Spirit.

This is why Peter keeps telling his friends that they have been “born again”: because that is a very accurate picture of what it looks like to become a Christian. The baby in the womb is the same person — physically, mentally, emotionally — as the baby that has changed locations to outside the womb. But that small change of location makes all the difference, doesn’t it! The child in the womb really only has the potential for life; the child outside the womb has life itself — if she chooses to breathe. If she chooses to crave milk. If she chooses to act upon the birth she has been given.

This is why Peter says that baptism is the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It is not the mark of instant maturity, instant perfection, but it is the mark of our transition from potential life to real life, it is the sign of a promise to grow up in our salvation now that we have been born again. Life outside the womb is harder than life within the womb; a growing child suffers more than the child who is never born, who never breathes. In the same way, life within the ark of Jesus’ Church is harder than life in the world; a growing Christian suffers in ways that a non-Christian simply cannot understand, because we do not have the mere potential for life: we have the thing itself.

And this is why the pledge — the promise — of baptism is so important. It is a bit like wedding vows between a bride and groom: life within marriage is harder, in many respects, than life without. Because the potential for new life is so much higher within marriage, the potential for grief and suffering and death is also much higher. And when suffering comes upon a married couple — upon a family — that pledge of mutual covenant faithfulness is often the only thing that keeps a suffering relationship together.

So, understanding this reality: that baptism and membership in Jesus’ Church does not save us from human suffering — but actually guarantees it! — [1] therefore, Peter says, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin.

Arm yourselves also with the same attitude, Peter says: now that you have made that pledge, that promise to stay with Jesus, no matter how hard things get…fix that idea in your mind! Now that you have been born again…breathe! Crave pure spiritual milk! No matter what kind of physical, mental, emotional pressure the empires of the world put on you, fix your minds on the reality that this pressure, this suffering, is actually evidence that you are truly alive! that you are truly safe within the ark of the Church! Every Christian that suffers in the body because they refuse to cooperate with the corruption of the world outside — that Christian proves that they are truly done with sin!

…wait. Is Peter saying that Christians who suffer don’t sin anymore?

No. Of course we still sin, even though we are now inside the ark. But we really have changed locations, and this makes all the difference. Yes, we carried our sinful character with us when we passed through the doors of baptism — but we are no longer drowning in the flood of sin outside. We are no longer surrounded by the waters of death within and without, we are now surrounded by the living breath of God, the living Spirit of God. And every time we take a breath of our Father’s living breath, the waters of death that are still trapped in our lungs are dried up little by little.

[2] As a result, Peter says, people like this — people who accept suffering and rejection rather than prosperity and praise from the world — people like this prove that they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.

Because — look, friends: [3] you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.

Now, I’m going to pause here for a moment to point something out:

In one sense, we read this list of sinful behaviours and we know exactly what Peter is talking about: sexual perversion, drunkenness, wild parties, and going to worship in pagan temples. And we would be right: that is what Peter is talking about. And I could say to us all, “Don’t do like that!” And then most of us will look at our relatively orderly lives and think, “Oh! Well, I never really did do that sort of thing, I’ve always been a pretty good kid, so…check! Finally, something easy!”

But there is another layer of more subtle sins that underlie these more obvious ones. And this becomes clear to us if we dig just a little bit into the culture of the Roman empire. In the Roman empire, secular life and religious life were very closely intertwined. The Roman people understood that their businesses, their economies, their societies and governments were sponsored by spiritual powers: gods and demons and angelic forces. Which means that Roman success depended upon them keeping their spiritual sponsors happy. Which means that at every business meeting there would be prayers, and incense. At every union meeting there would be sacrifices made, and sorcerers, astrologers trying to find the auspicious moment to begin a project. During every sacred holiday there would be a huge fellowship feast with alcohol by the bowlful, slave girls and slave boys, orgies and carousing.

It was believed that the economic and political future of the empire depended upon these activities. And it was assumed that everyone in the empire would want to participate in these activities! Because — after all! — doesn’t everyone want to be friends with the gods? Doesn’t everyone want to be prosperous and successful?

That is why, Peter says, [4] they are surprised that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation. And this is why they heap abuse on you.

They heap abuse on you because, by refusing to participate in these behaviours, these Christians of Roman Asia are actually refusing to participate in making the gods happy. And guess what happens if the gods aren’t happy? In the minds of Roman businessmen, it is actually bad luck — dangerous bad luck — to join in business with a Christian. And if you are already bound up in a business contract with a friend and then that friend becomes a Christian and stops trying to please the gods — ! Yeah, you are going to heap abuse on him, you are going to blaspheme against him, you are going to slander him and tell lies about him until he comes to his senses or breaks the contract!

So Peter is not simply telling Christians to avoid sexual perversion and wild parties; they should do that, yes! But he is really telling Christians to put Christ ahead of their careers and their status in society.

In other words, the ultimate temptation for Christians in ancient Roman Asia is not these obvious perversions; the ultimate temptation — the more subtle temptation — is the professional success that comes through participation in these community-building trust-building perversions. Unlike their pagan neighbors, Christians are not afraid of making the gods angry: they know from Peter’s words last week that angels, powers and authorities are all in submission to Christ. But they are afraid of making their neighbors angry; they are afraid of being passed over for promotion; they are afraid of being rejected by their families. They know that by refusing to participate in all these “normal” social activities, they are marking themselves off as “not normal”, as dangerous. They will be proving that Christians really are anti-social enemies of mankind who want to destroy the empire by bringing the wrath of the gods down upon everyone.

All this is what Peter means when he says that those who choose suffering and rejection over prosperity and success are proving their commitment to be done with sin. Any Christian who refuses to play along just to get along will suffer the way Christ suffered.

[5] But don’t worry, Peter says, they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

Remember, Peter is saying, just like Earth 1.0, Earth version 2.0 looks like it is going to last forever. But it is not. The day is coming when they will have to explain their abuse of God’s children to God the Father himself.

And there is actually a lovely balance to Peter’s writing here: last week he said that, in this age, Christians should always be ready to give an explanation to those who abuse them. Here, he says that, in the next age, those who abuse Christians will have to give an explanation to him who is ready to judge.

And, Peter says, [6] this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead: so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

At this point in history, the churches in Roman Asia are somewhere between 15 to 25 years old. Which means that there has been enough time for some Christians to die of sickness or old age or any number of natural causes: just the normal flow of life to death. But non-Christians would have seen these deaths as punishments, judgements from the gods, proof that the Christian God is actually not as powerful as Christians claim.

So, judged by human standards, those who gave up families, homes, promotions, reputations for the sake of Christ…and then went ahead and suffered and died just like everyone else! — well, judged according to human standards, these Christians look like complete losers. But Peter is saying that these Christians who were judged so harshly by people in this life are now enjoying the positive judgement of God in the next life: they are already experiencing the eternal life Jesus promised them.

This is the reason the Gospel was preached even to those who are now dead: so that they will not have to give account to him who is ready to judge. Those who abused the children of God will have to explain and defend their behaviour on Judgement Day. But the children of God will not have to do this. We will automatically be given life according to God in regard to the spirit.

So, over the last couple of weeks, Peter has been drawing a picture of reality for his readers: he has been showing the Christians of Roman Asia that their situation here on Earth 2.0 is just like Noah’s situation was during the last minutes of Earth 1.0. Even though the Roman empire looks unshakeable, eternal, unconquerable, the final countdown to Judgement Day has already begun, and it cannot be stopped. The the final rain of Judgement has already begun to fall upon the empire, and those who live outside the ark of Jesus’ Church are already beginning to drown in the rising tide of their own sins — and they don’t even know it!

In fact, Peter was quite explicit about this point back in verse 4 when he said they are surprised that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation. The cultures and practices of the Roman empire are becoming more and more obviously horrible and destructive. After all, we’re talking about debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, detestable idolatry! Romans are accusing Christians of being anti-social enemies of mankind, they are accusing Christians of being anti-government, anti-economy, anti-family, when it should be obvious to anyone with clear eyesight that it is debauchery, lust, drunkenness, and orgies that will ultimately destroy the Roman family, the Roman economy, and the Roman government!

But nobody in the empire has clear eyesight. That is what Peter is saying here: the corrosive acid of Roman culture is already eating away at the foundation of Roman society. This should be obvious to anyone who is paying attention! — but no one is paying attention. Instead, they are glorying in the destruction! They are plunging into the flood as if it is a game! Their sins are the rising waters of their own judgement; these behaviours are actually the beginning of the Judgement and despair that is going to consume them for all eternity. Just as Jesus once said, people were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building right up to the day judgement rained down from heaven and destroyed them all — and it will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed.

And so the picture Peter is drawing is this: the acid rain has already begun to fall upon the empire. The waters are rising. In the lowest, poorest parts of the land, people have already been flooded out of their homes, they are scrambling upwards toward higher ground. But those on higher ground are still oblivious, still consumed with their petty ambitions and pleasures. They are trying to push the poor back down into their place, while also trying to reach up and drag the gods down from heaven, an endless struggle between social classes and races and cultures, each one trying to displace the next.

And in the midst of it all there is the ark being built: the source of salvation from the floodwaters, the source of salvation from the endless struggle for salvation. And the baptized children of God are standing there in the open doorway of the ark, watching the horrors of the final judgement begin to take place right before their eyes. Through the Holy Spirit, they can see clearly what is going on: the rising panic from the lower classes, the screams of those who are already dying in the distance, while those who think they are far away from judgement just turn up the music to drown out the despair…

And these Christians of Roman Asia are asking Peter what they should do about this. How should they react? How should they live?

And so Peter answers that question. He starts with what is already obvious: [7] The end of all things is near.

Therefore be alert and of sober mind.

For me, one of the most haunting and thrilling moments of modern cinema is found in the movie Interstellar. There is a point in that film where the astronauts are trying to find a missing colleague that has crash landed on a planet. And as they search the wreckage for their friend, they realize that there is a tidal wave coming that is hundreds of kilometers tall. And therein lies the problem: this mountain of water is so huge that, even though it is coming toward them at hundreds of kilometers an hour, it looks like it is just creeping along. It looks like they have lots of time to save their friend and escape. But they don’t. And when they realize this…panic sets in. They begin thrashing through the knee-deep water, trying to get back to the open door of their own ship so that they can be saved. And one of them, right at the door, turns to look back — and is lost.

Peter is telling his friends not to panic. Yes, the final rain is falling. Yes, the water is rising. The tidal wave is there on the horizon, and yes, it will be here before we know it. Therefore, be alert: pay attention, keep your eyes open. And be of sober mind: do not panic, do not begin to run around frantically through the knee-deep water —

Instead: pray. Be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.

Panicked Christians are not praying Christians. Panicked Christians are not thinking clearly, they are not taking the time to look and see what is really true, they are not taking the time to pause and ponder what God’s will might be for them during these final moments of Earth 2.0.

And what is really true about these final moments is this: there is no reason for panic. The doomsday clock is under Christ’s complete control. The black tidal wave of Judgement that is bearing down upon us all is going to arrive at exactly the right moment: not a second before, and not a second after. Jesus Christ is building his Church, and he will complete it. We do live our lives under the looming shadow of Judgement Day, which means that there is an urgency about our activities; but a clear vision of Christ’s control should keep Christians from panic and frantic activity.

Calm Christians are Christians who can see clearly that Jesus is in total control; and calm Christians are Christians who can see clearly that they themselves are not in control. And Christians who see clearly that they are not in control are Christians who pray.

These Christians of Roman Asia are living in a world where people are deliberately fooling around in the waters of judgement, plunging into the flood and then mocking or cursing those who refuse to join them. And what are Christians supposed to do about people that are so blind, so stubborn, so committed to their own destruction?

Well, from the beginning of his letter, Peter has been saying that the best evangelism is actually patience and quietness in the face of suffering. Only last week did he finally gave his friends permission to speak, to use God’s spoken Word to break through the deception of Satan’s words.

But the painful truth is that, in the end, only a few people are going to be saved. The bible tells us clearly that most of those who hear God’s Word preached to them will not listen, they cannot listen, because their eyes have been blinded, their ears have been deafened.

What are Christians supposed to do in the face of this reality?

Pray. Because only God can open the eyes and ears of those who are already dead.

So, when the Spirit first opens a Christian’s eyes to the looming racing darkness of that wave, there is a voice within us all that screams, “Panic! Preach more! Do more! Save more!”

But Peter says, “no! Keep calm, and pray.” Pray first. Find out from God what he wants you to do before you start running around doing what you think you are supposed to do —

Okay. So the Christians of Roman Asia have paused. They have prayed they have asked God what he wants them to do. And now that they are listening, he tells them, beginning in verse 8: Above all,

— above all. Above all! More important than evangelism, more important than giving an answer to those who hate you, more important than trying to save people from drowning themselves in their own sins: above all

Love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

Calm Christians, praying Christians, keep their eyes focused on the task at hand, the only thing that matters in the face of final Judgement. And the only thing that matters is building and equipping the ark — the Church — for the great transition from Earth 2.0 to Earth 3.0.

And we have to remember that, for Peter, this Church — this ark — is not made out of wood or stone, it is made out of people. Human beings from many different nations and backgrounds, many different cultures and languages. Which can cause difficulties! It is easy for people from different places to misunderstand one another, to insult one another without even knowing it.

This is why Peter says again what he said before: now that you have been reborn into a new family, love one another deeply, from the heartbecause love covers over a multitude of sins.

But what does that mean? Does that mean we are supposed to cover up sin — ignore sin — when it happens in the community?

Well: no. Peter is quoting one line from King Solomon’s Book of Proverbs. And the original proverb says this: Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs. ”Love covers over all wrongs” is meant to be the opposite of “hatred stirs up conflict.”

Love covers over a multitude of sins” is not telling Christians to ignore sin in the community, it is telling Christians to avoid stirring up conflict in the community. So, when a brother or a sister sins against you — by accident or on purpose — remember that you are one family now. Remember that you have been bound together by the sprinkled blood of Jesus, signed by the covenant seal of baptism. Remember these things and do not stir up conflict with that person! Instead, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you; go, and be reconciled; go, and speak, and listen, and forgive. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying, ‘I repent’…then: forgive!

Love covers over a multitude of sins does not mean ignoring sin, it means refusing to let those sins become a source of conflict and division.

So, Peter goes on, [9] offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

In those days Christians did not have church buildings, so they worshiped in homes and in shops owned by other Christians. They would gather together around the same table, they would eat from the same loaf, and drink from the same cup. And in segregated Roman society this kind of behaviour was scandalous! A person’s reputation could be ruined if they were seen eating with the wrong class of people.

But Peter is telling his friends not to worry about being judged by the standards of Roman society. Remember: soon, those who pass judgement on God’s children will have judge,ent passed upon them by God himself! So, Peter says, keep your heads down and do what you know is right: invest in the lives of your fellow Christians, no matter where they came from or what status they may have had before:

[10] Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

Once again: invest in the lives of your fellow Christians, no matter what their background. We have all been given at least one gift from our Father. And these gifts are given us so that we can serve one another.

And, for Peter, these gifts come in two basic categories: speaking, and serving.

[11] If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God.

If God has given someone the gift of using words to preach, or to teach, or to prophesy, or to sing, they should do their best to make sure that the words they speak are God’s Word, faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides

God has not called everyone to preach or teach. But as Peter has already pointed out, our Father has given each one of his children some gift of hands or body or heart. Those gifts are all designed to serve some purpose in the strengthening of Jesus’ Church.

so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

The Christians of ancient Roman Asia looked up and saw the great tidal wave of judgement already rising up on the horizon. They looked at the great Roman society that surrounded them and saw that the acid rain of sin was already consuming their oblivious friends and relatives. They saw clearly that Earth, version 2.0, is not permanent at all — it is already on its way down to death. And they wanted to know what they should do.

Here, 2000 years later, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, we are asking the same question.

And Peter’s answer for all of us, quite simply, is this: the best thing we can do, as Christians, is help prepare the ark for departure. The only thing that matters now is strengthening the walls, filling the hold with supplies, making sure the Church is ready for the terrible, fiery transition from Earth 2.0 to Earth 3.0.

So we, remembering that the Church is actually made of people, immediately realize that we are being called to fill Christ’s Church with people so they can be saved from Judgement. And our instinct is to spring into action! We want to run around through the cities of our world screaming, “The end is near! Quick! Quick! Everybody: wake up! Come in! Join us before it’s too late!”

But Peter says, “Wait! Stop! Look: first of all, do not panic.” Building a ship and loading it properly requires a Master, an Expert. The workers need to pause and listen to the Master’s instructions before they set to work. Panic in a shipyard just leads to people getting hurt: a ship will sink if it is not build properly; it will capsize if it is not loaded properly. So, “do not panic! Do not run off half-cocked and start doing what you think you should do!”

Instead: we pause, we gather together as the children of God, we pray, and we listen for our Father to give us our work assignments for our day.

And our Father starts by saying this:

“First of all, children, do not worry about yourselves. Because: you are baptized, and that is my pledge to you that you belong to me, no matter what happens.

“Second, children, follow my instructions carefully. Because: you are baptized, and that is your pledge to me that you belong to me, and will do what I ask.

“Third, children, be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Remember the reality of what is really going on. When you feel yourselves getting lost in the world, lost in the details, look up at the horizon and see the wave approaching. Remember that all things in heaven and on earth are in submission to me…and then: pray! My office door is always open: come and ask me for wisdom and strength at every turn!

“Fourth, children, I know that you are worried about your families, your friends, your neighbors, all those people out there who will be lost forever if we do not go out there and bring them in. I know that you are tempted to just run around screaming the alarm and trying to shake people awake. Children, listen to me carefully: do not do that. Your Job Number One is to love the family of believers: to share your homes and your dinner tables with one another, to serve one another with the gifts I have given you. Your Job Number One is to stay here, close to home, and make my Church as strong and as beautiful as possible. Your Job Number One is to live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify me on the day of Judgement.

“Children, I know you want to save the world, I know you want to change the world. And the world is telling you that the best way to save the lost is by making my churches bigger, better, faster, more efficient and more amazing. But the world is lying to you; the world is speaking Satan’s words to you.

“Children, listen to my voice, listen to my words: I am telling you that saving the people of the world begins with the family of God, it begins with your local churches. So if you truly love the lost, then prove it by following my instructions: the very best way to love the lost is by loving the family of believers. The only way to save the lost is by making sure there is a strong ark for them to run to when they finally repent!”

Friends, in closing: here we are, in Kuala Lumpur. It all looks very powerful, very permanent. But the truth is: the end of all things is near. These are the last days of Earth 2.0. So let us be alert! Let us work with one eye on the horizon. Let us pray always for the wisdom to know how to invest in this life, and when it is time to withdraw from a business or a career for the sake of Christ. Remember: we are not here to keep the gods of Malaysia happy! And remember: the fact that we do not fear the gods of Malaysia is going to make a lot of people very angry with us. But since our Saviour Jesus Christ suffered in his body for the same reasons, let us arm ourselves also with the same attitude. Let them heap abuse on us! Let us submit to suffering for Jesus’ sake, for the sake of Jesus’ family.

Our Father has chosen us to be foreigners and refugees in this world. He is calling us to choose to be foreigners and refugees in this world. In the interests of full disclosure: yes, we will suffer more as refugees than as citizens. But the reward will be worth it. Here, on Earth 2.0, we are the refugees, they are the citizens, and we must be ready to give an answer to them; but on Earth, version 3.0, we will be the citizens, and they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

So: let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, but especially to those who belong to the family of believers.


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