A sermon preached by Rev. Dr. Randle R. (Rick) Mixon
First Baptist Church, Palo Alto, CA
Sunday, May 14, 2017
Text: 1 Peter 1:22-2:10
Scholars believe that the little book of First Peter was written in a time when Christians were being persecuted. It was addressed to people in a troubled time. It is a peculiarly pastoral letter, gentle in tone, avoiding threats of judgment and damnation. The writer seemed to understand that the communities to which he wrote needed to hear an encouraging word. They needed to have their hopes lifted and they needed to be reminded that their future was in God’s hands.
The remarks of certain dissemblers aside, I doubt very seriously that Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world today. In fact, far too often in more modern times, practices of those claiming to be Christian have been highly persecutory, doing more damage than good in the world. Yes, we know there are places in the world today where Christians are paying a heavy price for their faithfulness, cruelly persecuted and even killed for their beliefs. But I would bet that most of us have not suffered greatly for our faith. To the degree that that is true, it may be difficult to get the full impact of this little letter to the early church.