1 Peter 1:3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, 4 and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. NLT
The book of 1 Peter was written to Christians who were living during the first century and being persecuted heavily for their faith. Historians tell us that the Roman emperor Nero set fire to the city of Rome in 64 AD as a way to clear out the slum areas. But because of high winds, the fire quickly got out of control and burned for several days. Not only was there great monetary loss, hundreds of people died. Once the news began to spread that Nero might be to blame, he looked for a scapegoat. Because Christians were already seen by many of the Romans as a religious sect of strange and bizarre behavior, Nero put the blame on them. Thus a time of cruel and intense persecution began for the church. Historians tell us that this persecution included such hideous acts as the tying of animal skins to their backs so that wild dogs would chase them. Many were crucified while others were put to death with fire. It is reported that Nero had some Christians covered with tar so that he might burn them like torches for evening light. Therefore, in order to encourage these suffering Christians to stand strong in their faith, Peter wrote them this letter.
For centuries America was considered to be a Christian nation, yet we all know that this is no longer the case. During the last half of the 20th century, Satan has done all that he could to fill the minds of young people with godless philosophies such as atheism (there is no God) and humanism (man is supreme and does not need a God). This godless way of thinking has spilled over into the 21st century and today we live in a world filled with moral chaos. In the minds of many: ‘the only truth is that there is no truth; and the only thing that is right is that there is no wrong.’ Therefore, whenever a Christian speaks up to say there is a God and that there is a right and a wrong, they are often attacked and ridiculed. Unless something drastic happens in America that will cause our nation to repent of its rebellion against God, godless philosophies such as atheism and humanism will only continue to run rampant and Christians will face more and more persecution. Therefore the book of 1 Peter may have some valuable application for Christians living during the 21st century.
In order to encourage his fellow believers, Peter directed their attention to a time beyond this present age.
1 Peter 1:6 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while.
God has a wonderful inheritance in heaven for all those who will remain faithful and true.