Peter speaks of the end of the world in 1 Peter 3:10-12. Twice in those three verses he uses the phrase, “the elements shall melt with fervent heat.” In the midst of all this destruction he asks a question, “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness … ?”
It seems we want to know the future in all areas of our lives. Couples will seek out the gender of their coming baby. Football fans will begin predicting the winner of the Super Bowl the day after the current season’s big game is completed. And if you put “end of the world” on a tabloid it sells out with incredible speed.
Peter asks us what type of person ought we to be in light of living the Christian life as we approach the return of Christ. In Hebrews 10:25 God tells Christians to worship together as much as possible and to build each other up more so than normal “as ye see the day approaching.” A pattern is developing; as we see the end times inching closer we should be watching for signs of the times, and we should be paying close attention to our hearts.
Since Peter asked, “what manner of person ought ye to be?” I figured I would put to the Bible the same question. I looked up everywhere in the New Testament that said, “be ye …” to see what it told me Christians should be. It was a long and intriguing list.
The list of “be ye” consist of, in order of appearance, in the New Testament –
Be ye perfect – Matthew 5:28.
Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves – Matthew 10:16.
Neither be ye called masters – Matthew 23:10.
Be ye also ready – Matthew 24:44, Luke 12:40.
Be ye not troubled – Mark 13:7.
Be ye poor – Luke 6:20.
Be ye therefore merciful – Luke 6:36.
Be ye sure – Luke 10:11.
Neither be ye of doubtful mind – Luke 12:29.
Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind – Romans 12:2.
Be ye followers of me – 1 Corinthians 4:16; 11:1.
Neither be ye idolaters, commit fornication, tempt Christ, murmur – 1 Corinthians 10:7-10.
In malice be ye children, but in understanding be men – 1 Corinthians 14:20.
Be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord – 1 Corinthians 15:58.
Be ye reconciled to God – 2 Corinthians 5:20.
Be ye also enlarged – 2 Corinthians 6:13.
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers – 2 Corinthians 6:14.
Be ye separate – 2 Corinthians 6:17.
Be ye angry, and sin not – Ephesians 4:26.
Be ye kind one to another – Ephesians 4:32.
Be ye therefore followers of God – Ephesians 5:1.
Be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is – Ephesians 5:17.
Be ye thankful – Colossians 3:15.
Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only – James 1:22.
Be ye also patient – James 5:8.
Be ye holy – 1 Peter 1:15,16.
Be ye all of one mind – 1 Peter 3:8.
Be ye therefore sober – 1 Peter 4:7.
It appears God is telling us being a Christian is far more than showing up for church or telling a friend on Facebook you will pray for them. He wants us to fulfill the meaning of the word Christian – Christ-like one.
Scan down through the list. How are you doing? Are you close to being what God says we “ought” to be? All of us will come up short on several of these items, but that is not a reason to disregard the list. Do not have the attitude, “I can’t do all this, so why even try?”
Pick an area you are weak in and work on it. Study what the Bible teaches. Look up the word(s) in question and see what the Scripture says about it elsewhere. As an example, the very first thing on the list, “Be ye perfect” is in a passage about maturity and how we treat our fellow human being. “Perfect” is not talking about being sinless, it is a reference to being at the proper place in our Christian growth.
God has put us to the challenge, is your heart willing to be the type of person ye ought to be as ye see the day approaching?
Preacher Johnson is pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County Indiana. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.preacherjohnson.com. E-book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TUJTV2A If you email, inform me where you have seen Preacher’s Point. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.