“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure” II Peter 1:10. Are you sure? How can you be sure? Of what are you certain? Peter says in essence, “Let us be sure.” It seems he is inspired to encourage us to go after and be sure of an “abundant entrance” (V. 11) into that eternal state. God’s Word promises sure reward on wise investment. The most experienced businessman and financial experts cannot be one hundred percent certain that a new venture will succeed. Most will tell you that there is no sure thing. In any new investment opportunity, you just take a chance. Some will tell you that real estate property is the only REAL ESTATE. But my Bible tells me that the elements will melt with a fervent heat, and the earth and the things therein shall be burned up. It is sad to see someone in the natural investing everything they have and lose it.
“Your calling and election:” In the gospel message all have been invited – “Whosoever will may come.” All that come unto Him by faith have the choice to gain God’s best, and reign with Jesus Christ. Yet, even though we have been called to supernatural heights to be endowed with glorious rights, not all are entering into the full meaning and blessing of this calling and election. We are urged to confirm our call. The Spirit by the scripture challenges us to be partakers of that which is stable, firm, of force or steadfast.
We are called in one hope of our calling, Eph. 4:1.4. This hope is founded and grounded in Jesus Christ our only hope, I Tim. 1:1. He is also our secure anchor even in stormy times, Heb. 6:18-19. Thank God our Holy calling is entirely according to His own purpose and grace, II Tim. 1:9. If it were according to our works, how uncertain it would be. The believer’s calling is Heavenly, and as we partake of this calling, we consider Him, focus our attention upon Him, direct our energies toward Him, diligently seek Him as the Prize of the high calling, Phil. 3. Paul had the right focus when He said, “This one thing I do.”
We are called by the sure Word of God, which is incorruptible, lives and abides forever, I Pet. 1:23. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take need, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day down, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost,” II Pet. 1:19-21.
If the word came by the will of man (human impulse), we would be foolish to anchor our trust therein. Bless God, we are assured that it is inspired of God, II Tim. 3:16. God used many individuals to record the thoughts of His heart toward mankind. If we search the Scripture, we know it’s spiritual harmony. I don’t believe any one line, verse, chapter or book says it all on any given subject. Human “wisdom” will at times take a verse, or a statement from a verse, and try to make it stand alone. Then people will try to build a doctrine around it, wresting the scriptures to their own destruction. Human reasoning would keep us from building on a firm foundation. Thank God for giving us the wisdom to let the Word comment on and interpret itself. When Peter says, “a more sure word,” he is not saying that whatever was said before this was less sure, but rather that the Word had been confirmed in the coming and work of the One of whom it prophesied. Jesus has fulfilled much of prophecy, therefore are we safe in expecting fuller future fulfillment?
“Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people,” Isa. 55:3-4. We notice that prophecies of God’s eternal covenant, even the “”sure mercies of David” which point us to His loving kindness toward mankind, find their fulfillment in God’s beloved Son. The cross of our Lord Jesus confirmed its fulfillment.
“And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house. And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father’s house,” Isa. 22:22-24. God promises for Israel and for us hang upon our dear Lord Jesus Christ, our “nail” in a sure place. In Him we find our only firm support. God will soon say to all fickle rebellion, “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste,” Isa. 28:16.
We find in Him secure trust, and are safe from shame, as we rest in Him as the “Rock of our salvation.” He is indeed the rock on which His church is built, and even though it is under fierce attack by Satanic forces, yet the “gates of hell” shall never prevail against it. Mt. 16:18. Praise God, the foundation of God standeth sure.” II Tim. 2:19. “He shall dwell on high: his place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure. Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty,” Isa. 33:16-17. What comfort to consider Jesus as our sure supply, even in symbolic terms. “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst,” Jn. 6:35. Paul said, “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus,” Phil. 4:19.
“Called to glory and virtue:” “GRACE and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue; Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust,” II Pet. 1:2-4. By the glory (radiance, splendor) and virtues (excellence) of Jesus Christ we are not only attracted and drawn, but these are also expressions pointing us to the end product: “We shall be like Him.”
“Give diligence:” Let us realize from this portion that our surety and security is in the “promises” of God’s Word, the “Provision” of the Son’s work performed for us, and the “power” of the Holy Spirit’s work performed in us. Yet we are urged (twice repeated) “give diligence” in making sure. In other words, make it your business: eagerly, earnestly give it your major concern. Seek seriously the realization and fulfillment of God’s exceedingly great and precious promises. His Word encourages holy enthusiasm and clearly rejects indifference.
“My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God,” Prov. 2:1-5. The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute,” Prov. 12:24. This fact holds true throughout the ages. Our attitude toward the things of God here and now will determine whether we will govern or serve there and then.
“The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul; of the diligent shall be made fat,” Prov. 13:4. This being made “fat” here is speaking of being amply supplied, abundantly gratified, prosperous. Our heavenly Father greatly desires our spiritual prosperity. He would have us prosper and be in health, even as our soul prospers. His Word often urges us to give forethought and diligence to that which is sure profit, Prov. 21:5. “Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which He possesseth. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also,” Lk. 12:15,31,34. These facts hold true in every age.
“But beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation…For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love…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, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises,” Heb. 6:9-12. Thank God for the testimony of Abraham and those like him, who after he had patiently endured, obtained the promise. This pleases our faithful Father. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him,” Heb. 11:6.
Paul admonished, “Follow me,” Praise God for such a worthy example of “giving diligence.” He was indeed a crown winner by faithfully fighting the good fight, finishing his course, and keeping the faith. Let us be admonished by his expressions of “giving diligence.” He said, “I follow after,” “reaching forth” and pressing toward.” What holy zeal!