1 As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.
This is about as serious as it gets, here. In our physical world, what Jesus did for us can compare to a total stranger pushing you out of the way only to be killed by the oncoming train, or a soldier throwing himself on a grenade, giving his own life so that his comrades can fight on. Stuff like that NEVER LEAVES the ones saved by such heroic actions.
With that in mind, how on earth can we make light of what Jesus has done for us? How could we just walk away and say "Thanks, but no thanks" ??? Sadly, lots of people do, and a lot of those who claim to be saved just use God as a crutch for when they screw their lives up royally. Such "salvation" is all in vain, if you ask me.
I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
This ain't something to piddlefart around with. You may not have tomorrow, so pick your side today. We should be overjoyed that God, in His power and extreme might, has shown US favor!
dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; 10 sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
Sam, you're right. At the same time, the apostles WERE beaten. John was the only one who didn't die at the hands of the enemies of Jesus, and it wasn't for lack of effort. He was boiled in oil(which boils at no less than 480*F, If I recall rightly), which possibly melted his skin right off. He survived, thanks to the power of Jesus. However, he was considered a witch by his captors and they then poked his eyes out with a red-hot poker and banished him to Patmos, where he died of old age. My logical take on them being poor and having nothing is that they lived on the run because of their faith in Jesus, so not only did they not have much, they couldn't carry much if they were to keep ahead of their pursuers. However, what they gave up for the cause of Christ has since been immeasurably increased upon them in Heaven. I'd imagine they had to leave family and friends behind, possibly to protect them from persecution as well... that had be a HUGE pill to swallow.
My point? Committing to Christ won't make your life magically make sense, or wash all your cares away. One of Jesus' promises was "In the world you will have troubles." The apostles were "Exhibit A". But Jesus also said "But take heart, for I have overcome the world!" So no matter what happens to you in this life, stick with Jesus. It gets WAY better when you leave this world like that.
17 “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”[d]
The notes in my study Bible point to Revelation 18:4, which paints a rather grim picture for those straddling the fence:
4 Then I heard another voice from heaven say:
“Come out of her, my people,
so that you will not share in her sins,
so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
5 for her sins are piled up to heaven,
and God has remembered her crimes.
6 Give back to her as she has given;
pay her back double for what she has done.
Mix her a double portion from her own cup.
7 Give her as much torture and grief
as the glory and luxury she gave herself.
In her heart she boasts,
‘I sit as queen; I am not a widow,
and I will never mourn.’
8 Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her:
death, mourning and famine.
She will be consumed by fire,
for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.
I wouldn't wanna be of the world on that day.
I think they should've ended the chapter with the first verse of Chapter 7:
1 Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.