1 Peter chapter 1:3-5
I went to a Presbyterian funeral on Friday and the text for the sermon was as above. I should not have been surprised but I WAS rather surprised to note that the minister completely ignored what the text actually said. He just saw in it what he wanted to see. Here it is (RSV):
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time"
The first sentence is an explicit contradiction of the pagan Mumbo-Jumbo known as the Trinity doctrine -- a doctrine accepted by most Christian churches, including Presbyterians. The Trinity doctrine says Jesus is God and yet we have Peter plainly denying that -- in saying that God is the father of Jesus. And yet the minister saw no issue in the text. I will not grumble further about Trinity theology as I have done so often before (e.g. here and here).
And then there is the issue of who goes to heaven and when. The minister was sure that the deceased was in heaven already but Peter spoke not of Christians going to heaven but rather of Christians having an inheritance which is "KEPT in heaven" and that actual salvation occurs "in the last time" -- the "last trump" (not Donald), as the Apostle Paul has it in 1 Corinthians 15:52 -- when the dead are raised at the second coming of Christ. And the minister missed that issue too. Does anybody actually LISTEN to what the Bible says these days? A lot of clergy clearly do not.
I have carefully not identified the minister and his church as he is clearly just conforming to the traditions of his denomination and probably means well
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).