by Aszia Pearson
“According to His promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
Therefore, what? The end is set to motivate our meantime. In my long distance race, I was committed to the finish, so the meantime meant running. Midway through I remember telling myself exactly that, “I am going to finish this… so I may as well keep going.” The end is promised, and so? Move toward it!
…since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by Him without spot or blemish, and at peace.” —2 Peter 3:14
This sure and beautiful end—shalom, wholeness, total perfection and peace—is God’s promise, and He is the hero who will accomplish it in full. Our objective? To purify ourselves as we wait for it.
Does this sound small? Insignificant? Self-centered even? If our goal is the end of sexual exploitation and brokenness, how is personal diligence in pursuing purity an effective “meantime mission”?
For starters, we need to change how we think about purity—it is not an end-with-self, end-on-the-wedding-night, accomplishment. God wants our hearts, souls, minds, motives, bodies, worship—all of us (Mark 12:30) to be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:16). Purity is an ongoing relationship with the Pure One, and as we are transformed one degree of glory to another, as we begin to look more and more like Jesus, justice will overflow from our lips because we will speak out for the oppressed, from our hands because we will reach out to serve, and from our hearts because we will love our neighbor and seek to make disciples of all nations. The pursuit of purity is hand-in-hand with the pursuit of justice.
“A world free” cannot exist if you are not free, if I am not free.
Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
His plan is a complete plan, which means it will require that every heart and every one is sanctified completely. God is thorough, and we are invited to participate in this grand plan through our “diligence to be found in Him.” God is also gracious, and He doesn’t leave it up to us…
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it.” —1 Thessalonians 5:23
Peter exhorts us to make every effort to become spotless and at peace. Paul encourages us, the God of peace will accomplish this in us. They aren’t contradicting each other. Scripture is all at once mysterious and good to show us that as we wait for the end, we must be diligent to sanctify ourselves and also, He is sanctifying us.
“He gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works.” —Titus 2:14
This truth comes from the heart of our good Father. He invites us to participate in His work the way we would invite our own young children or disciples to participate with us—expecting them to learn and even do some good, but knowing they will need our help. We need not be anxious about bearing the full weight on our own shoulders or making a mess of things, His purpose will not fail. He will see to “the end”—He will see to our individual and collective purification Himself.
This idea, that God is purifying us, while simultaneously calling us to purify ourselves is what the ministry of pureHOPE is all about. In fact, it is where we get our name…
Everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
—1 John 3:3
Our mission is pureHOPE. Do you see why we emphasize hope?
Our pursuit of purity stems from our hope in Jesus! He is our capital-P, capital-H, Pure Hope. Out of our belief and utter dependance on what He has done on our behalf, we cannot help but grow more like Him. As we hope in Him, we will pursue purity. As we pursue purity—true heart change, not religious box-checking—we will seek justice.
Are you longing for a world free of sexual exploitation and brokenness?
This hope is certain; it’s timing—though unknown to us—is set. So we move and keep moving toward it every day, every where we are called. What starts in your heart will fill your home, radiate through your neighborhood, ripple out to the nations, and impact generations. “A world free” will require all of you and all of me.