My friend Pat Lofton recently sent a note to this effect.

Upon finishing a phone conversation with a friend, the friend said to Pat,
“Now let me give you a good sermon outline.”

He then spoke of Paul on an island (Acts 28:1-6) where he started a fire.
A poisonious viper bit Paul but, surprisingly, there was no effect, no swelling!

Then he gave Pat the outline:
(1) Start a fire for Jesus wherever you are.
(2) And when you do, always expect some snakes to come out.
(3) And should you get bit, do not “swell-up”!


1 Peter 1:3-5
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.


Christians have been told far too often that religion has no place in the affairs of the world.
We’ve heard it so much, many Christians are silent when it comes to important social attitudes.
They fear to become involved in controversial issues.

Peter gives us three things in the above Scripture which should make us more willing to be vocal.

First, we have been “begotten again.”
We are made NEW by the salvation of Jesus Christ! (2Cor. 5:17)
We have a “lively hope,” or, a LIVING SURETY!
The words “lively hope” mean we literally LIVE in CONFIDENCE of RECEIVING!

Second, our living surety is ETERNALLY RESERVED!
The inheritance of heaven includes an eternal life that is “incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away!”
That “inheritance” is SECURED by the blood of Jesus Christ!
When we were saved, God wrote our names indelibly in the “Book of Life!” (Rev. 21:27)

Third, we are “KEPT!”
We are “kept by the POWER of GOD!”
Upon our salvation, His Holy Spirit enjoined Himself to our spirit to give us LIVING SURETY! (Eph. 1:13)
And, though we have crucified “self” with Christ, we still LIVE!
And we LIVE, not by our own power, but by the power of “the faith of the Son of God!” (Gal. 2:20)

Let us remember to walk daily in our LIVING SURETY.
Let us remember to express vocally Christian views on controversial issues.

And let’s not get “swelled up” when the ole snake begins biting!

Love ya!