Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
(1 Peter 1:1 ESV)
This is the beginning of Peter’s first epistle. He identifies himself as “an apostle of Jesus Christ“, literally meaning that he was one who was sent by the Lord. We then see who was his original audience. “To those who are elect exiles“. This isn’t referring to a literal exile. This is referring to the fact that Christians are not citizens of this world; their home is in heaven with the Father.
We were born in exile, because we were born in sin (Psalm 51:5), but we have been redeemed by Jesus, and we are now excitedly waiting to go home. I love the song “O For That Day” by Enfield. It begins like this: “We are pilgrims on earth, and we long to be home. We were exiled in birth and wandered alone until Jesus, the Lamb who was slain in our place, redeemed us and claimed us His own.” They have captured well what it means to be an elect exile. The chorus goes like this: “O for that day when our journey has ended, all of our hope found in heaven’s reward, when we will have the Messiah forever, and we will dwell in the house of the Lord. Yes, we will dwell in the house of the Lord!”
O for that day! May we long for that day. While we are here on earth, I’m not advocating being sad saints, sulking about, complaining about this life. We do already have fellowship with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We should rejoice in that, always (Philippians 4:4). But one day, one glorious day, that fellowship and that joy will be perfected. What hope! What glorious hope!
1 Kings 11
1 Peter 1