Peter writes to aliens that are scattered and who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God.
In the social climate that is emerging in our country, we are soon going to feel like aliens if we don't already. Think about it. God has chosen us to be aliens. It's according to God's foreknowledge.
If He has chosen us to be aliens here in a land that is becoming more and more foreign and hostile to us all the time, then He knows the environment into which He has put us. It's according to His foreknowledge that we are here.
God's foreknowledge is an interesting thing. Some say that God saves people based on His foreknowledge. They say He looks down the corridors of time and elects those to salvation that He sees will respond to Him. But foreknowledge takes on a whole different meaning when you think about the fact that God is the first cause of all things. So God looks down the corridors of time and sees who He will save based on His divine action before the foundations of the world. This complete thought was not in the sermon, but came to me as I thought about this concept of foreknowledge. It keeps God in the drivers seat instead of man. God chooses, man will respond. Not man chooses and God responds.
"According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:" -Ephesians 1:4
So back to our times and culture. God knows the times we live in. He had the foreknowledge that we would be living in this evironment because He is the first cause of all things. He has a purpose for this environment in our lives as Christians. It is to cause us to desire Him and the eternal city of heaven more than we desire to make our home here. This is not our home. He has put us here to sanctify us and separate us from the earthly dirsires and material possessions that so often crowd Him out of our lives.
He wants grace and peace to be ours to the fullest measure. Not the temporary fleeting peace, but the spiritual peace that He offers. Living in a hostile world, requires much grace and He wants us to have that. It all comes through the sanctification that persecution and trials bring into our lives.