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From Trials to Triumph

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    Peter's Faith in the Second Coming of Christ

    Peter kept alive in his heart the hope of Christ's return, and he assured the church of the certain fulfillment of the Saviour's promise, “I will come again.” John 14:3. The coming might seem long delayed, but the apostle assured them: “The Lord is not slow about His promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”TT 281.2

    “Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be kindled and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire! But according to His promise we wait for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”TT 281.3

    “Beloved, knowing this beforehand, beware lest you be carried away with the error of lawless men and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”TT 281.4

    Peter closed his ministry in Rome, where his imprisonment was ordered by the emperor Nero about the time of Paul's final arrest. Thus the two apostles, for many years widely separated in their labors, were to bear their last witness for Christ in the world's metropolis, and on its soil to shed their blood as the seed of a vast harvest of saints.TT 281.5

    Peter had braved danger and had shown a noble courage in preaching a crucified, risen, and ascended Saviour. As he lay in his cell he called to mind the words of Christ: “When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldst: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.” John 21:18. Jesus had foretold the stretching of the disciple's hands on the cross.TT 281.6

    As a Jew and foreigner, Peter was condemned to be scourged and crucified. In prospect of this fearful death, the apostle remembered his sin in denying Jesus in the hour of His trial. Once unready to acknowledge the cross, he now counted it a joy to yield up his life for the gospel. But he felt that for him to die in the same manner as his Master died was too great an honor. He had been forgiven by Christ, but he could never forgive himself. Nothing could lessen the bitterness of his sorrow and repentance. As a last favor he entreated his executioners that he might be nailed to the cross with his head downward. This request was granted, and in this manner died the great apostle Peter.TT 282.1

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