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The Book of 1 Peter
In chapter 4, Peter makes it very clear that when life is easy and going good, there is danger of thinking that every blessing in life is owed to us. We come to dangerous place where we do not value life as we should or do we fear God as we should.
God permits His children to suffer for a reason! That suffering keeps us from sin, and reveals a proper value of life, and reverence and respect for the One who controls it. David realized this! Psalm 66:10 For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. (KJV) . . . God puts us through tests and trials so that we may be drawn closer to Him, and changes our hearts and the direction of our journey to what His will is for us.
Suffering Produces Our Obedience To God's Will
Below are some reasons for Christian suffering:
#1. Draws us closer to God (Ps.119:6-7).
#2. Tests our faith (1 Pet.4:12-13)
#3. Glorifies God (John 9:3; 11:14-15)
#4. Makes us humble (Pro.16:18; 12:7)
#5. Teaches us to depend on Him (Isa.30:15)
#6. Produces patience (Rom.5:3-5)
#7. Makes us sympathetic (2 Cor.1:3-4)
#8.Makes us like Christ (Rom.8:29)
#9. Makes us strong (2 Cor.12:10; Col.1:11)
#10. Teaches us a lesson and has a purpose (Ps.30:5)
1 Peter 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; (KJV)
Forasmuch . . . this refers us back to 1 Peter 3:18, "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit." These two verses go together, and this is again a reminder that in His human Body Christ not only endured horrendous pain but was actually put to death . . . for us!
Christ died on the cross because He bore the penalty for OUR sin in His own Body. We are told back in 1 Peter 2:24, "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." Three times (1 Pet. 2:24; 3:18; 4:1) Peter says that it was in His flesh and in His body that Christ paid the penalty for man's sin.
Christ did not die in sin, nor did He die under sin, but He died TO sin. He took my place and yours, on that cross! He paid the FULL penalty for our sin. Once we believe in Christ and His work on the cross, we owe NOTHING more . . . salvation is absolutely FREE to us (Eph.2:8-9; Rom.6:23), because of what Jesus did on the cross, for us!
Christ will NOT come back to die for sin again! He died ONCE for all (Heb.10:10,12,14,18; Jude 1:3). When He comes the next time, it will be briefly, in the clouds, for the saints (1 Thes.4:13-18), then His second Coming to the Earth (Zec.14:4; Rev.19:11-21), will be for judgment!
When He came back from the dead, He came in a glorified body (Phil.3:21). He was "quickened by the Spirit," or "made alive by the Spirit" (1 Pet. 3:18).
Arm yourselves with the same mind . . . imitate Christ Jesus! Put on the same armor as He had: love, forgiveness, meekness, gentleness, and self-control. Just as Jesus suffered in the flesh, for righteousness, we too as God's children shall suffer for righteousness.
For he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin . . . our dying spiritually with Christ is the mortification of our flesh. I think that following Passage tells it as it is. Romans 6:3-7 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. (KJV)
By the virtue of Jesus' death, WE must die to sin. We must crucify our flesh, with all its immoral passions and lusts. Gal. 5:24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. (KJV)
Consider what Peter says next.
1 Peter 4:2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. (KJV)
In the flesh . . . in the body, meaning his natural life: in the flesh (Gal. 2:20; Phil. 1:22). By the lusts of men, Peter means the corrupt desires and sinful ways of carnal men, to which they were NOT to conform themselves (Rom. 12:2; 1 Cor. 3:3; Col. 2:8; Tit. 1:14).
But to the will of God . . . the holy will of God revealed to us in His law, which is the rule by which we are to walk. This is in total opposition to the immoral lusts of men. We are NOT to live as the 'world' tempts us, but as God commands us. Titus 1:15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. (KJV)
1 Peter 4:3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: (KJV)
After we have been saved by the amazing grace of God (Eph.2:8-9), we CANNOT spend our lives doing the things which we did as unbelieving sinners. We are now joined to Christ, united to Him, and we cannot continue to sin (1 John 3:9). IF a person continues in sin, continues 'practicing' sin, it is very doubtful that person was ever saved in the first place. There are millions who SAY they are Christians! But a TRUE Christian CANNOT sin! 1 John 3:6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. (KJV) . . . The Holy Spirit within them (John 14: 17; Rom.8:9), will NOT permit us to sin.
When we walked in lasciviousness lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries . . . Peter spells out the sins here. "Lasciviousness" . . . that's living in sexual sin. "Lusts" . . . that includes MANY things, lusting after the things of the flesh. "Excess of wine" is drunkenness. "Revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries." "Banquetings" could be translated "carousing." "Abominable idolatries" . . . the Scriptures tell us that the love of money is the root of all evil (1 Tim.6:10); covetousness is idolatry in our day. The above are the things which will take you away from God, and Peter clearly spells them out.
Consider Sins of Jews and Gentiles:
#1. Lasciviousness . . . every form of lewdness and impurity (Mark 7:21-23; 2 Cor.12:20-21; Gal.5:19-21; Eph.4:19-20; Jude 1:4).
#2. Lusts . . . strong or intense desire (John 8:44; Rom.1:24,27; 6:12; Gal.5:16,24; Eph.2:3; Jam.1:14-15; 1 Pet.2:11).
#3. Excess of wine, drunkenness . . . (Luke 21:34-35; Rom.13:13; Gal.5:21).
#4. Revellings, riotous feasts, unruly festivity, singing and drinking in honor of heathen gods (Rom.13:13; Gal.5:21; Jude 1:12).
#5. Abominable idolatries, idol feasts were/are the most impure, obscene, and perverted sexual orgies, where abominable rites were practiced (Eph. 5:12,17; Col. 1:21; Rom. 13:12; Heb. 6:1).
#6. Speaking evil of you, blaspheming God and man. (1Pet. 4:4,14; Rom. 14:16; 1 Cor. 10:30; Tit. 3:2; 2 Pet. 2:2,10,12; Jude 1:8,10); "revile" (Mat. 27:39); "rail on" (Mk. 15:29; Lk. 23:39); "report slanderously" (Rom. 3:8); "defame" (1 Cor. 4:13); "speak blasphemy" (Mat. 26:65); "blasphemously" (Lk. 22:65); "blasphemer" (Acts 19:37); and "blaspheme" (Mat. 9:3; Mk. 3:28-29; Lk. 12:10; Jn. 10:36; Acts 13:45; 18:6; 26:11; Rom. 2:24; 1 Tim. 1:20; 6:1; Tit. 2:5; Jam. 2:7; Rev. 13:6; 16:9,11,21).
About salvation, eternal life . . . if you've got it, you can't lose it. And if you lose it, you didn't have it. BUT, if you never had it, you CAN get it. See our article: . . . http://www.godcannotlie.org/truth_about_salvation.htm
1 Peter 4:4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: (KJV)
Unbelievers marvel how we Christians can renounce fleshly gratifications for something spiritual that we cannot see. But things of the world are SO temporary, while spiritual things are eternal! When we finally realize this FACT, renouncing those things are easy. (1 John 2:15-17; 5:4-5). When we are given such unspeakable Promises as Jesus gives us, it is easy for me to renounce those worldly things! (Rev.2:7,11,17,26; 3:5,12,21; 21:7). WOW! THOSE things are eternal, and belong to all TRUE believers!
Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (KJV)
In this life on Earth, you will either please God or you will go along with the 'world'. And if you go along with the evil world, you will not, CANNOT please God. John 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. (KJV) . . . My friend, if the 'world' loves you, there is something drastically wrong with how you are living, according to God.
1 Peter 4:5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. (KJV)
Who shall give account to him . . . of their evil speaking as well as of other sins (Jude 1:15). It is a picture taken from stewards giving account to their masters (Mat. 18:23; Luke 16:2).
That is ready . . . not only prepared for it, but at hand to do it, "behold, the judge standeth before the door" (Jam. 5:9).
To judge the quick and the dead . . . those that are alive at Christ's Coming (Zec.14:4; Rev. 19:11-21), and those that died before, shall be raised, and brought to judgment (Rev.20:11-15). Peter's words here are for his readers comfort, that even though their enemies may outlive them, yet they shall NOT escape God's judgment. Believer's judgment will have already taken place (1 Thes.4:13-18; 1 Cor.3:11-15). The Judgment Seat of Christ will be held before the Great White Throne Judgment.
See: . . . http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_judgment_seat_of_christ.1.htm . . . and . . . http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_great_white_throne_judgment.1.htm
1 Peter 4:6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. (KJV)
To them that are dead . . . I think that Peter means spiritually dead, dead in sin or dead to Christ (Ruth 1:8).
That they might be judged according to men in the flesh . . . in order for God to judge all people justly, the SAME Gospel has been given to all alike. Those who believe God (1 John 5:10-12) and accept it in faith, receive the GIFT of eternal life (Eph.2:8-9; Rom.6:23). But, those who call God a "liar" and reject His one and only Way of salvation (John 14:6; Acts 4:12), shall be condemned to an eternal Hell (John 3:18,36; 8:24; Mat.25:41,46; Rev.20:15; 21:8,27).
But live according to God in the spirit . . . TRUE believers must live a spiritual life in their souls according to the will of God, to one day have eternal life with Him in His home. And the ONLY way to do this is through JESUS!
1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. (KJV)
But the end of all things is at hand . . . this has been true since the day the Lord Jesus went back to Heaven. Paul was looking for it in his day. Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; (KJV) . . . The last judgment will put an end to all the evils of this world. and it is at hand . . . (Jam. 5:8-9).
Be ye therefore sober . . . both in mind and body (2 Cor. 5:13; Tit. 2:6).
And watch . . . means both sober, in opposition to drunkenness (1 Thes. 5:6, 8), and watchfulness (2 Tim. 4:5).
Unto prayer . . . all Christians should think clearly and wisely about their daily behavior and live in the way that will please God. Because we cannot do this on our own, we can go to Him in prayer and ask for help to live this way, then we will be ready to meet Jesus when He comes back (Phil.3:9,20-21; 4:13; 1 John 2:28). But, we are to "watch" for we know NOT when He will come (Mat.24:42; 25:13; Mark 13:35).
Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. (KJV)
1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. (KJV)
And above all things . . . similar expression used in James 5:12 and Col. 3:14.
Have fervent charity . . . charity = LOVE (1 Corinthians chapter 13). Not only strive after love diligently and carefully, but let it be fervent, intense, strong and sincere.
For charity shall cover the multitude of sins . . . love prevents anger, blasphemy, evil speaking, revilings, contentions, that they do not break not out, and also by repressing, concealing, pardoning them when they do break out, (1 Cor. 13:7; Jam. 5:20).
1 Peter 4:9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging. (KJV)
Use hospitality . . . Christian hospitality in entertaining strangers, especially those that need your kindness by suffering for the Gospel.
Without grudging . . . murmuring or belly aching. Use hospitality willingly, freely, cheerfully (Rom. 12:8-13; 2 Cor. 9:7; Tit.1:8; Heb.13:2 ).
Four commands to consider in view of coming judgment:
#1. Be sober (1Pet. 4:7; Tit. 2:6).
#2. Watch unto prayer (Luke 21:36; 1Pet. 4:7).
#3. Have fervent love among yourselves (1 Pet.4:8; 1 Cor. 13:4).
#4. Be hospitable without murmuring (1 Pet. 4:9; Rom. 12:13; Heb. 13:2).
1 Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. (KJV)
As every man hath received the gift . . . any gift, office or ability, that will serve and do good to others (1 Cor. 12:4; Eph. 4:7; Rom.12:6-8; 2 Tim.1:6-7). EVERY Christian is given a gift that they are to use to build the church. Don't say that you don't have one, because you do!
Even so minister the same one to another . . . communicate modestly and humbly, not lifting yourself up in pride above others because of your gifts, BUT . . . always remembering you have received them from God, and you are simply a steward to dispense them. And NEVER begrudge another because you think their gift is better than yours. God KNOWS what He is doing!
As good stewards . . . therefore faithful in distributing the Lord's goods. Stewards . . . refers Mat. 25:15 and Luke 19:13-26.
Of the manifold grace of God . . . by grace, I think Peter means the same as "gift" . . . thus, by manifold grace, the various gifts are given to them, and us, by God (1 Cor. 12:4-6).
1 Peter 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (KJV)
If a man does NOT speak the Word of God, he has NO business standing in the pulpit or being a teacher . . . supposedly of God's Word! (2 Cor.11:4; Gal.1:6-11). There are FAR too many FALSE teachers out there!
See our articles: . . . http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_1_false_teachers.1.htm
If any man speak . . . authoritatively, as a public teacher in the church. NO one should try to minister beyond his own ability, or imitate the ability of another (2 Cor. 10:11-18). Be yourself!
Let him speak as the oracles of God . . . this means that it must be with faith in the Word of God and a due reverence of it. Stay away from preachers and teachers who do NOT preach or teach the total Truth of God . . . meaning teaching Heaven but NOT Hell! And also stay away from preachers and teacher who teach the commandments of men, or traditions of men, instead of the oracles of God, which Jesus CONDEMNS! Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (KJV)
Let him do it as of the ability which God giveth . . . diligently and strenuously, and with his might, as far as God enables him, serving FAITHFULLY, which is especially required in a good steward (1 Cor. 4:2).
That God in all things may be glorified . . . in your gifts, and your use of them. God gives you His gifts so you can use them to glorify Him. Always give Him the honor of them by using your gift as He wills, building His church.
Through Jesus Christ . . . from Whom ye have received the gifts (Eph. 4:8), and by Whom you are enabled with your gift to glorify God; and by Whom alone, what you do can be accepted of God (Eph. 3:21).
Peter warns of trials to come
1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: (KJV)
Just WHAT are some Christian sufferings?
#1. Persecution for righteousness (Mat. 5:10; 13:21; Mk. 10:30; Jn. 15:20)
#2. Revilings, slander, false accusations (Mt. 5:11-12; 10:17-25; Acts 13:45; 1 Pet. 4:4)
#3. Scourgings for Christ (Mt. 10:17)
#4. Rejection by people (Mt. 10:14)
#5. Hatred by the world (Mt. 10:22; Jn. 15:18-21)
#6. Hatred by family (Mt. 10:21-36)
#7. Martyrdoms (Mt. 10:28; Acts 7:58)
#8. Temptations (Lk. 8:13; Jam. 1:2-16)
#9. Shame for His name (Acts 5:41)
#10. Tribulations (Acts 14:22; 2Th. 1:4)
#11. Beatings, imprisonment (Acts 16:23; 2 Cor. 11:24-25)
#12. Trouble, evil reports (2Cor. 6:8-10; 11:26-28)
#13. Despisings (1Cor. 4:10-13)
#14. Reproaches (Heb. 13:13; 1Pet. 4:14)
#15. Trials (1Pet. 1:7; 4:12)
#16. Satanic opposition (Eph. 4:27; 6:12)
1 Peter 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. (KJV)
But rejoice . . . Peter says that we should not be offended at our sufferings, but instead rejoice in them. But, HOW can we "rejoice" when we are miserable? Because they always could always be worse, and since suffering for "righteousness" is our looking to what Jesus did for us! Our suffering could NEVER be as horrendous as His was. I think our trials become more tolerable when we are partakers of Christ's similar sufferings.
Inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings . . . we suffer: #1. As Christ did, for the Truth, and #2. As members of Christ, we suffer similar evils as those that Christ did, and #3. We are conformed to Christ by the sanctification of our sufferings (Phil. 3:10).
That, when his glory shall be revealed . . . meaning at His Second Coming (1 Pet. 1:7; Col. 3:4; 2 Thes. 1:5-7).
Ye may be glad also with exceeding joy . . . suffering prepares us for the Coming of Christ. Romans 8:17-18 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (KJV) . . . There really is no easy way of living the Christian life that is pleasing to God. Christ has invited us to the table of salvation . . . but it is not a picnic. Because He suffered, we too are to suffer, for Him and with Him. One day we will know the reason for each testing, each trial and each temptation. But for now, we shall continue to be tried in various ways, until we stand in His awesome and glorious Presence someday. Matthew 5:10-12 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. (KJV) . . . Personally, I go to this Passage often. There is great comfort here for me.
1 Peter 4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. (KJV)
If you are reproached for the name of Christ . . . you should rejoice in it, for great is your reward in heaven!
Happy are ye . . . WHY??? Because the Holy Spirit dwells in you (John 14:16-17; Rom.8:9), and because He is the earnest (down payment) on our inheritance (1 Pet.1:4-5)!
2 Cor.1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. (KJV)
2 Cor. 5:5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. (KJV)
Eph.1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. (KJV)
The spirit of glory and of God . . . the glorious Spirit of Christ (1 Pet.1:11), which is also the Spirit of glory, as being not only glorious in Himself, but also a glory to them in whom He dwells, and the reason of our future glorification.
Peter adds this to counterbalance the reproaches they/we suffer for the Name of Christ. It is a far greater glory for us to have the Spirit of Christ dwelling in us, than all the shame that our enemies can load on us. For He helps us patiently bear all the reproaches and persecutions that come our way.
Resteth upon you . . . it seems Peter refers to: Isaiah 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; (KJV) . . . This is He that dwells in us, and helps us daily! And my dear friend, He shall abide with you for ever! (John 14:16; 2 John 2). He will NOT ever leave us in our sufferings. (Heb.13:5).
On their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified . . . we can glorify God no matter what comes. The evil spoken of you, and the reproaches your enemies cast upon you, reach deep into your soul . . . to the Spirit Himself that dwells in you. When enemies insult you, they insult Him! Your patience and constancy in your sufferings, shows the power of that Spirit that dwells in you . . . and that He works so mightily in you, that He enables you to bear the suffering, that without the assistance of His grace would be intolerable.
1 Peter 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. (KJV)
But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief . . . Peter tells us to stay far away from these. Murder and robbery are NOT done by TRUE Christians!
Or as an evil-doer . . . this means crimes that offend against any public law; those that are guilty of any offence against the laws.
Or as a busy-body in other men's matters . . . a covetous person, that looks with greedy lust on what others have, and is ready to invade others business. It is WRONG to make trouble in other people’s lives. MYOB!!! Mind your own business! Stay out of someone else's personal affairs.
Some things Christian suffering does NOT include:
1. Suffering for murder (1 Pet. 4:15)
2. Suffering as a thief (1 Pet. 4:15)
3. Suffering for being an evildoer in any way (1 Pet.4:15)
4. Suffering for being a busybody (1 Pet. 4:15)
5. Suffering for the many sinful crimes listed in Rom. 1:18-32; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21
1 Peter 4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. (KJV)
Yet if any man suffer as a Christian. . . if his good Christian life is his only crime, and the cause of his sufferings . . . Let him not be ashamed . . . Mat. 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. (KJV)
But let him glorify God on this behalf . . . if we live a life that pleases God, and suffer because of it, we should thank God for keeping us from suffering as an evil-doer, and for counting us worthy to suffer for Christ's sake (Acts 5:41), as well as for giving us patience, and courage under sufferings.
1 Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? (KJV)
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God . . . TRUE believers are going to appear before the judgment seat of Christ. 2 Cor. 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (KJV) . . . "We" . . . Paul is talking about Christians. "That every one may receive the things done in his body" . . . meaning the things that we have done while we were living here on Earth. "According to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" . . . ALL of us must come before Christ's judgment seat.
See our article: . . . http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_judgment_seat_of_christ.1.htm
If it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? . . . Christ has paid the full penalty for our sins . . . BUT . . . how will He judge us if we have lived a life that did NOT bring glory to Him? We shall be judged, and it shall be done right . . . NONE of us will be able to complain because we will KNOW His verdict will be right and just! God's judgment IS coming. Many of the afflictions God brings upon His children is for their correction, testing and instruction. Let us all judge ourselves NOW, before Judgment Day comes. 1 Cor.11:31-32 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. (KJV)
BUT. . . consider this! If God is going to judge His own people, His own children (1 John 3:1-2), what about all the millions who refuse to hear or obey the Gospel of Christ?
What shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? . . . how utterly dreadful will be the end of all those that would not obey the Gospel! Peter says that if God will not spare His children when they sin, what will He do to His enemies? The cup of God's wrath awaits ALL unbelievers (Ps.75:8; Isa. 51:17; Jer. 25:15; Heb. 3:11; Rev.11:18; 14:10,19-20; 15:7; 16:19).
1 Peter 4:18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? (KJV)
And if the righteous scarcely be saved . . . if they (Christians) be as sticks plucked from the burning fire, "where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" Peter asks. If you are not a Christian, and a TRUE Christian just barely makes it, only by trusting Christ, what makes you think you are going to make it? You are NOT! There is only ONE Hope and there is only ONE Way of salvation, and that is CHRIST JESUS! The Lord Jesus said so! John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (KJV)
We as believers just barely make it. The righteous are saved only by the death of Christ and their faith in Him. That is the ONLY way to be saved, and we just barely make it.
Scarcely be saved . . . with much labor and difficulty, through many trials, troubles and tribulations (Acts 14:22), and walking in the narrow way, and entering in at the strait gate (Mat. 7:13-14).
Where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? . . . unbelievers and impenitent sinners of every kind. These shall NOT be able to stand in God's judgment against the sentence of condemnation then to be pronounced (Deut.7:24; 11:25; Ps. 1:5; Mat.25:46; Rev.6:17). If the righteous are just barely saved, the wicked shall certainly perish.
God will judge people by His standards of what is right and wrong. On Judgment day, He will reward OR punish each person on a One on one basis. It is not easy to live a Christian life. God wants Christians to be pure. He allows troubles and trials. These troubles test our faith in God and make it more pure and more potent.
There are far more people who do not trust Jesus or obey Him, than there are who do trust Him (Mat.7:13-14). Their lives are crammed full of what all that is bad and evil. They are wicked people. If they do not accept Jesus, it will be awful for them when God comes to judge them. God will NOT forgive them after they have died. They will go to ‘the lake of fire', which is Hell (Rev.20:15).
I have had people ask: "What is the worst sin in God's eyes?" In my humble opinion, it is unbelief. See our article: . . . http://www.hisservants.org/worst_sin_h_s.htm
John 12:46-48 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. 47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. (KJV)
1 Peter 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator. (KJV)
Those of us who suffer as Christians, know how to commit the keeping of our souls to our faithful Creator (Ps.31:5; 2 Tim.1:12). He is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Heb.5:9; 12:2), and we simply trust Him in faith. Thank You Jesus!
This is the conclusion that I come to in this chapter . . . the state and condition of suffering saints in this world, at worst, is only for a brief time, compared to eternal joy and peace in eternity, when we realize our inheritance (1 Pet.1:4-5). There is NO comparison to the dreadful and agonizing state and condition of all the disobedient and ungodly sinners in Hell. 2 Thes. 1:8-9 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; (KJV)
Many unbelievers will have little or no suffering here on Earth, BUT . . . they shall suffer and have to endure the worst kind for eternity, IF they do not turn to Christ Jesus to save them NOW, in this life. My friend, you do NOT want to go to Hell!
See, how to get to Heaven: . . . http://www.hisservants.org/truth_about_salvation_h_s.htm
See our articles on HELL! . . . http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_hell.1.htm
Let them that suffer for well doing endure it and commit themselves to God who is faithful to punish all evil doers. Hebrews 10:30-31 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (KJV)
Facts about Christian Suffering:
#1. Suffering is not strange or unusual for Christians (1 Pet. 4:12; 2 Tim. 3:12).
#2. We should rejoice when being a partaker of the sufferings of Christ (1 Pet. 4:13; Mt. 5:10).
#3. The more we suffer, the greater the joy and glory (Mat.5:10-12; 1 Pet. 4:13; Rom. 8:17-18).
#4. The Christian has the Holy Spirit to enable him to endure (John 14:16-17; 1 Pet. 4:14; Rom. 8:9,26-27).
#5. Christian sufferings glorify God (1 Pet. 4:14; Rom. 8:17-18).
#6. It is a great honor, not a shame, to suffer as a Christian (1 Pet. 4:16).
#7. We should bear sufferings in patience, knowing that God is always faithful to help His own in their sufferings (1 Pet. 4:19; 1 Cor. 10:13).
Rewards for Christian Suffering:
#1. Glory in Heaven (2 Cor. 4:17)
#2. Eternal comfort and joy (2 Cor. 1:7)
#3. Making grace abound (2 Cor. 4:15)
#4. Guarantee of righteous judgment (1 Cor.3:11-15; 2Th. 1:5)
#5. Reign with Christ (2 Tim. 2:12)
#6. Spirit upon and in us (John 14:16-17; Rom.8:9; 1 Pet. 4:14)
#7. Glory to God (1 Pet. 4:16)
#8. Great joy (1 Pet. 4:13-14)
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