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It is Time for Judgment

1 Peter 4: 12-19

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country  103.7 FM just after 8am. Peter begins this new section of his letter with that same idea reminding his readers their suffering and persecution is not punishment from God. Peter is reminding them that God is allowing the suffering to strengthen them through the testing and development of their faith. He is also reminding them persecution and suffering are a normal part of a truly Godly life in this ungodly world. Peter gives us 4 principles to remember concerning our suffering as Christians.

  1. OUR EXPRESSION WHILE SUFFERING! V. 12, 13. True men and women of God who walk with Him each day have come to know and understand from their daily quiet time and diligent study in The Word, that suffering of some kind is a normal part of the Christian life. The Lord Jesus Himself told us that men and women of God have experienced persecution and suffering of every kind imaginable throughout history. True men and women of God understand that how they express themselves reveals to all others their true inner attitude about living openly every day as a proper witness for Christ. Now look at
  2. THE EXPLANATION FOR OUR SUFFERING! V. 14. Throughout the OT God was constantly reminding his true worshipers and children who continually and consistently walked with him each day, that hardships and other difficulties were not punishment for them – but were in fact God’s way of making them stronger in their faith. The focal point Peter wants his readers to see is in the next part of the verse. For the true Christian insult is blessing! True men and women of God who have made a once for all commitment that they will, with all their heart, stand fast, and remained faithful to God, no matter what – are now blessed in this life with a taste of the glory, wonder, and overwhelming fulfillment that will be made known and felt in all its Divine fullness in heaven. Now let’s consider:
  3. AN EXAMINATION OF OUR SUFFERING! V. 15, 16.  You recall that several times throughout his letter Peter has made a clear distinction between suffering for properly representing Christ, and living a Godly and righteous life – and suffering for doing evil. In this verse he is summarizing the truth that all suffering does not qualify for us to receive God’s blessing nor His glory. We don’t often think about it, but the early Christians were no different than us. They had many of the same problems we do today within, and without of the church family. Finally, out of all this comes
  4. OUR EXPECTATION BECAUSE OF OUR SUFFERING! V. 17, 18. There are two certainties here that every true believer can expect in this life. Peter explains the 1st in v. 17 which is our suffering for purification! In v. 18 Peter presents the other side which is the suffering of separation. The question “what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” is rhetorical! The comparison between the sufferings of Christians now and the suffering of the ungodly later is not centered in this life, or what we know of suffering now. The comparison is between the infinite glory and exultation Christians will experience in the New Heaven and New Earth—and the infinitely excruciating condemnation and suffering of the ungodly and unsaved in an eternal hell!

If we can help you answer your spiritual questions, call us at (574) 643-9419.

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