“The Fiery Trials” Part 2

Posted: January 27, 2017 in Crowns, Death, First Peter, Gospel, Government, Heaven, Spiritual Warfare

1 Peter 4:15-19

We’re told that “attitude is everything.” How we respond to the circumstances of life tells others a lot about us. Do we grumble and gripe as the children of Israel in the wilderness did (1 Corinthians 10) or do we thank Him for opportunities to trust Him in the hard times of life (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Ephesians 5:20; 1 Timothy 2:14)? Do we know God’s promises and mix them with faith and enjoy the peace of God (Hebrews 4:2, 3; Philippians 4:4-7)? Let’s consider –

The Believer’s Action In Relation To Suffering. It should be obvious that if we sin or do evil we usually will suffer for it (1 Peter 4:15, 16). Most often, we reap what we’ve sown (Galatians 6:7-9) and should recognize that the government has been given the God given responsibility to punish evil doers even to the point of death for some crimes against humanity (Romans 13:4). We should not expect to receive a gold medal if we competed in an athletic event and violated the rules of the game (2 Timothy 2:5; 1 Corinthians 9:25-27). Nor should we expect to be rewarded for our service to God and/or to others if we engaged in the activity independently of God or without faith (John 15:5; Romans 14:23; Hebrews 11:6). If we should suffer as a result of doing what is right, we ought to commit our souls (emotions) to God and let Him bring us the needed comfort at such times (1 Peter 4:19). Jesus suffered mercilessly at the hands of wicked men. He died as the Just one for the unjust ones – you and me (1 Peter 3:18). He bore our sins and paid the penalty of death that we deserved (Isaiah 53:7-9; Romans 6:23). Throughout the pages of the Scriptures we have examples of believers who suffered unjustly at the hands of the wicked (See Hebrews 11; Acts 5:20, 41).

The Time Of Judgment In Relation To Suffering. No one will escape judgment day (Hebrews 9:27). Everyone who has died will be raised up someday and will stand before Judge Jesus (John 5:22). There will be different orders of resurrections and times of judgment (1 Corinthians 15:20-26). New Testament Grace believers will be judged according to their works when Christ returns at the Rapture (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 15:51, 52; 2 Corinthians 5:10). Their works that have the quality of gold, silver, and precious stones will endure the fire and will be rewarded. Their worthless works will be burned up but they will not lose their salvation. On the other hand, all the dead unbelievers will raised back to life with immortal bodies and will stand before the omniscient (John 2:24), omnipotent (Revelation 1:8), and righteous (2 Timothy 4:8) Judge Jesus at the Great While Throne to have their works evaluated to determine their degree of suffering in the eternal lake of fire with the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Revelation 20:11-15). There will not be any second opportunities to be saved as some cults teach. Yes, there seems to be greater degrees of pleasure in heaven for those Christians who earned some or all of the five crowns on earth so they can cast them at Jesus’ feet when He judges their works (Revelation 4:10). In like manner there will be degrees of suffering in the lake of fire for all unbelievers (Matthew 10:15; 23:13-36; James 3:1). The unforgivable sin is unbelief (John 3:6, 18; 36; 5:40; 16:8-11).

The Gospel. The “Bad News” is that we’re all sinners who deserve to be eternally separated from a holy God in the lake of fire forever (Romans 3:10-23; 6:23). But the “Good News” is that Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day. He can/will save any and all who put their faith in Him apart from their good works (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8, 9). The Scriptures don’t teach universalism – that eventually everyone will be saved and end up in heaven. Some people hate God and don’t want to spend eternity with Him and His children. They love darkness and won’t come to the Light of the world to be saved (John 3:19; Revelation 13:6; 16:11).

Suffering? If you, as a Christian, are suffering for doing what it sinful, confess and forsake your sinful conduct.  To keep from repeating the same sins over and over again, utilize the techniques taught in the Scriptures (1 John 1:9; Proverbs 28:13). We teach Christians how to overcome the distinct temptations that come from the devil, their own sin nature, and from the present world system. If you are suffering for doing what is right, be encouraged by these words: “Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls [emotional stability] to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:19). “…if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I [Paul] consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:17, 18; See 2 Cor. 11:23-33; 2 Timothy 2:10). If you’re a Christian, your troubles didn’t come to stay but to pass. If you’re not a Christian and if you die as an unbeliever, your suffering and troubles are just beginning. You won’t be resting in peace (R.I.P.) in the lake of fire. Don’t delay! Trust in Christ alone today! God desires (not determines) that everyone be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). He wants His children to enjoy their eternal life abundantly (John 10:10).

Help. If you aren’t sure that you will go immediately into God’s presence in heaven the moment you die, we’d be happy to try to help you have such assurance from God’s Word (1 John 5:13) and from God the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16). We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. Please pass it on to others so we can help them too. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

Clear Gospel. http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

Clear Gospel – Audio: http://www.duluthbible.org/the-gospel-audiobook/

God Honoring Music: www.abidingradio.org

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