A Prediction of Suffering = 1 Peter 4:17-18
August 3, 2023, 8:15 AM

17. For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18. And, "If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?"

There is suffering for the cause of Christ that is a meaningful and purposeful suffering. In such suffering, the believers are being judged by their persecutors. The worst they can possibly do was harm their bodies or imprison them. There are many examples of martyrs throughout much of church history up to our day.

Bible indicates there also a time for judgment to begin with the family of God. We call that type of suffering discipline. It is a judgment that is for believers in order to bring Christ in proper perspective. Would that we confess sin rather than wait until sin has done its damage and many are hurt by it. Too often we delight more in the gifts He provides than the GIVER. There comes a time that judgment falls on the faithful.

This passage also addresses the suffering of the unsaved. Sin does not bother our society much anymore. We have changed the definitions. Even the church promotes and highlights sin in the rise of active homosexuals leading congregations and denominations and people celebrate it.

When godly morals are dismantled our whole society suffers. We see consequences like AIDS, Pre-marital pregnancies, abortions, broken homes, and lonely children. Many gamble away their paycheck and have no money for rent or food. We take pleasure in adult entertainment and find children and women abused. We are paying a deep price in our culture and we will see worse.

God will judge sin, not only the natural consequences of sinful actions, but God will judge the unsaved. All will stand before the Lord, first and foremost, to answer in regards to what they have done with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. If we say we have believed in Him, do we follow Him?

Too often people come to praise, only to run to their true desires of the heart. If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?

Once when Babe Ruth was called out on strikes by the umpire, Ruth said, “There are 40,000 people here who know that last one was a ball."

The ump replied, "Maybe so, but mine is the only opinion that counts."

God does not get the calls wrong. It really doesn't make a lot of difference what I, or others, think. His is only opinion that counts.

Now is the time to respond to Jesus Christ and turn from sin. At the judgment it will be too late. Now is the time to turn to Christ for salvation.

Prayer: Lord, I desire to follow You. Strengthen me to stand against all that is coming against Your church.  

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