Suffering causes us to consider Eternity - 1 Peter 3:5,6
July 21, 2023, 9:00 AM


“But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.    For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.”  


There is an accounting in the judgement and Jesus judges the living and the dead. Each one must stand before God. That is why the gospel is preached. It is preached to those who are spiritually dead to Jesus Christ so they might accept the Lord and turn to salvation even though their bodies die, their spirits will live. Specifically, men who persecute the Christian, can only harm the body;  the spirit is God's and that is how we will live.  


There is a day coming when God Himself, through the Lord Jesus Christ, will judge both the living and the dead.  There is a judgment for the Lord's people so that our works might be appraised. We are given rewards according to our works (read 1 Corinthians 3 and 2 Corinthians 5).    


There is the great white throne judgement when all who have died in unbelief, who have rejected or put off trusting in Christ to save them, do not have the Holy Spirit in their lives.  All will be judged and all those whose names are not in the book of life will be cast into the lake of fire or hell.  Revelations 20:11-15 is clear about that. This is the judgment of the dead.  


When the gospel is preached it enlivens some people to God and deadens others.


Living for Jesus Christ is not easy. When we live for Christ, the unbelievers of the world reject us. A godly life convicts them and demands that ithey live for the Lord. How can the believer handle and conquer such persecution and unjustly treatment? He should arm himself with the mind of Jesus Christ.   


What does this mean? First, it means to die to self. Jesus Christ denied Himself to the ultimate degree: He suffered for us in the flesh. Jesus Christ lived a pure and righteous life and men persecuted Him for it. but He bore the humiliation, ridicule, mockery, beatings, and even death in order to please God and to save men. In the flesh He did not want to suffer. He had flesh just like ours, the flesh of humanity; therefore, His flesh wanted and desired to escape the abuse of men, but Jesus Christ denied Himself and went ahead and did the will of God.  


The more a person suffers for Christ, the closer he comes to Christ and the closer he comes to Christ, the more the selfish desires and sin lose their appeal and power over the person, therefore the more he becomes like Christ. 


Application:  Our time to respond to Jesus is now. If you never have, you never know how much time you will have. Do not delay. If God's spirit is speaking to you. Ask God to save you by trusting in Jesus and commit in your heart to follow Him.