Sacred suffering (1 Peter 4:6-8)

Today we’re not talking about everyday suffering, although Peter does come back to that later on. Every saved person will stand before God. Every lost person will also stand before God. We will meet God whether we are prepared or not. Do not live for the approval of others, but for God’s approval.

It is work to study the Bible.

Jesus preached the gospel to both the saved and the unsaved dead. The gospel has always been the main emphasis of who Jesus was and what He did. We will all be judged the same way. No one escapes judgment. Even the demons who rebelled against God at the outset will be judged by God.

1. Future judgment should motivate us to present righteousness. Our inevitable judgment should not be a scare tactic but should motivate us to be prepared. Presently, we must be goidly and holy and bold and sanctified.

All you have to do is watch the news to know that we are living in the last days. Everything is under God’s sovereign reign and control. Be alert, be spiritually “sober,” because our adversary, the devil, is seeking who he may devour.

2. As the end draws near, we must be alert to the evil around us and in tune to the spirit of God within us. There is evil all around us. Common sense is gone. Truth is trampled upon. Every demonic influence you can imagine is around us.

But…

God gets the final laugh, so let the scoffers say what they will. People hate truth because truth exposes their wickedness. We must therefore not focus on all this craziness, because it will make us crazy, but instead focus on our inner maturity in Christ. We have a big God who lives within us.

The end is near. It is going to happen.

We are to show love foremost to each other as believers. As believers, we are to love the world, but we are to show to the world the love we have for each other first. We are to put away division and live in harmony. Divisions in the local church choke any revival or opportunity for growth.

Some things are worth fighting over and some are not. Unfortunately, the church in America fights about things that God couldn’t care less about but is silent about the things God finds important.

3. Biblical love allows me to look past your imperfections and love you in spite of them. We have to love people where they are and not where we wish they would be. Love blankets over a multitude of sins and imperfections. We don’t love people because they do what we want them to do but because God tells us to. If we don’t have love for one another, then what good are we?

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