The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




Suffering And The Future

"However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise the name of God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgement to begin with the family of God, and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?" (1 Pet.4:16-17).

One of the places to which the epistle of 1st Peter was sent according to 1 Peter 1:1 was Bithynia. Early in the 2nd century, not too long after Peter wrote this letter, the Roman Emperor Trajan sent out an envoy to straighten out the administration of cities in Bithynia. His name was Pliny, and while he was in the area, he wrote several letters back to Trajan that have survived over the centuries. In one of these famous letters, Pliny mentioned Christians, and he did not know how to deal with them. One of the questions he asked was this one; "Should I punish Christians because of specific crimes they have committed, or is it enough to punish them for the mere fact that they own 'the name' " We can see from an early secular source that Christians have faced discrimination, imprisonment and death because they "owned the name..." Christians may have to suffer because they own the name, but Peter said this about their persecutors; "But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead" (1 Pet.4:5). In being a Christian, one may have to experience the refining fires of life, but it is nothing compared to the judgement the Lord would bring on those who do not obey the gospel of God. Look up at today's 2nd verse for affirmation of this. A modern phrase used to bolster this is one that is used in advertising today. It says; "You can pay me now, or you can pay me later..." Peter is trying to teach a very important lesson about Christian behavior here, and about the difficulties that might accompany a Christian life. He urges his readers to adopt such a holy and godly life, that the name of Christ will be honored. We are never to resort to dishonesty or retaliation. We do what is right when we entrust ourselves into the hands of our faithful Lord. How are we doing in this department?

Have a wonderful day... Let His light shine through you... Love mark Phil.4:11

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