Enduring Reproach for Clinging to the Gospel of Jesus Christ

1 Peter 4:12-19

Click for a description of the mark of the beast.

“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you.”

I’m 63 years of age, so I do not think it is strange at all to be reproached for living by the teachings of the Bible. I remember a group of us sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ on a street corner one week, and literally the next week we were prohibited by city ordinances. I was in my early twenties at the time. Now, it’s all but a crime to speak about Jesus Christ to the younger generation. Opposition to the Gospel has gotten worse with verbal hostilities towards outward expressions of the name of Jesus. Communities everywhere oppose the need for Jesus Christ, trample on the Holy Spirit, and blaspheme God. As I see the reality of the presence of the system of the mark of the beast, I can really say that I’m glad I’m not counted among them. I feel comforted with satisfaction that I am included with Christ who suffered for bringing the good news of Salvation. A day is coming when I will see His glory in the eternal city of the New Jerusalem. “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.” 1 Peter 4:12-13

I have often said that I would rather experience ridicule, mocking, belittlement, and social isolation then to be what this Christless world expects me to me. After 63 years, I know what their expectations are of me and what God’s expectations are of me. When the Holy Spirit says not to suffer as a murderer, thief, evildoer, or meddler, I take it personally because cities everywhere are plagued by those things. I feel blessed that I am able to hold to the testimony of Jesus Christ and to not be hoodwinked into following a destructive lifestyle. God is blasphemed by the hoodwinkers but glorified by followers of Christ. It’s a confidence builder for me to live for Jesus, and I feel no shame at all for being a Christian. “If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a meddler in other people’s matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.” 1 Peter 4:14-16

The Jewish nation barely survived as their numbers were very few at the time when Jesus Christ was born. They were always considered to be God’s chosen and righteous people, and they were barely saved from extinction. They were rebellious (a lot) and God’s judgment came to them first as His original people. If God’s own people were barely saved, imagine what it would be for unGodly and sinful Gentiles. Jesus Christ is our only hope for Salvation, therefore it’s necessary to commit our soul to God as our faithful creator. That commitment is made by doing good through the Spirit of Christ. “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?” Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.” 1 Peter 4:17-19

“….to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets,
‘I will not impose any other burden on you, except to hold on to what you have until I come.’”
I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.”
Revelation 2:24-25
, 3:11

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