“the righteous scarcely be saved”
First Peter 4:17-19 says, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.”
The time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God. Judgment means just that, judgment. Jesus said in John 9:39, “For judgment I am come into this world.”
Notice that concerning judgment it says that it begins first with Christians. This is because the Christian is set apart from the lost people of this world. but even though Jesus was delivered to be condemned to death and was crucified for the sins of the world there still are consequences for sin especially for Christians. God is a jealous God and He will not allow sin to continue in a Christian’s life.
Notice that the first phrase mentioned is the time is come. This was written 2000 years ago. The time is come, in other words God is actively involved in what is going on in the lives of both believers and unbelievers. He is judging their actions and handing out consequences to those actions. No one is sinning and getting away with it.
In speaking of judgment what is mentioned of course is the gospel of God. I Peter says, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first being at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God.”
In talking about judgment however what is mentioned in this verse is the sin of disobedience to the truth. To obey means to believe and to submit in the heart to Christ; to submit to Him as King of Kings and to repent of one’s sins.
Those who are not of the house of God, those who are not Christians are those who obey not the gospel of God. When it comes time for judgment in your life you will be judged by how you have obeyed or how you have not obeyed the gospel of God.
And what exactly is the end of those that obey not the gospel of God? Revelation says, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” The final destiny of those who obey not the gospel of God is to face the judgment of God for their sins and to suffer eternal damnation in the lake of fire.
I Peter says, “And if the righteous scarcely be saved where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” What does it mean, scarcely be saved after all a person is either saved or not saved. Many are called but few are chosen. In other words the righteous, those who are saved are saved by the grace of God.
In a way the emphasis is on the effort that it takes God rather than the effort that it takes man. Salvation is easy it is a free gift and yet there are many obstacles to a person turning to Jesus when we consider the sinful nature of the flesh.
Just imagine the great and all powerful God does not get what He wants all the time if He died then all men would be saved, all men would repent of their sins and turn to Christ and none would go to hell. After all this is why Christ suffered and died on the cross so that men might find forgiveness of their sins and eternal life.
But in thinking about this phrase, “if the righteous scarcely be saved” it leads me at least to think about the great amount of effort that God puts into each person’s life try and redeem them from their sins.
Well we know that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God and we know that over the course of several thousand years God planned out who would write His Words done and preserve them. This took a great effort on the part of God and all of this was done so that every individual in this world might have the chance to hear His Word, to repent of their sins, and to be saved.
Think about the tremendous amount of energy that exists in the sun or just one star in all all the stars in the universe. In the beginning God spake and there was light. All that tremendous effort and energy God uses somehow to bring people to the light of the gospel. God is putting forth a great effort and yet it says in the Bible, “if the righteous scarcely be saved.”
There seems to be some mystery here in regards to why one person becomes a true believer and another does not. In the end each person when touched by the Holy Spirit of God must make a choice and most choose to not repent.
If you are righteous do not become prideful and think of yourself as better than those who are not Christians. You are still a sinner. If you are saved it is scarcely and only by the grace of God.
I Peter says, “ Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.”
It’s very interesting to notice that now the Bible talks about suffering according to the will of God. This is because suffering and the gospel go together. Jesus suffered and it was his suffering that resulted in the opportunity for mankind to have the eternal love of God. Scarcely are the righteous saved and often times the suffering of a Christian for the gospel of Jesus Christ plays a very important role in the spread of the gospel in this world.
Of course this verse is not talking about just suffering in general but suffering according to the will of God. It is possible to suffer because of sin or to suffer simply the normal sufferings of this life. For a Christian however it can always work out to the will of God if you trust in him. If you are a Christian you can be sure God will use everything even the normal sufferings of life that everyone faces
Verse 19 ends by mentioning a faithful Creator. Your body is part of God’s creation. God cares about His creation. In times of physical suffering it is good to remember that God is a faithful Creator.
If you have never turned from your sins to Jesus today is the day of salvation.
Copyright; 2015 by Bruce
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