Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Hard Times...Defining Times

For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? ~ 1 Peter 4:17

This judgment Peter speaks to, what is it?

He is clear about where it begins--at the household of God.

Peter is also clear that it will move on to those who are not of the household of God--those who do not obey the gospel of God.

God has a timetable.

He sets the boundaries of time's epochs.Peace and trials are His to allot (Ecclesiastes 3).

History confirmed Jesus' prophecy foretelling the destruction of the Temple: Not one stone will one day be left upon another. Absolute destruction and desecration of the Temple carried out by the Roman Emperor, Titus. Precipitating its disappearance was a vicious aggression against Christ-followers. Jesus knew what was around the corner. So did Peter.

From our point of view it may seem strange that fiery trials would befall those who trusted their destinies to Christ. To those who faithfully committed to following Jesus. Why the trials? After all, hadn't Jesus taken the judgment of our sin upon himself at Calvary?

But history--both past and present--is replete with examples of those who followed the tenets of Christianity. In the end their follow-ship proved to be little more than culturally convenient. I mean, "When in Rome, do as the Romans." Front-runners if you will. One look at the Christianity of Emperor Constantine confirms this. It was he who made Christianity the State religion. Many Constantine wannabes have followed his game plan.

Winnowing is always a part of the Divine process. Trials amid the household of God go a long ways toward sifting the chaff from the wheat.
Peter saw that.
Peter knew that.
Peter had personally experienced that.

Not all that glitters is gold.

On the reverse side, to quote J.R.R. Tolkien, Not all that is gold glitters.

Make no mistake--hard times are defining times...

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