Skip to Content
message

The Christian Guide to Getting Cancelled

07.31.2022

43M

“Knowing that pain is coming can help you brace for the pain.”

Ben Stuart continues through the book of 1 Peter by guiding us through Peter’s warning that difficult times will come. Suffering is inevitable, but we can rejoice in the pain because of the hope we have in Jesus.

Key Takeaway

There's a promise through pain that is worth it, but the only way to it is through it. Peter's warning should be seen as a comfort. Sometimes the worst thing about pain is the shock that it's unexpected, so he warns them: fiery trials are coming, don't be surprised, instead rejoice.

When you are uncompromised in your morality as a believer, you will not go unrecognized by the culture.

The suffering that Peter is referring to are insults and reviling for association with Jesus. Some of us fear verbal assaults more than physical ones. But also pay attention, if you are coming under no fire, no mocking, no slander in any way, are you really living for Jesus?

Why should we not be surprised?

The word "surprised" is also connected to "stranger" and "hospitality", so the thought is "don't think it weird when the fiery trial comes to stay at your house, don't think of it as a stranger, anticipate its arrival."

We live on this planet, suffering is coming for all of us. Pain is the most common human experience. Karen Jobes refers to our suffering as "an echo of remembrance of the Garden of Eden." We live between the Garden and Eternity, we live in a world of pain.

Jesus told us it would happen. See John 15:20. If it happened to Him, it's going to happen to us. Do not be surprised.

Why Rejoice?

1. Pain now becomes praise later. 1 Peter 4:13.

I can rejoice now because I know more joy is coming later. Deferred gratification. Sometimes people suffer and there is no benefit, it's just suffering. That is never the case when it comes to suffering for Jesus. Suffering is not a bad thing when you suffer for the right thing. Jesus suffered and was rejected, but was vindicated when He rose. So, we'll suffer and be rejected, but where He goes, we go. See Luke 6:22-23. As with this entire series, this argument only works if you believe there is a God in Heaven and life beyond the grave. "Revealed" in verse 13 is made up of two words, "apo" meaning "from" and "kalypsis" meaning "to cover", so it's where we get apocalyptic from and means "to remove the cover." Peter is saying that the end is coming, Jesus will be revealed and we'll be glad that we rode with the King. When we are loyal in pain, there is greater honor in the end.

2. We get His Presence in the present. 1 Peter 4:14.

The Spirit of God rests on us now. He references Isiah 11, the same Spirit of power, wisdom, and might that rested on Jesus will rest on us. We get a very unique and intimate union with the Spirit now. He is with us. A crisis can forge a deep and satisfying union. See Mark 13:7-11. What grabs the culture's attention is when believers suffer well. What would be terrifying to them doesn't shake the believer because we know that no matter what happens, we are with Him.

1 Peter 4:15. Some of us aren't suffering because of martyrdom, some of us just have done some very stupid things. A meddler is someone who looks at others' lives and pokes at them, acting like the morality police. So if we are poking around and they hit back, we're not martyrs. This happens all the time on Twitter, Instagram, social media, and the news. There is a gleefully vindictive spirit in the political sphere, it's a constant search for someone's failures. When the meddler sees it, they poke it and they love it. Peter is saying if you're a Christian and pick fights and get hit back, you're not a martyr- so stop doing that. That doesn't mean we don't disagree with people. We're called to speak the truth in love and grace, but we don't celebrate their shortcomings. We want the lost to be rescued, not fall. If you are hoping for someone's failure, pray for your own heart towards them. Just like Jesus suffered to procure our salvation, we suffer to be able to proclaim His salvation to our enemies.

1 Peter 4:16. If you truly are suffering because of Jesus, don't be ashamed. Our culture is full of name-calling to shame and silence us. Psalm 25:3, Romans 10:11, and Isaiah 49:23 all remind us that those of us who wait on Him will not be put to shame. So if someone is trying to make you feel ashamed, don't own it. Don't be arrogant, but don't be ashamed. See Acts 5. Scars become our glory.

3. There's preservation in the end. 1 Peter 4:17-19.

There is a time of judgment and it starts in the House of God. It's all throughout the Bible. In God's economy, judgment always starts with His people. For his people, the judgment is a purifying fire, but for everyone else, it is a condemning fire. It's justice without the barrier of mercy.

We understand this. When growing up, if you got into trouble with your friends, your parents didn't punish your friends first, they punished you! This happens in the Church all the time today. We are all sinners and you have two options when you are God's Children. You can either confess, repent, and forsake or you can persist in your disobedience and He will expose you.

Scarcely saved does not mean we strive for salvation. The NIV says, "If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?" Peter is reminding us that it is not a time for arrogance, it's an opportunity for compassion.

Application

We don't shrink back in fear; we step out in love. The fiery trial is to test our faith. Will we put our souls into the hands of God? He's been a faithful creator, He's made everything and has the right to judge it all. I will put my soul in His hands and then turn to do good.

What's good?

When reviled, we don't revile? For our enemies, we serve, we care, and we pray so that they may come to know Jesus. Believers don't shrink back in a difficult day, we move forward in it, pushing back the darkness because we know our vindication is coming. We don't get to control the outcomes, but we do get to control the inputs.

Quote

"Thank you God that this suffering I'm in is the closest to Hell I'll ever get."

Jonathan Edwards, paraphrase

Discussion Questions

Share message

Scripture References

  • 1 Peter 4:12-19
  • John 15:20
  • Luke 6:22-23
  • Isaiah 11
  • Mark 13:7-11
  • Ezekiel 9
Ben Stuart Ben Stuart is the pastor of Passion City Church D.C. Prior to joining Passion City Church, Ben served as the executive director of Breakaway Ministries on the campus of Texas A&M. He also earned a master’s degree in historical theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Donna, live to inspire and equip people to walk with God for a lifetime.