|1 Peter 4:16-19 |
16 But if any man suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God on this behalf.
17 For the time has come that judgment must begin with the household of God.5 And if it first begins with us, what will the end of those be who do not obey the gospel of God?
18 And if the righteous can barely be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinners?6
19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as to a faithful Creator.
6 And if the righteous can barely be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinners? To become righteous, you must bear the cross to destroy your sinful nature, which entails significant suffering and tribulation. In your tribulation you will be stretched to the very limit of your ability to maintain your hope and faith; then you will be given more strength and stretched even further than previously. You must endure to the very end, when you see Christ appear in your heart to bring your salvation. This is the way that the Lord builds your faith and trust in Him, while at the same time, He is ridding you of your sinful nature. This is painful — very painful. There can be physical pain; there can be emotional pain; there can be both. From the Word of the Lord within: "Judgment begins with the house of God." To achieve salvation from sin and partake of, (share in), the divine nature by entering in union with Christ and God is the sole purpose of the world. From the Word of the Lord within: "This is the hardest thing —This is the Only thing;" but the suffering of the necessary cross is nowhere near as painful as the suffering in Hell, and as the Lord said: "Either pain in this life or the next." And the reward for bearing the cross on the earth is beyond comparison.
You are stretched so far that you realize, without doubt, that only a savior can rescue you from oblivion; and so when you are saved, you will fully agree that you were barely saved.
Now, if those who choose to suffer by obediently following the Lord in love can barely be saved, imagine the difficulty of those who finish their life living in their lusts and ungodliness, to then be banished from heaven, to learn the hard way about love vs. lust, sin vs. righteousness, humility vs. pride, good vs. evil, light vs. darkness.