The Berean Expositor
Volume 51 - Page 105 of 181
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"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more
exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (II Cor. 4: 17).
Peter make several references in this letter to the Jews being evil spoken of and we
may wonder at this when we think of their gospel of love, unity and peace. Yet we know
there has been unreasonable blame or reproaches put on the Jewish nation from blame for
the fire of Rome to the troubles of Germany before Hitler took over. History sees them
repeatedly blamed without a cause throughout the years since Calvary.
"If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the Spirit of glory and
of God resteth upon you: on their part He is evil spoken of, on your part He is glorified"
(4: 14).
What comfort it must have been to those beleaguered saints to be assured by Peter that
God knew and had His reward in hand.
Peter now turns again to his followers with warning of judgment relative to the
kingdom of heaven being very close. Already in those days punishment for wrong doing
amongst the saints was swift, as for example Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5: Peter is to
write, if you are going to suffer for Christ, rejoice but see you do not suffer in the role of
a sinner. They had to be above reproach or any appearance of evil. God was turning His
attention to those about to be given positions of authority in the earthly kingdom of His
"But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evil doer, or as a
busybody in other men's matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be
ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. 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?" (4: 15-18).
Verse 18 is a quotation from the Septuagint version of Prov. 11: 31 "Behold the
righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner". It is
in a context of works producing rewards and punishments. "Scarcely be saved" is not the
life of the believer but rather his reward. Something of the trial they were enduring can
be imagined by Mark 13: 22:
"For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to
seduce if it were possible, even the elect."
No wonder we find so many texts of this period stressing "watch and pray". We may
well find ourselves entering into a time when even more attacks on the truth will abound.
Already many political laws and arrangements lead to the breakdown of family and
parental responsibility. What should be the duty of the individual is pushed on to the
teacher and state. The attitude of the press, literature, schools and organized religion, to
the place, truth, and daily use of the Bible, is again a matter of watchfulness and prayer.
These are the evils that are destroying our wonderful nation and heritage.
"Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of
your souls to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator" (4: 19).