PHBC August 8, 1999

Series: First Peter, Ser. #75

THE PILGRIM AND SUFFERING


Scripture: I Pet. 4:12-19

TEXT: 1 Peter 4:15-19 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other menís matters. 16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. 17 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? 18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? 19 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.

INTRO: In the passage I have read the suffering the pilgrim is likely to endure in this world is still under discussion. In verse 15 he cautions them about sin that bring on suffering and reminds them that it is not good for a Christian to endure suffering for these thingsómurder, thievery, evildoing, or as a busybody in other folks affairs.

Then he again reminds us that if we suffer for the sake of Christ we should not be ashamed but we should glorify God for that.

I will deal with verses 17 & 18 in another message. In verse 19 he tells us that when we do suffer according to the will of God, to commit out souls to the keeping of Christ.

I. SOME THINGS FOR WHICH NO PILGRIM OR CHRISTIAN SHOULD SUFFER

A. I am not suggesting that we should get off if we commit those sins named in verse 15. 1 Peter 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other menís matters.

B. No Christian should ever suffer as a murderer for no Christian should ever commit murder.

1. Note that I did not say no Christian should ever kill.

a. There may be cases where Christians kill in self-defense and that is not wrong.

b. There may be cases where Christians kill as part of that military and, if there is wrong attached to that, it is the guilt of the country, not the individual.

c. A Christian who is a police officer may have to kill in the line of his duty and that is not murder.

d. It is not murder, as some have betrayed it, to put a criminal to death through the due process of the law and no Christian should hesitate to be on a jury trying a murder case.

2. Murder is the killing of someone unlawfully, especially with malice and premeditation.

a. Catholics and others have killed Christians simply because our forefathers would not have their babies baptized and for other matters religious.

b. Misguided persons professing to be Christians have killed abortion clinic personnel and as much as I detest abortions and consider that murder, I must say that those who kill the personnel of these clinics are murders no matter how much they think they are doing Godís service.

c. In the past, professing Christians sometimes participated in vigilante work and participate in the lynching of criminals but that is still murder.

3. No Christian should ever suffer as a murderer and if one does commit murder, he deserves the sword of the law as much as the worst reprobate in the world.

C. No Christian should suffer as a thief.

1. The word has the idea of one who steals.

2. It has the idea of one who takes the property of another through chicanery, force, or slipping in at night and stealing it while the owner sleeps.

3. The word also has in mind an embezzler, especially a religious person who uses his position to get other peopleís property primarily for his own benefit. Strong says, "an embezzler, a pilferer, the name is transferred to false teachers, who do not care to instruct men, but abuse their confidence for their own gain."

4. A good example of this kind of thief is Jim Bakker and his former wife, Tammy.

5. Jesus declared Judas a thief as did the Holy Spirit. John 12:6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.

a. He wanted to get as much in the bag as possible so that he would have more to steal.

b. He, no doubt, thought that the more he could get others to put into it, the less likely that his wickedness would be discovered.

c. Though he uses a different word, this seems to be the idea that Peter has in mind in his second epistle. 2 Peter 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

D. A Christian must not suffer as an evildoer.

1. This is a person who is injurious, wicked, and sinful.

2. He has no respect for law.

E. A Christian must not suffer as a busybody in other folks business.

1. This word goes beyond someone simply being nosy or curious.

2. It comes from two Greek words at which we need to look.

a. The first is allotrios { al-lotí-ree-os} which is translated stranger, another manís, strange, other menís, other 1, alien. ajllovtrio" means "belonging to another, foreign, strange, not of oneís own family, alien, an enemy.

b. The second word from which the word translated "busybody" is derived is a familiar word. episkopos { ep-isí-kop-os} which is translated bishop, overseer. ejpivskopo" means "an overseer a man charged with the duty of seeing that things to be done by others are done rightly, any curator, guardian or superintendent; the superintendent, elder, or overseer of a Christian church.

c. Combined these words make a long word allotriepiskopos {al-lot-ree-ep-isí-kop-os} which is used in Scripture one time and that in our text where it is translated "a busybody in other menís matters." ajllotriepivskopo" means "one who takes the supervision of affairs pertaining to others and in no wise to himself, a meddler in other menís affairs."

d. Solomon warns those who meddle in the strife of other people and who get angrily involved. Proverbs 26:17 He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.

(1) Paul admonished folks to stay out other folksí business. 1 Thessalonians 4:11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.

(2) Again, he uses a different Greek word to speak of those who are inordinately nosy concerning other folks business. 2 Thessalonians 3:11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.

(3) Paul told Timothy to encourage young widows to marry and that none were to be cared for by the church unless at least 60 years of age for younger widows would tend to be busybodies if they did not have enough to do, such as taking care of a husband and family and house. 1 Timothy 5:13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

(4) The word translated busybody is periergos {per-eeí-er-gos} {perivergo"}.

(5) It refers to one who is "busy about trifles, and neglectful of important matters, esp. busy about other folksí affairs, a busybody of things."

3. There are some things that are just none of your business.

4. If a church member has fallen into gross sin that is your business and mine as fellow church members. 1 Corinthians 5:1-5 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his fatherís wife. 2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

5. If a brother or sister has committed an offense against you and you have a legitimate complaint, that is your business and does not become the business of others until you have personally gone to them and discussed it with them and they have been obstinate in the matter. Matthew 18:15-18 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. 18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

6. If a church member is involved in heretical doctrine or practice that is our business also. Titus 3:10-11 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; 11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

7. We must ask God for the wisdom to discern those things that are none of our business and stay out of them.

F. If we get in trouble for sin, there is no glory for it. 1 Peter 2:20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

G. The inference from the next verse is that if you are guilty of any of those sins named in verse 15 or other sins as well, you should be ashamed.

II. PILGRIMS SHOULD NOT BE ASHAMED WHEN AND IF WE SUFFER AS CHRISTIANS

A. In one manner or another, we are all likely to suffer as Christians.

1. Men may revile us, reproach us, and upbraid us for what we believe even though they never physically harm us. Matthew 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

2. One may loose his reputation and be counted dishonorable for his stand for the truth. 1 Corinthians 4:10 We are fools for Christís sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.

3. One may be deprived of the comforts of life for Christís sake. 1 Corinthians 4:11 Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace.

4. Sometimes we are called upon to give up some of the comforts of life for the sake of the truth. Matthew 19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my nameís sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

5. The truth is more important than anything you and I might suffer for its sake. Psalm 115:1 Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truthís sake.

B. Note the expression in our text, "If any man suffer as a Christian."

1. First, let me point out that this does not confine the suffering to the male of the species for the expression is in italics indicating that it is added by the translators.

2. If any suffer, man, woman, boy or girl, donít be ashamed.

C. Let me remind you again of Hebrews 11 and the suffering for Christ that is recounted there. Hebrews 11:32-40 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: 33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: 36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. 39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

D. Let me remind you again that if and when you do suffer as a Christian, donít fail to give God glory for the fact that you are counted worthy to suffer for his sake.

1. Let me urge you to persevere in that suffering for as long as it lasts. Matthew 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my nameís sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

2. Donít deny the faith and Jesus Christ, even if you must suffer unto death.

E. Do commit your keeping into the hand of God. 1 Peter 4:19 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.

1. This refers to the suffering that is according to the will of God and not for evil doing.

2. Continue in well doing for he is faithful to take care of you.

3. He who created the heavens and the earth can surely keep you, even if the persecutors kill your body, he still keeps his people.

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