Suffering People

 

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1 Peter 3:10-12 **...”He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good: let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous. And His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

The folly of mankind’s wicked ways is defeat but victory and jubilation becomes a blessing for the upright (Proverbs 10-11).  The wickedness of mankind began in the glorious Garden of Eden because of rebellion against the Lord. In Genesis 3:15, God says, “And I will put enmity (hatred, hostility) between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise your head (Satan – Romans 16:20), and you shall bruise His heel.” ** This divine sentence for all descendents of Eve is a prophecy until the second return of Messiah Christ. Until that time, the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ will be with those that have been reborn as adopted heirs of God and continue with their love by keeping His commandments.

Once man disobeyed our creator, he became an evil nature in harmony with the Devil. Suffering with pain and conflict is the resultant consequence. The Devil continually tempts people to doubt the goodness and promises of God. Yet, even with Adam and Eve’s distrust and shame, God still provided and even today, He calls the followers of Christ to continue to show goodness and to be trustworthy to people in their suffering. He calls the followers of Christ to witness to the truth of God’s word and demonstrate the love of Christ to the poor, sick, oppressed and the many   forgotten souls in prison.

1 Peter 4:17-19 **. For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?” (Proverbs 11:31). Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.

The main theme in 1 Peter is suffering when he wrote this epistle shortly after the mad Emperor Nero burned Rome in 64 AD. The first to be blamed was Nero, but he pointed his finger at the Christians. Roman citizens believed Nero’s fabrication and began killing Christians. History tells us many were tarred and burned to death, fed to lions or dogs in the arena to the delight of paying spectators. The practice of killing anyone that worshipped on the 7th day whether Christian, Messianic Jews or the many Jews that did not accept Christ were persecuted harshly as the total destruction of the temple in Jerusalem occurred in 70 AD,  prophesied (Mark 13:2) by Jesus Christ. The persecution of Jews and Christians that worshipped on the seventh day and considered heretics reached a crescendo even as Columbus sailed to America in 1492. Afterwards Satan changed tactics by infiltrating greater numbers of false teachers into the churches. By leading the world away from the eternal laws of God, our world shows contempt for our creator and love for the Devil. (2 Peter 2:1, Habakkuk 2:18-19, 2 Timothy 3:13). In 2 Timothy 3:13 demonstrates our day and age when Paul says evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. In 2 Timothy 4:3-4, Paul advised Timothy that in the future (this day and age) people would prefer heresy. Speaking with the power, wisdom and knowledge of the Holy Spirit, he predicted, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables”.

2 Chronicles 14:3 ** …He (Asa, King of Judah) removed the altars of the foreign gods and the high places, and broke down the sacred pillars and cut down the wooden images. He commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers, and to observe the law and the commandment.

King Asa did what is right in the eyes of the Lord by bringing his people back to proper worship. When the Ethiopians moved against Judah with powerful forces more than three times larger, King Asa prayed (verse 32-33), …”You are our God; do not let man prevail against You!” So the Lord struck the Ethiopians before Asa and Judah and the Ethiopians fled. ** Before King Asa destroyed the idols, his people thought they were worshipping the true God of Israel. The enticement of another ideology and lifestyle let them to worship an image that represented that desire. We humans can profess a belief in God, but if our actions serve another image of a substitute god, then worship to the true God of Israel is futile.

Today most people of this world profess a belief in God, but in reality they worship at the altars of different gods created in the image of the professed believer. Of course most people don’t worship wooden images or the sun, moon and stars. However, they worship other gods of tradition, celebrity, power, status and money. Since we are the image of our creator, we even worship ourselves. Without God in our lives, people are just as guilty as the ancient world that made a god out of every force in nature. Like Judah in the days of King Asa, the world has been for a long time “without the true God, without a teaching priest and without law” (2 Chronicles 15:3). ** Both Paul and Peter fought the good fight and looked forward to soon going asleep to be in the care of their creator.  The pain and suffering described in their epistles grow worse and worse today. Only the return of the Messiah Christ Jesus as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords can bring us back to the one and only true God of Israel. He will personally remove the substitute god’s mankind seeks and worships. The Prophet Jeremiah in 8:20 said, “The harvest is past, and the summer is ended, and we are not saved.”**We must humble ourselves before God and ask forgiveness with fervor of belief in the true God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!  We must believe Christ Jesus is the son of God and is our Messiah to the rescue! We must be sincere in keeping the Law of God!  We must turn our face and hearts away from the wicked one! We must ask our Heavenly Father to help us do right in His eye! We must reach out to others!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Please