God's People: The Future Judgment (1 Peter 4.4-6)
"In regard to these, they [the Gentiles] think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit." (1 Peter 4.4-6).
There are some things that are strange and there are some things that only seem strange. Peter wrote about things that seem strange because of the worldview of the observers. From a rational viewpoint, it was not at all strange that Christians should live holy and separate lives. In fact, when believers order their lives in that manner, they simply follow the example of Jesus. After all, Jesus was the One in whom there was no sin and the One in whose mouth was found no deceit (1 Peter 2.22). It would only be natural that His followers would imbibe that same spirit.
However, those who hold a worldview that does not include an absolute standard of right and wrong are prone to think in relative terms; right today may not be right tomorrow and wrong today may not be wrong tomorrow. With many, the definition of good and evil is entirely dependent upon the culture, the circumstance, and the popular support of their desires. That type of "morality" is what Moses legislated against when he wrote, "You shall not follow a crowd to do evil; nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after many to pervert justice." (). Contrary to this popular worldview, God teaches that there are some things that are wrong in all places, at all times, for all people, and under all circumstances.
A second and sobering fact should be considered by all who read the verses cited in the first paragraph of this devotional. Namely, "they [the Gentiles] will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead." When Peter said they [the Gentiles] will give an "account" he literally meant that at some point in time, the actual actions of the Gentiles [nations] will be compared with what they should have done according to God's Divine law. Men of the past, men of the present, and men of the future (if there be such), may opt to live as though they will not give an account, but that does not change the reality that God has decreed. God Almighty, Sovereign Creator of the universe who created this world entirely for His own good pleasure and purposes, will judge this world in righteousness some day. Our ignorance of, indifference toward, or disdain for such a Day of Judgment will not change the reality of its occurrence.
Seeing that these things are so doesn't it make sense to live in a manner that will avoid God's wrath on that day? Seeing that these things are so doesn't it make sense to live in a manner that will allow God's blessings to be poured out on us both now and in the future? We may avoid accountability in the current day, but the accountability (literally logic) of judgment cannot be avoided! The Gospel is God's means to allow men to choose the better course in life both now and future!!
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