The church is not appointed for God's wrath

Listen!  This Scripture of  1Peter 4:17 is very misunderstood in the minds of those who think that the Church in America has to be royally persecuted, butchered, put in Fema Camps, suffer terrible suffering and hardship...etc...etc...etc. by the hand of God BEFORE Christ can come and Rapture His people.  This is totally false!   There is NO teaching in the New Testament epistles to the Church of a "pre-wrath program of God " which some are saying "must come upon the Church" before Jesus can come for the body of Christ.  And if this was the case, well then the Apostle Paul would have warned the Church and written about such a time in his epistles, but he didn't!  Those who believe that the Church is going to go through the tribulation period use this verse in 1Peter 4:17 out of context in order to use it for their arsenal of false teaching (  I will be commenting on this passage of Scripture a little later down below ). 

  Those who are "in Christ" are under NO condemnation whatsoever before God according to Rom. 8:1.  Every believer has "passed from death unto eternal life" the moment they believed and received Christ ( John 5:24 ).  And neither will the body of Christ ever have to endure any of God's wrath ( Rom. 8: 1,   5:9;    1 Thess. 1:10,    5:9;    Rev. 3:10 ).  These Scripture verses clearly reveal and teach us that the body of Christ is NOT under any condemnation from God whatsover, past, present, or future.  The Church will NEVER experience any of God's wrath at any time which is going to be poured out upon the wicked who will be left behind at the time of the resurrection / Rapture in order to endure the trials and judgments of the seven year tribulation period.   And they will do so because of their unbelief and unrepentant heart ( Rom. 2:3 - 5 ).  And the reason WHY the Church of Jesus Christ won't experience such horrors and punishment is because the CHURCH WON'T BE HERE,  BUT IN HEAVEN!

  All of "our sins" past, present, and future were paid for at the cross in full where Jesus took our punishment for them all.  God poured out on His own Son "the penalty" for our sins which was death ( Rom. 6:23.....that is "spiritual and physical death ) so that we could receive "eternal life."   All the "sins" of every person who has ever lived in the past, starting with Adam and Eve, to the present, and yet future were laid on Christ and judged their at the cross.  Christ died for every sin that we would ever commit....( Col. 2:13,14;   Rom. 6:9,10;   2Cor. 5:14,15;   Heb. 7:26,27,    9:11-15,   9:24-28,    10:10-14;    1Peter 3:18 ).

Therefore there is NO SIN whatsoever in any believers life which can ever separate a believer from Christ, before their salvation and conversion to Christ, nor after their salvation and conversion to Christ.  All of our sins were paid for in full at the cross.  Every sin of the past which you have committed, every sin in the present which you have committed, and every sin which you have NOT yet committed, and of which is still in the future was all laid on Christ and judged there at the cross!  Therefore, there is NO SIN of anykind whatsoever which can rob you of your salvation which is "eternal", and of which is based solely upon the perfect redemptive work of Christ on the cross who has taken the full penalty of all of it for you! ( Col 2:13, 14 ).

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe,  sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow!

How righteous is God?

Is He 1/4th righteous,  1/3rd righteous, 1/2 righteous, 3/4 righteous, or 100 percent righteous?

He is 100% righteous!

The Church has received the "righteousness of God" through faith in Christ Jesus ( 1Cor. 1:30;   2 Cor. 5:21 ).  Therefore God cannot pour out any of His wrath and judgment upon those who have received His righteousness.  This can never happen!  For if He did so, then He would be pouring out His own wrath on His own righteousness. And in doing so what kind of "statement" would God be making about "Himself" and the "redemptive work of His Son" whom He sent to be the propitiation for our sins ( Rom. 3:25;   Heb. 2:17;  1John 2:2,   4:10 ), and therefore also to be the mediator of a new covenant in His blood  ( 1Tim. 2:5;   Heb. 8:6,    9:15,    12:24 ).  Every believer has been given the righteousness of God through faith in God's Son, and that righteousness NEVER CHANGES, nor is it ever taken away from the believer because the believer is "sealed" by the Holy Spirit UNTIL the "day of redemption" ( Eph. 4:30 ), which is the glorification of every member of the body of Christ who will receive their new heavenly compatible bodies at the time of the resurrection / Rapture.

Therefore every believer is eternally secure and in right standing before God by grace through faith in His Son,  who can NEVER discredit His own righteousness, nor His redemptive work through His Son which He accomplished and completed at the cross ( "It is finished " /  John 19:30 ).  Therefore God could never reject any member of the body of Christ "for any reason whatsoever" who has received His own righteousness.  For if it were possible for God to reject His own righteousness, then the eternal redemptive work of Christ would be found imperfect, incomplete, impotent, and totally useless for being able to save one soul on this planet. 

Now the Church ever since its inception on the day of Pentecost in the first century has been persecuted until this very present day in which we live. The Scriptures teach that...." Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted " ( 2 Tim. 3:12 ).

  It is obvious that "perilous times" are already here ( 2Tim. 3:1 ).  And as we move forward in time into the future the Apostle Paul teaches that it will get worse and worse in this world as the Church age comes to a close ( 2Tim.  3:13 ).  I don't know how much worse it might get here in America before Christ comes for His church?  But I do know for a fact, and from Scripture, that there is NO such teaching of a "pre-wrath program of God " which must first be unleashed upon the Church BEFORE Christ can come!  There is NO such teaching found in the New Testament epistles to the Church, but only the opposite is taught.

Now let me share here a little bit of biblical historical background about this letter of 1rst Peter, and why it was written.

Quote:....." The letter of First Peter was written to Christians in Asia Minor in order to stimulate in them a joyful hope in the face of coming persectuion. It was intended to be circulated among Christians of predominantly Gentile heritage in congregations located in the provinces of the Roman Empire where the imperial yoke ( persecution and struggle ) was apt to be the most severe. 

Persecution was not unknown to the first century church.  From the early persecution of Stephen and the dispersion that followed ( 70 AD. - the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem by the Roman general Titus,  and the dispersion of the Jewish nation ), to the constant harassment of Paul where he went, the early Christians knew the strain and tension of antagonism.

Now the "wrath" of the demented emperor Nero was about to be unleashed and explode in Rome at the expense of the Church.
Therefore, the Apostle Peter tried to prepare the Church in Asia Minor for imminent disaster in the eastern provinces where oppression would undoubtedly spread from its source in Rome.  In the spirit of a faithful shepherd and bishop of souls, Peter sent this pastoral letter to confirm his flock in the comforting hope of the Spirit's coming.  Being rooted in the passions of Christ, they are to abstain from the passions of the flesh.  And if they find themselves in a hostile society, their suffering for righteousness' sake will actually be a blessing. This letter from Peter was probably sent from Rome to Christians in Asia Minor sometime between A.D. 62 and 69 ( right before the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. )......( end quote ). 

Now you can understand why the Apostle Peter writes the way he does in his first epistle in relationship to the "persecution" which the Church had been experiencing, and of which was going to get much worse by the hand of the wicked emperor Nero.  This evil demonic emperor named Nero Claudius Caesar ruled Rome starting from 54 A.D. until his death by suicide 14 years later in 68 A.D.  He is best known for his debaucheries, political murders, persecution of Christians.   He would put Christians up on "poles" and light them on fire during his dinner parties in order to entertain his guests.  It has been recorded in history that even this was "too much for even his guests to stomach and witness."

The Apostle Peter therefore writes to the Church in Asian Minor the following which is in context with the historical setting of his day. 

( 1 Peter 4:12 - 18 ).
....."Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.  If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.  Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler;  but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.  For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?"

This term "judgment " in the Greek / Strong's # 2917

Judgment / κριμα krima {kree'-mah} from 2919; TDNT - 3:942,469; n n AV - judgment 13, damnation 7, condemnation 5, be condemned 1, go to law + 2192 1, avenge + 2919 1; 28 1) a decree, judgments 2) judgment 2a).....etc...etc.

This greek term here for judgment is also used in Rom. 10:14......."For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God."

The "judgment seat" ( The Bema ) is when our works done for Christ will be examined by the Lord, and then given a reward accordingly.

  The context in which this term "judgment" is being used here in First Peter is not in reference to God pouring out judgment upon his Church, for Rom. 8:1 makes it very clear that......"There is therefore now NO condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus" , for the law of the Spirit in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of "sin and death."  For this verse of First Peter 4:17 to be interpreted that God is pouring out "judgment" on His Church would be a contradiction to other Scripture passages, such as Rom. 8:1 for example, and others. This term is being used here by the Apostle Peter in this passage in context with the "persecution" which he was writing about, and of which the church in the first century was experiencing.  And this persecution was coming from those who did not believe nor obey the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Notice that Peter states "And if it begins with us first ."  Peter in this statement was speaking about the early Church in the first century during the time of the Apostle Peter when the Church was still in its infancy.  Therefore the persecution at that time was very great as the Church was just getting started.

God knew clearly that when the Church came into existence that satan would immediately begin to try and destroy it. He knew that the Church would begin to be persecuted from the early onset of its inception ( Acts 8:1).  And God also knew that His "new administration" or organism called the "Church" which He had now established in the earth, and of which He was now going to build ( Matt. 16:18 ) would bring about conflict and persecution from the pagan world system upon those who would believe the message and be converted, and who then would spread and propagate this the new teaching called the Gospel of Christ.  Nevertheless, even though the devil tried to stomp out the New Testament Church from its very beginning, yet he was unsuccessful, and God then used this persecution at the onset of the early church for good in order to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ abroad.

 
Therefore this passage in 1Peter 4:17 is therefore NOT a reference to God's judgment and wrath coming upon His Church, neither in the "first century", nor BEFORE the Rapture of the Church takes place, but rather the Apostle Peter is writing to encourage the saints of the first century Church who were "the first" to have to endure and undergo the great persecution at the "onset and inception" of the Church by the hands of those who would not and...."Who do not obey the gospel of God."

I would like to close with the following!

1Cor. 1:7- 8.........."so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,  who will also confirm you to THE END, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ ( the resurrection / Rapture of the Church ).

The free gift of Eternal life ( Rom. 6:23 ) is forever once it is received, or else it could not be said that it is"eternal."   And if Jesus says that your salvation is eternal ( John 5:24), then it has to be true because you can trust what He says!  Therefore,  who are you to tell Him that it is not eternal,  and who are you  to tell Jesus that "instead" your salvation is conditional based upon your performance and works as a Christian.  Christ didn't save you "by your works" ( Eph. 2:8-10;   Titus 3:4 - 7), and therefore your salvation is NOT "maintained" by your works.  Your salvation always remains eternally maintained based upon the completed redemptive work of Christ on the cross.

Stop correcting and contradicting God, and denying His word, and start believing what He has already stated and promised in His word!

The Scripture verse of promise above of 1Cor. 1:7- 8 is just one passage and promise out of many in God's word to every believer in Christ.  But the real important question is this "Do you believe it?  Or will you continue to live in unnecessary "fear, doubt, and self condemnation, and false guilt" which makes you think that you can lose your salvation because you have a "Guilt complex" in which you cannot forgive yourself of your own sins and failures as a believer, even despite the Scriptural fact that Christ has already forgiven you for all of it at the cross past, present, and future!  The problem with such christians is not that they are "incapable" of believing what God has promised, but it is the fact that they choose NOT to believe what God has already promised! .....How sad and carnal they are!

What category do you fit in?   God only has to say something "one time" before it is true.  Therefore, what will you do with 1Cor. 1:7-8 promise?   God is challenging you!  And the choice is yours to make!  If you are a true and honest Christian before God, then you will stop "insulting" the completed and perfect redemptive work of Christ for all of your sin by your foolish "unbelief."

It is finished!  So start believing it, or you will continue to live in "fear and uncertainty" the rest of your life!
( Read:  1John 4:17 -18 )

In Christ, Tom Gaston
Rapturetj@comcast.net
























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