Good News for Hard Times: Week 4
From TRMEDIA 11 Months ago
Pastor Jonathan Falwell
Key verse: I Peter 1:6 NLT So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even
though you must endure many trials for a little while.
Last week, talked about our testimony, our relationships and our prayer life. All are
critical if we are to see God’s plan for our lives fulfilled. We must remain faithful
regardless of what we might be experiencing. We must be sure the world is seeing
righteousness on display as we go through seasons of suffering.
Today, we will look at I Peter 3:12-4:6
Reality #4: Worry is a very real part of suffering
I Peter 3:13-17 NLT Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But
even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be
afraid of their threats. 15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if
someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. 16 But do
this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak
against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you
belong to Christ. 17 Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God
wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!
our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
Be encouraged: God protects our hearts
I Peter 3:18-22 NLT Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but
he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he
was raised to life in the Spirit. 19 So he went and preached to the spirits in
prison— 20 those who disobeyed God long ago when God waited patiently while Noah
was building his boat. Only eight people were saved from drowning in that terrible flood.
21 And that water is a picture of baptism, which now saves you, not by removing dirt from
your body, but as a response to God from a clean conscience. It is effective because of
the resurrection of Jesus Christ.22 Now Christ has gone to heaven. He is seated in the
place of honor next to God, and all the angels and authorities and powers accept his
This is theologically tricky and there are good people on all sides of this topic
about who these “spirits in prison”are that Jesus preached to in this passage.
But REGARDLESS of the various positions (e.g. Did Jesus go to hell during his
death for 3 days and preach while he was there? Did Jesus go to “paradise”
along with the thief on the cross during these 3 days but was allowed to travel to
hell and proclaim their efforts to stop him didn’t work? Did Jesus go to Paradise
during the 3 days of death and stay in heaven…but after He rose again, he was
on the earth for 40 days, but he appeared/reappeared, and during the times he
was not around, he was permitted to transport to hell to proclaim that their efforts
did not work? Or, some say “prison” is really meaning he simply came to earth
and preached/proclaimed the Good News to all human beings who were “in
prison” in their sins & needed salvation?... REGARDLESS, here is what
everyone agrees upon: Jesus proclaimed that HIS WAY was DOMINANT and
unable to be stopped…and that reality is to be PROCLAIMED!
entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we
believe. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he
faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come
boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy,
and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
Be encouraged: God protects us from our past
I Peter 4:1-6 NLT So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm
yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have
suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. 2 You won’t spend the rest of
your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God.3 You
have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their
immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible
worship of idols. 4 Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer
plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you. 5 But
remember that they will have to face God, who stands ready to judge everyone, both
the living and the dead. 6 That is why the Good News was preached to those who are
now dead—so although they were destined to die like all people, they now live forever
with God in the Spirit.
I Peter 3:16 NLT But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience
clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a
good life you live because you belong to Christ.