1 Peter 4:12-16
To get you thinking about our passage for Sunday, I have a pop quiz for you. How would you finish this sentence? “You can tell someone is a Christian when they __________ .” Some might say: “You can tell someone is a Christian when they profess the name of Christ.” After all, the Bible says a lot about making a profession. The problem, however, is that Jesus also says: “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord’ . . . And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you’” (Matthew 7:22-23). So apparently, professing Jesus’ name, while it is enough, can be misconstrued.
Some might answer: “You can tell someone is a Christian when they quote Scripture.” After all, Bible knowledge is essential to salvation. But the downfall here is that the demons have a lot of Bible knowledge. James 2:19 says, “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.”
So we need a better answer and we see one in the Book of First Peter. First Peter 4:12 says, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing . . . ”. In other words, “You can tell someone is a Christian when they suffer well.” That is the answer to our question. You can tell someone is saved when they are tested and come out of it okay. Are you suffering today? It could be that the Lord is testing you to prove that you are saved. It could be that He is trying you so that you can “come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). Are you going through a hard time? That could be His mercy towards you. He wants you to know that you are His and that your profession and knowledge are real and not counterfeit. If that thought encourages you and you would like to learn more, please join us Sunday morning at 46024 Riverside Drive in Chilliwack to talk about this. Come learn what it means to be a Christian and suffer well for the glory of God. We meet at 9:15. – Jeremy Cagle