If the Righteous Scarcely be Saved, Where will the Sinner Appear?
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? (1 Peter 4:17-18)
If this scripture and some others are read literally, that would be man’s opinion and not rightly divided; the Word of God is spiritual and it must be interpreted spiritually. Otherwise, the one who is passing it on from their natural mindset cannot understand what the scriptures mean.
The Word of God says: But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned [understood] (1 Corinthians 2:14). Natural means carnal -The natural man. The Greek word is ψυχικὸς (psychical); literally, soulish, i.e. the man who lives the mere life of his lower understanding, the unspiritual, sensuous, and egoistic man.
The house of God is referring to His children. God has taken care of the penalty and presence of sin through Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. We are positionally holy and righteous. When it comes to the power of sin, God does His part and we are responsible to do our part. Being scarcely saved (by a barely margin), means practical holiness, and practical sanctification, being continually purged (cleansed) from old habits (not nature).
God allows us to be in a situation to deliver us from the sins in our lives. He deals with sin in a way to remove a particular aspect of sin out of our lives.
Job who was perfect and upright (Job 1:1), yet Job still had issues. God brought something out of Job so he could see something that he didn’t realize about himself. This happened when Job challenged God; Moreover, the Lord answered Job, and said: Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? He who rebukes God, let him answer it. (Job 40:1-2). Read the entire chapter.
Paul wrote most of the book (epistles/letters) in the New Testament, yet he had issues. What would have happened if God had not put restraints on Paul? Restraint - a measure or condition that keeps someone or something under control or within limits. If God had not put the restriction on Paul because of him experience with God, he would have exalted himself above measure (2 Corinthians 12:1-10), which stems from pride. Mind you, we still have limited free will; we are not puppets.
Peter was used by God mightily, but he was prideful, in that he told Jesus he would never deny Him, but Jesus brought it to his attention that Peter would deny Him three times… (Matthew 26:33-34). Peter was also racist; being a Jew he had no dealings with Gentiles. Initially he resisted God, but he ended up carrying the Gospel to Cornelius who was a Gentile (Acts 10:7-22).
Not many children of God are sold-out; that is, they want to do what they want to; even when sin is brought to their attention, they are not open to correction or warnings. Some of God’s children still resist the truth and deviate from it.
Bottom line is, if God disciplines His own children (Hebrews 12:3-11), how much more will the sinner who hates Him be punished. God disciplines His children to make them more fit for His kingdom and we will be rewarded for our obedience to Him.
Thanks be to God for the called male teachers who are obedient to God and joyfully utilize their gifts to advance His kingdom through Burnett Ministries.
We are Sold-Out for Jesus Christ!
~ Betty A. Burnett~