The Purpose Of God’s Discipline
There is no judgement for those who are saved, but we are disciplined as God's children so that we may be changed. Revival begins when God's children obey and then spreads to unbelievers.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? You doin’ all right today? Well I trust so, bless your heart. And if per chance you’ve struck a rough day, look up and say, “Lord Jesus, see me through this one.” I can promise you that He will. The Bible says, “For He hath said, ‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’” So, trust Him with everything today.
Have you formed the habit of praying your way through the day? I say this so often that for some it may become a little boring. But it’s always new – that truth about praying your way through the day. Deliberately commit situations to your blessed Lord as they happen. Don’t wait till after it’s over and say, “Oh Lord, I blew it. Forgive me.” Now He will forgive you. The Bible says, “There is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.” And John says if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.”
So there is forgiveness, but why wait until you’ve blown the situation? Why not pray your way through while the situation is happening, while the pressure is on. If you’re afraid, if you’re under pressure, if you’re stressed out, if you feel anger rising within you like the blowing of a volcano, if you’re discouraged, if you’re depressed, if you’re in need – or whatever it may be – pray your way through the day. Pray before you answer the phone. Pray before you open an, a letter – it could be a check or a, or a bill; there’s a difference. Pray before you sign a contract – God has already read the fine print. Pray before you go on a trip. Pray before you go on a date, young people. Pray before you take a job or leave one. Pray before you decide to move or decide to stay. Pray your way through the day. Pray before or during a situation. You’ll find that God takes a hand in your life. Well, somebody needed to be reminded of that, and I did it.
Now we’re in 1 Peter 4, and we were looking at that 17th verse that is a question. “The time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God. And if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the Gospel of God. And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” We haven’t gotten to that question part because we were still reminding ourselves, the last time we got together, that renewal and revival starts with the believer. And the way to do it is to start with the obvious, the areas of your life that you know need revision or need cleansing or need the supernatural touch of God’s power in order to change them.
And then the second step is to obey as the Holy Spirit of God prompts you so to do. Obey as God prompts you by His Holy Spirit, and you’ll find that there is spiritual renewal as a result. Now, judgment, the house of God… that’s not judgment fro salvation, I wanted to remind you of that. “He that heareth My word and believeth on Him that sent Me shall, is, hath everlasting life and shall not come into the judgment but is passed from death unto life,” Jesus told us in John 5:24.
Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” No condemnation, no judgment. Why? The Lord Jesus paid it all. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us as it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree.’ He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our inequities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed.” The debt is paid, Christ suffered for every one of us, for every one of our sins, for all eternity.
So that judgment, he said, “Judgment on the house of God…” It’s not a judgment involving salvation. Either you’re saved or lost. And if you’re not saved this minute, you’re already under condemnation. “He that believeth not the Son is not condemned; he that believeth not is condemned already. He that believeth on the Son is not condemned but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” This is from John 3, as you know.
Now, let that solemn truth sink into your heart. We’re dealing with something that is already accomplished. Jesus died for our sins. And if you have by faith, received Him as your Lord and your Savior, you are not under God’s judgment for sin, as an unbeliever. Salvation is yours, and you won’t come into judgment, that white throne judgment where all of the dead stand before God. You’ll be a spectator, you won’t be judged.
Then there’s self-judgment. 1 Corinthians 11, the, the, the classic communion passage. He said, “Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup for,” he said, “if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” And so there’s self-judgment: “Examine yourselves,” said Paul, “whether ye be in the faith.” Look inward to see what your own spiritual condition is, and bring it to your blessed Lord in prayer, and in dedication. Judgment on the house of God.
Now, what is involved is God’s discipline of His children. “Whom the Lord loveth, He, He chasteneth; and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth,” says the writer to the Hebrews. And you, you don’t dare say when you’re under the pressure of troubles, “I don’t know why this should happen to me.” Because in that passage I just quoted for you is that word ‘every’ – “Scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.” And if you be without chastisement, then He said you’re illegitimate children, and not sons. God does discipline His children. “Judgment must begin at the house of God.”
I need to trust this blessed Savior who died that my sins should be judged forever; I need to examine myself in self-judgment; and then I need to place myself under the tender discipline of the heavenly Father who knows what I need, and who gives me what I need even though I may not like it at the time. “He knoweth the way that I take,” said Job, “and when I hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”
Our Lord Jesus said, “Every branch in Me that beareth fruit, He prunes it that it may bring forth more fruit. Herein is My Father glorified that ye bear much fruit.” And so you have the degrees of fruit bearing there – no fruit, some fruit, more fruit, much fruit. Jesus said, “God is interested in having you bear much fruit.” God’s discipline of His children, how does He do that? Well, He, He does it through His Word, and through the indwelling Holy Spirit, He does it through the counsel of other believers, He does it through circumstances.
Man said to me one time as he lay in a hospital bed, he said, “I guess the Lord had to put me flat on my back so I couldn’t look anywhere but up, so I’d pay attention to Him.” What was his problem? Well, he’d been a successful businessman, so busy that he didn’t have time for God. And now, he’s flat on his back in a hospital room; and he can’t attend to business, and he can’t go out and make money, and the phone doesn’t ring anymore with orders that he has to fill. He’s a patient in the hospital. And he said, “I guess God had to put me on my back so I would look up, and pay attention to Him.”
Oh yes, God does that sometimes, and we don’t like if. A car accident, a serious illness, a broken bone – whatever it may be… Or all of the above, you know. And we don’t like it. We say, “Oh God, I don’t like this! Get me out of this!” What’s He doing? He’s just reminding you how much you need Him. And He’s putting you through the discipline, the discipline that the loving heavenly Father exercises for His children, so that their lives might be pure; so the hard might be made mellow; so the foolish might be made wise; so that those who have short-sightedly been focusing on things, might start to focus on eternity. Yes, God does it. Judgment beginning at that house of God.
And you know, revival always follows when, when Christians start obeying God. Have you noticed that? Revival, in a community, always follows when Christians start obeying God. I think one of the most dramatic stories of that occurred up in, in Canada, some miles north of Winnipeg, up in the province there. There were a couple of, of Spirit-filled preachers that were preaching a revival. And believers began to be convicted of their sins. And so they began to pay their debts, and some who had, had picked up things without paying for them in stores, began to return the merchandise.
And there was a stir in that whole community, of people getting right with God, and then getting right with people around them. And now the sinners began to come and get converted. Why? Because judgment had begun at the house of God. Yes beloved, that’s where it has to start. And may you and I be the recipients. Oh I pray this may be so for you and for me beloved, may we be the recipients of God’s outpoured Holy Spirit, as we wait before Him and let Him deal with those areas in our life that need His touch. And then start to obey Him as the Spirit of God leads us. Revival can yet come to your life and to your community. And as Christians everywhere begin that process, it can come to our nation. How the United States of America needs a revival!
There’s more paganism now than ever. We are less Christian as a nation than we ever were before. There are fewer people now that are genuine in their faith. Many are religious, vaguely religious. And many heaven knows, are heart-hungry and seeking for something to satisfy that God-shaped vacuum in their hearts, vainly looking into other cults and other forms of, of religion, and even into the occult and the dark areas of, of the never-never land of the demons. But oh, how America needs a revival! Our conscience, our national conscience needs stirring.
The, the ease with which the people in high places in the legislative halls of our country, and the business marts, and in Wall Street, and, and all the way through – the ease with which people skirt the truth and compromise their ethics and their morals, is frightening. Someone asked what the Watergate people why he did what he did. And he said, “Well, it seemed like a good thing to do at the time.” No question as to whether it was right or wrong – it just seemed like it was expedient and a good thing to do.
Oh beloved, let’s pray that God will give a revival, a national, country-wide, nation-wide revival, that will start with the hearts of believers. And that boils down then to you and to me. May God grant it for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ. “Now,” he said, “if judgment begins at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the Gospel of God?” There’s no time to get into that part of the, the verse in any detail. We just touch on it and then time will be gone.
“What shall the end be of them that obey not the Gospel of God?” It starts right now. Your sin is exposed. The Bible says, “Be sure your sin will find you out. God’s judgment begins in the here and now. You don’t successfully hide anything. The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. But if you’re going to disobey God, you’ll find that He has a way of revealing who and what you are. Your sin will find you out. And then you’ll know the difficulty of sin. The way of the transgressors is hard. It is a hard life to disobey God. That’s the beginning of what this verse talks about. We’ll get at the rest of it the next time we get together.
Father, God today, grant to us to submit to Thy will, and to do it in the enablement of the Holy Spirit of God. I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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