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The Sobering Reality of Salvation

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Dean Butler

1 Peter 4:18 says, "And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner?"

This verse points out the seriousness of salvation and the challenges believers face in maintaining their faith. The Apostle Peter is not suggesting that our salvation is uncertain or that it depends on our efforts; rather, he emphasizes the sobering reality of living a righteous life in a fallen world.

 Peter acknowledges that even the righteous encounter difficulties. Living a life dedicated to God often involves trials and tribulations. Jesus Himself said in John 16:33, "In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." This implies that believers are not exempt from challenges but are equipped to overcome them through Christ.

Peter then poses a rhetorical question: if the righteous, who are in God’s favor, face difficulties, what will become of those who reject God? The implication is clear: the consequences for the godless and sinners are far more severe. Without the hope and assurance that come from a relationship with Christ, they face an eternity separated from God.

This verse encourages believers to live with an eternal perspective. While we might face hardships now, we have the promise of eternal life with God. This hope should motivate us to persevere in faith and righteousness, knowing that our present struggles are temporary compared to the eternal joy awaiting us.

Additionally, this verse serves as a call to evangelism. Understanding the fate of those without Christ should compel us to share the Gospel more fervently. As believers, we have experienced the saving grace of Jesus, and it is our responsibility to share this hope with others. Jesus commissioned us in Matthew 28:19-20 to go and make disciples of all nations. This is not just a suggestion but a command, emphasizing the urgency and importance of spreading the Good News.

In practical terms, 1 Peter 4:18 encourages us to remain steadfast in our faith, especially during tough times. It reminds us that suffering is part of the Christian journey, but it is not without purpose. James 1:2-4 echoes this sentiment, “Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

 1 Peter 4:18 is a powerful reminder of the seriousness of our salvation and the urgency of sharing the Gospel with those who are lost. It challenges us to persevere through difficulties, knowing that our struggles are temporary and that God is with us every step of the way. It also compels us to reach out to the godless and sinners, sharing the hope and salvation found in Jesus Christ.

Let this verse be a catalyst for living with purpose and urgency, keeping our eyes fixed on the eternal prize and encouraging others to join us on the path to everlasting life.

Fifty years ago, I committed my life to serving the Lord. I hold an associate degree in Christian Education and a bachelor’s degree in Christian Counseling.  I live by 1 Corinthians 9:16, Ephesians 3:7-8, and Colossians 1:28-29. In my retirement, I focus on study and sharing the teachings of God’s Word with others. Besides writing this Blog I maintain 3 Facebook pages dedicated to spreading the Word of God. Email:

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