Why do Christians suffer?

Aug 8, 2020

Recommended book for debunking Calvinism: ‘The Other Side Of Calvinism’

Calvinists know that they’re saved by the fruits that they do but they can’t tell us specifically at a time in a place when they got saved. It’s all through a process where God the Holy Spirit was working in them and they don’t know exactly when at the moment they were elected.

2 Timothy 1:10 “But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:”

Calvinists claim that Paul endured sufferings to preach to the elects. Some will use this argument: why preach salvation to them when they’re going to get saved anyway?

The easiest argument against this is that the elect is concerning the nation of Israel, it is not referring to specific individuals becoming saved. A lot of times God calls His nation of Israel the elect. In Romans 9-12, Paul wished that he could go to hell for the Jews. He was suffering two years, that was his worst experience in life and it was for his people, Jews.

Another argument against this is that it is obviously preposterous for Paul to have to go through suffering if they were already elected to salvation, God doesn’t have to put Paul through suffering. When Paul’s talking about salvation here, he’s talking about the salvation of getting glory and reign at Christ’s coming, not getting saved from hell. Look at v19 again, ‘obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory‘.

1 Timothy 2:12 “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:”

‘if we suffer’: remember v10, enduring, going through sufferings. What’s the context of suffering in v12? It is about rulership and reign, it has nothing to do with hell fire.

In fact, if we look up the word ‘saved‘ in the Bible, it does not refer to being saved from hell only, it can refer to saving life, saving from wrong doctrine, saving from losing rewards, saving from judgment, and not the judgment of hell but judgment on earth. If the Bible mentions salvation and saved, we need to find out saved from what.

The proof of enduring sufferings is not getting saved from hell, it’s for reward.

1 Timothy 2:3-7 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits. Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.”

v6 ‘partaker of the fruits’: it’s earning our rewards. That;’s the whole context of the verse, it has nothing to do with being saved from hell, it has everything to do with earning a reward at the end.

2 Corinthians 4:17 “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;”

Enduring through those sufferings, we’re earning a different amount of glory at the end.

That’s why when Paul says in 1 Timothy 2:10 concerning about the glory, he knows that there are different levels of earning for it, this has nothing to do with dying and going to heaven, being safe from hell. This is earning different levels of glory and reward by our suffering.

James 1:12 “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”

By enduring temptation, we receive the crown of life as a reward.

1 Peter 1:7 “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”

This endurance of suffering has to do with earning glory.

It doesn’t make sense that being tortured, burnt at the stake, suffer, and go through pain so that we can get salvation at the end. That’s not the idea. It makes more sense by enduring suffering and pain so that we can get some sort of reward at the end.