Prophecy on Mount Olivet
By Arlen L. Chitwood
Good, Faithful Servant
So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, “Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.”
His lord said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.”
He also who had received two talents came and said, “Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.”
His lord said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” (Matthew 25:20-23)
Then came the first, saying, “Master, your mina [KJV: ‘pound’] has earned ten minas [‘pounds’].”
And he said to him, “Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.”
And the second came, saying, “Master, your mina [‘pound’] has earned five minas [‘pounds’].”
Likewise he said to him, “You also be over five cities.” (Luke 19:16-19)
Within the framework of the three appearances of Christ in Hebrews 9:24-28, it must be recognized that no single appearance stands alone, isolated from the other two.
Christ’s past appearance, “to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (v. 26), allows Him to presently “appear in the presence of God for us [appearing as High Priest for a redeemed people, ministering on the basis of His blood on the mercy seat for those in need of cleansing because of defilement through contact with the world in which they presently reside]” (v. 24).
And Christ’s past and present appearances allow for a future appearance “apart from sin, for salvation [a ‘salvation ready to be revealed in the last time’ — ‘the salvation of your souls’ (1 Peter 1:5, 9)]” (v. 28; cf. Hebrews 10:37-39).
Salvation is for a purpose. Christ appeared the first time, providing redemption, to make that purpose possible. He is now appearing in the presence of God, as High Priest in the Holy of Holies of the heavenly sanctuary, to provide a present cleansing for those whom He has redeemed, with that purpose in view. And He will one day return, reappear, “apart from sin, for salvation,” to bring that purpose to pass.
God’s purpose for redeeming man is the same as His purpose for creating man. Man was created to possess dominion over the earth; and fallen man, in no position to exercise this dominion, has been redeemed with a view to fulfilling this purpose:
. . . let them have dominion [Hebrews, radah, ‘…let the rule’] . . . .
(Genesis 1:26, 28)
The “same Jesus” who departed into heaven forty days following His resurrection is going to one day return in the same manner that He went away (Acts 1:11; cf. John 14:3). Christ has gone away “to receive for Himself a kingdom,” and He will return to take the reins of government after He receives the kingdom (Luke 19:12, 15).
At that time He will reckon with those whom He has redeemed and for whom He presently ministers. And this reckoning will be with a view to placing those within His house in various positions of power, occupying the throne as co-heirs with Him in the kingdom.
It is then that man will possess the dominion of which God spoke in Genesis 1:26-28.
To Reckon with Them
The first order of business after Christ returns for His household servants will be to reckon with these servants. The Householder’s servants will be removed from the earth to appear in His presence at what Scripture calls “the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
And it is here, at Christ’s judgment seat, that “every man’s work shall be made manifest.” Works, activities performed by those in the house during the time of the Householder’s absence, will be tried (tested) “by [‘in’] fire” to determine the quality. Works which endure the fire and remain, likened to “gold, silver, precious stones,” will result in a reward; works consumed by the fire though, likened to “wood, hay, straw,” will result in loss (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).
1) Judgment for Those Having Already Been Judged
Christians have been justified, declared righteous, on the basis of Christ’s past, finished work at Calvary (Romans 5:15-19). And this justification occurred in past time, at the moment of belief.
In this respect, it is not possible for a Christian to ever appear in judgment where matters pertain to the salvation that he presently possesses. Judgment has already occurred. God judged sin — that which separates man from God — in the person of His Son, and God is satisfied.
The impossibility of a Christian ever coming into judgment though pertains strictly to his eternal salvation. One’s eternal destiny, at the moment he places his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, becomes a settled, closed matter; and for a Christian to ever be brought into judgment where the issue at hand pertains to his eternal destiny would be to bring into judgment once again that which God has already judged — the finished work of His Son.
Actually there is no such thing as a future judgment — for either the saved or the unsaved — where the issue will involve eternal salvation or eternal damnation. This will not be an issue, it cannot be, at the judgment seat of Christ where Christians appear at the end of this present dispensation, preceding both the Tribulation and the Millennium; nor will it be an issue, it cannot be, when the unsaved appear at the great white throne judgment following the Millennium.
In both instances, judgment with respect to the eternal destiny of those being judged will have already occurred, with the issue already settled.
John 3:18 makes this very clear:
He who believes in Him is not condemned [judged]; but he who does not believe is condemned [judged] already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
For the believer, judgment is past. Sin has been judged in the person of God’s Son; and sin’s penalty, which is death, has been paid.
For the unbeliever, judgment is likewise past (“condemned [‘judged’]” is the translation of a word [krino] appearing in the perfect tense in the Greek text, showing a judgment completed in past time with the results of this judgment presently existing in a finished state). The unbeliever has already been condemned; he has already been judged, and he presently exists in this state.
(For God to judge the unbeliever on the basis of his eternal destiny would be for God to once again judge sin, which He has already judged in the person of His Son. Though sin’s penalty, death, has already been paid on his behalf [though Christ has died, paid the price], it has not been received. He has not applied the blood; and, relative to the death of the firstborn, there is no vicarious death. The unsaved person, though judgment for sin is past, will still have to pay sin’s penalty. And he will have to do it himself.
Thus, insofar as one’s eternal destiny is concerned, no judgment awaits the believer or the unbeliever. Judgment is past for both, with the eternal destiny of both a closed matter, already determined on one basis alone — belief or unbelief — having occurred in time past.
The difference between the saved and the unsaved relative to eternal verities lies in the fact that the One who paid sin’s penalty, death, has been accepted by one but not by the other. One has believed; the other has not believed. One, through a vicarious means, has had the penalty paid on his behalf; the other though, apart from this vicarious means, will have to pay the penalty himself.
Though judgment itself is past, the results of that judgment await a future time. For the saved, the results will be carried out in one manner [with no one excluded]; and for the unsaved, the results will be carried out in another manner [with no one excluded as well].)
2) To Be Judged According to Works
One should note very carefully that it is “works” that come under review at all future judgments in Scripture, whether of the saved or the unsaved (1 Corinthians 3:13-15; Revelation 20:12, 13; cf. Ezekiel 20:34-38; 44:10-16; Matthew 25:34-36, 41-43; Revelation 20:4). And since man’s works can have nothing to do with eternal salvation, something other than issues surrounding one’s eternal destiny would have to be in view.
Or, to turn that around, since the eternal destiny of those being judged will have already been determined at any future judgment, man’s works are the only possible thing that could come under review, whether of the saved or the unsaved. There is nothing else that could be considered.
Those who believe, who are “not condemned [‘not judged’]” (for whom no judgment relative to eternal salvation awaits) will appear at one judgment; and those who have not believed, who have been “condemned already [‘judged already’]” (for whom no judgment relative to eternal salvation awaits as well) will appear at another judgment, entirely separate from that of the redeemed.
Judgment relating to eternal salvation or eternal damnation must be a past matter in every future judgment, with individuals appearing at a particular judgment (of either the saved or the unsaved, never a combination of the two), wholly on the basis of that which has already been determined.
According to the parable of the talents and the parable of the minas [KJV: pounds; hereafter referred to by this designation], Christians will appear before Christ in judgment to ascertain how much each person has gained through trading and trafficking in the Lord’s business during His time of absence (Luke 19:15).
There is nothing whatsoever about judgment relating to one’s eternal salvation or eternal damnation in these parables. Such would be an impossibility. These are parables showing the household servants, those in possession of eternal salvation (those who cannot be called into judgment relative to this matter), being called to an accounting by the Householder at the time of His return.
The Householder will gather “His own servants” before His judgment seat — the judgment seat of Christ — to reckon with them on the basis of their faithfulness or unfaithfulness in carrying out assigned duties in the house during the time of His absence (works emanate out of “faithfulness,” and it is works that will come under review).
Faithfulness, producing works comparable to “gold, silver, precious stones,” will result in commendation and reward; and unfaithfulness, producing works comparable to “wood, hay, straw,” will result in rebuke and loss. And that which will be in view, as an end result of this reckoning, has to do with the household servants either being accorded or being denied positions of power and authority as co-heirs with Christ in His kingdom.
Insofar as the unsaved appearing at the great white throne in Revelation 20:11-15 is concerned, judicial issues relating to eternal salvation or eternal damnation likewise cannot come into view. Individuals not in possession of eternal life (those upon whom the wrath of God abides, who have already been judged relative to their unbelief) will be judged on the basis of their own works, with their eternal destiny already a settled, closed matter.
The judgment of the saved occurs before the Millennium, for millennial issues are in view. The judgment of the unsaved though does not occur until following the Millennium, for their judgment has nothing to do with the Millennium. Their judgment has to do with the eternal ages alone, and their judgment occurs immediately before the onset of these ages.
Faithfulness in exercising one’s household responsibilities during the time of the Householder’s absence will result in the household servant being accorded responsibility with his Lord in the kingdom. Unfaithfulness though will result in the household servant being denied such responsibility.
The principle connecting faithfulness in present responsibility with being accorded future responsibility was set forth by Christ in the parable of the unjust steward in Luke 16:1-13.
He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.
Therefore if you have not been faithful . . . who will commit to your trust the true riches?” (vv. 10, 11)
The unjust steward, placed in charge of his Master’s goods, had failed to faithfully discharge his duties concerning the use of these goods. The steward had not acted in a manner that would be to his Master’s advantage; and, by and through mismanagement he had wasted his Master’s goods (v. 1).
The day arrived when the steward was called to render an account concerning his stewardship. The Householder had heard about the steward’s unfaithfulness; and upon investigation, with the steward in His presence, the Householder found it necessary to take action that would remove him from the position that he held (v. 2).
The steward, when removed from his position and relieved of his household duties, would no longer hold a position of responsibility in the house. The Householder’s goods would no longer be at his disposal, for that which had previously been committed to his trust would have been taken from him.
Unfaithfulness in the discharge of his duties had resulted in his being brought to this position, wherein he was about to be left with nothing. And, though it is not so stated in the parable, this responsibility, in the light of that which is seen in the parables of the talents and pounds, would undoubtedly have then been given to another steward.
This, of course, would be the Lord’s own commentary on the unfaithful servant in the parable of the pounds or the parable of the talents. The servant in each parable had been placed in charge of a portion of his Master’s goods, but he exhibited unfaithfulness in the responsibility committed to his trust. Then at the time of reckoning, in his Master’s presence, that with which he had previously been entrusted, belonging to his Master, was taken from him and given to another (Matthew 25:28, 29; Luke 19:24-26), leaving him with nothing.
Revealed unfaithfulness in delegated responsibility in the house, in both parables, correspondingly resulted in a denial of responsibility in the kingdom.
(There is a further teaching concerning “repentance [a change of mind]” in the parable of the unjust steward. He was accorded time to bring about a change in that which he had done.
This though is not seen in the parables of the talents and pounds. Once the Master of the house has risen up and called his stewards to an accounting, the text is quite clear: The door of opportunity will then be closed forever [Matthew 25:10; Luke 13:25]. “Time” for household servants [Christians] to bring about any type of change simply will not exist beyond this point.)
In the parables of the talents and pounds, the inverse of that which the unfaithful servant in the parable of the unjust steward experienced was shown to be true by that which the faithful servants experienced. They had been faithful in delegated responsibility in the house; and, as a result, they were accorded responsibility with their Lord in the kingdom that He had gone away to receive.
And, in like fashion, the inverse of that which the Lord said about unfaithfulness in the parable of the unjust steward in Luke 16:11 would also be true. The Lord would commit to their trust “the true riches.” They had been faithful in lesser responsibility, and they could be trusted, in like manner, to be faithful in greater responsibility (v. 10).
1) The Nature of Rewards
Being rewarded or suffering loss when Christ returns will have to do with the kingdom that He has gone away to receive.
Faithfulness in one’s delegated responsibility as a servant in the house now will result in the servant being elevated into the position of ruler during that coming day and being accorded responsibility as a co-heir with Christ in His kingdom.
However, unfaithfulness in one’s delegated responsibility as a servant in the house now will result in the servant being placed in a position during that coming day where he can no longer even come in contact with the things of His Master.
That with which he had been entrusted as a servant in the house will be taken from him, leaving him completely estranged from the things belonging to his Master. And for such an individual, because of irresponsibility, there will be no elevation into the position of ruler, being accorded responsibility as a co-heir with Christ in His kingdom.
Relative to Christ’s millennial reign and proffered positions with Him in His kingdom, it will all be over. Christ’s millennial reign is a one-time event that will never be repeated.
Christ’s words, reserved for faithful servants, are very clear:
. . . you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things . . . . (Matthew 25:21, 23; cf. Luke 19:17, 19)
And the inverse of this is shown to be equally true relative to Christ’s dealings with unfaithful servants (Matthew 25:24-30; cf. Luke 19:20-24). The same principle that had previously been set forth in the parable of the unjust steward is then reiterated in both the parables of the talents and the pounds:
For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. (Matthew 25:29; cf. Luke 19:26)
The key to the matter is faithfulness to delegated responsibility. Christ will elevate household servants into positions of rulership, allowing them to ascend the throne and occupy various appointed positions of power and authority as co-heirs with Him, strictly on the basis of their prior faithfulness. Nothing could be clearer than the Householder’s own words: “you were faithful . . . I will make you ruler.”
2) The Time of Rewards
Events surrounding the judgment seat of Christ are viewed by some individuals as ongoing events that occur during and at the conclusion of the present dispensation rather than events that occur in their entirety at the conclusion of the dispensation. Such a view is often advanced by its advocates in order to teach “selective rapture” (which itself takes various forms, teaching, after some fashion, that only faithful Christians will be removed from the earth at the time of the rapture).
This particular thought within the selective rapture teaching runs somewhat along the lines that Scripture is clear concerning the necessity for all Christians to appear before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10); and if this judgment can be shown to be an ongoing event during the present dispensation, verses such as Philippians 3:11 (the “out-resurrection”) would have to be understood within the framework of a select group of Christians being raised at the time of the rapture, based on prior findings at the judgment seat.
However, neither a present ongoing judgment nor a future selective rapture of Christians is taught in Scripture. The parables of the talents and the pounds make this very clear (there are also a number of other passages that teach this same truth as well. See the author’s book, Judgment Seat of Christ, Chapter 2, “We Must All Appear”).
In these parables, the Householder calls His servants to an accounting only after He receives the kingdom and returns. Only then does the Householder call His servants before Him to see how much each man has gained by trading.
All of the household servants appear together in judgment at the same time; and this “time” is clearly revealed to be at the end of the present dispensation, following the period when servants are accorded the privilege of exercising faithfulness to delegated responsibility.
Thus, Scripture does not teach that a separation of Christians occurs by and through a present, ongoing judgment, for there is no present judgment of this nature; nor does Scripture teach that a separation of Christians will occur by and through a selective rapture, for there will be no selective rapture.
Separation, according to Scripture, will occur only at that future time when all Christians (both the faithful and the unfaithful) appear before the judgment seat following Christ’s return for His household servants.
Christ is presently occupying the office of High Priest, not that of Judge. A judicial role falls only within the scope of His kingly office, not His priestly office (to be a “King” is to be a Judge; and, although Christ is a King today [He was “born King” (Matthew 2:2)], He is not presently exercising that office or any facet of that office).
Christ will occupy the office and exercise the duties of King only after he concludes His present high priestly ministry. At that time, He will depart the Holy of Holies of the heavenly sanctuary and come forth as the great King-Priest after the order of Melchizedek. Only then will He assume a judicial role of a nature seen in the parables of the talents and the pounds.
3) The Goal of Rewards
After whatever fashion one views the Christian life during the present dispensation, the goal of all activity is always the same. Responsibility has been accorded household servants during the present time with a view to their being elevated and assuming responsible positions in the kingdom yet future. Training and testing occur today, with the outcome realized in the kingdom that follows. This was graphically illustrated by the apostle Paul by and through his viewing the Christian life as a race, with the runner striving to acquire one or more crowns.
Being elevated into the position of ruler and assuming a place as co-heir with Christ on His throne will require a crown. Scripture connects the crown and the throne after such a fashion that one cannot be separated from the other.
Rulers do not govern apart from a throne, and uncrowned individuals do not sit on a throne. Being invested with a crown portends an ascent to the throne, and being denied a crown or one’s crown being taken portends either a denial of or a removal from the throne (cf. Psalm 89:39, 44; Zechariah 6:11, 13; Revelation 2:10, 26, 27; 3:21; 6:2; 12:3; 13:1, 2; 19:12, 16).
Five crowns which are possible for Christians to win are mentioned in the New Testament. These five crowns are:
1) The incorruptible crown (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).
2) The crown of rejoicing (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20).
3) The crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:7, 8).
4) The crown of life (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10).
5) The crown of glory (1 Peter 5:2-4).
These crowns, portending positions of power and authority with the “King of kings, and Lord of lords” during the coming age, are being held out before Christians during the present time.
These are the proffered rewards to be won in the present race of the faith as one exhibits faithfulness to the responsibility that has been delegated to him. And these crowns, to be given strictly on the basis of faithfulness to present responsibility, will be worn by those Christians accorded responsible positions of power and authority in the kingdom.
Enter into the Joy of Your Lord
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith [lit., ‘the faith’ (not ‘our faith,’ with the article used as a possessive pronoun)], who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1, 2)
. . . I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord. (Matthew 25:21b, 23b)
. . . have authority over ten cities . . . over five cities (Luke 19:17b, 19b)
The “author and finisher of our faith [‘the faith’],” the One we are to look to as we look away from anything that could cause distraction, is described in Hebrews 12:2 as One who had His eyes fixed on “the joy that was set before Him” as He bore “our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24). Christ viewed Calvary within the framework of that which lay beyond Calvary.
The ignominious shame and indescribable sufferings of Calvary had to come first. There was no other way. But beyond Calvary lay something else, described as “the joy that was set before Him.”
Following His resurrection, when Christ confronted the two disciples on the road to Emmaus and other disciples later in Jerusalem, He called attention to a constant theme throughout the Old Testament Scriptures: Israel’s Messiah was going to first suffer these things [events surrounding Calvary] and then enter into His glory (Luke 24:25-27, 44, 45).
Joseph, a type of Christ, first suffered prior to finding himself seated on Pharaoh’s throne ruling “over all the land of Egypt” (Genesis 37:20ff; 39:20ff; 41:40ff). Moses, another type of Christ, first suffered rejection at the hands of his people before being accepted by them. Rejection was followed by his experiences in Midian, and acceptance was followed by the people of Israel being led out of Egypt to be established in a theocracy in the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Exodus 2:11ff; 3:1ff; 12:40, 41).
Passages such as Psalm 22-24 or Isaiah 53:1ff (Israel’s future confession concerning that which had happened to the nation’s Messiah before He entered into His glory [Isaiah 52]) present the same order — sufferings, and then glory. This is the only order one finds in Scripture, and enough is stated about Christ’s sufferings preceding His glory in the Old Testament that He could say to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus,
. . . O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!
Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory? (Luke 24:25b, 26)
Peter, James, and John on the Mount with Christ during the time of His earthly ministry “saw His glory” (Luke 9:32), and Peter, years later, associated the “glory” that they had seen at this time with “the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:16-18). Christ’s “glory” thus has to do with that day when He will occupy the throne and rule the earth (as Joseph on the throne ruling Egypt [always a type of the world in Scripture]).
In Hebrews 12:2, the wording is slightly different. In this passage we’re told that Christ’s “sufferings” preceded “the joy [rather than ‘the glory’]” set before Him. This though, in complete keeping with Old Testament prophecy, is clearly a reference to “sufferings” preceding Christ’s “glory” and to Christ looking beyond the sufferings to the time when he would enter into His glory.
In the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14ff, Christ referred to individuals who would enter into positions of power and authority with Him as entering “into the joy of your Lord” (vv. 21, 23; cf. Luke 19:16-19). Thus, the “sufferings” and “joy” of Hebrews 12:2 follow the same order and refer to the same two things as the “sufferings” and “glory” found elsewhere in Scripture.
In keeping with the theme of Hebrews though, there’s really more to the expression, “the joy that was set before Him,” than just a general foreview of Christ’s coming glory. The thought here is much more specific. Note in the parable of the talents that “the joy of your Lord” is associated with Christ’s co-heirs entering into positions on the throne with him; and the key thought throughout Hebrews, stating the matter another way, is that of Christ “bringing many sons unto glory” with Him (2:10).
This is what Christ had His eyes fixed upon when He endured the humiliation, shame, and sufferings of Calvary (cf. Hebrews 1:9). Christ, at Calvary, fixing His attention on “the joy that was set before Him,” fixed His attention on that day when He and His co-heirs, firstborn sons in that day, forming His bride, would ascend the throne together in His kingdom.
1) Endured the Cross
Note something, and note it well. It is because of Calvary that unredeemed man, “dead in trespasses and sins,” can be “made alive [KJV: ‘quickened’]” (Ephesians 2:1, 5; Colossians 2:13). It is because of Calvary that unredeemed man can be eternally saved, changing once and for all his eternal destiny. But Christ looked beyond Calvary. He looked at the purpose for man’s redemption, a purpose that would allow redeemed man to realize the highest of all possible callings.
Christ viewed the events surrounding Calvary more in the light of Colossians 1:13. Christ’s finished work on Calvary allows God to take fallen man and bring about a change in sides with respect to the kingdom. This allows God to take a man who is “dead in trespasses and sins,” produce life in that individual, and place him in the very sphere for which he had been created in the beginning.
And being more specific, Christ, by and through His work at Calvary, provided redemption for His bride, the one who would reign as consort queen with Him. Christ’s finished work at Calvary (Genesis 22) allows the Holy Spirit to presently call out a bride for the Son (Genesis 24). “Sufferings” must come first, but the “joy” toward which Christ looked must follow the sufferings.
Christ “endured the cross,” knowing these things, with His eyes accordingly fixed on “the joy that was set before Him.” And man today, viewing Calvary apart from also looking ahead to this same “joy,” is not looking upon Christ’s redemptive work the same way Christ viewed it at all.
2) Despising the Shame
Christ, “for the joy that was set before Him,” not only endured the Cross but He despised the shame. The word “for” in this verse — “for the joy” — is a translation of the Greek word anti, which refers to setting one thing over against another. The “joy” was set over against the “shame.” Christ considered the ignominious “shame” associated with Calvary a thing of little consequence compared to the “joy” that lay ahead. The ignominious “shame” was no small thing, but the “joy” was so much greater that, comparatively, Christ could only look upon the former as of little consequence.
Events of that coming day when He and His bride would ascend the throne together so far outweighed events of the present day that Christ considered being spat upon, beaten, and humiliated to the point of being arrayed as a mock King as things of comparatively little consequence. He then went to Calvary, paying the price for man’s redemption, so that even the very ones carrying out His persecution and crucifixion could one day (by believing on Him) find themselves in a position to participate in the “joy” set before Him.
And a Christian should view present persecution, humiliation, and shame after the same fashion Christ viewed these things at Calvary. This is what Peter had in mind when he penned the words, “Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21).
The epistles of 1, 2 Peter have been written to encourage Christians who are being tested and tried; and this encouragement is accomplished by offering compensation for the sufferings that one endures during the present time. And this compensation — rewards having to do with positions of honor and glory in the Son’s kingdom — will be exactly commensurate with present sufferings (1 Peter 1:6, 7; 4:12, 13; cf. Matthew 16:27).
(Note that the “sufferings” [trails] in 1, 2 Peter, resulting in future rewards, appear in connection with an inheritance “reserved in heaven” and a salvation “ready to be revealed in the last time,” which is “the salvation of your souls” [1 Peter 1:4, 5, 9].)
Following the example that Christ set at Calvary, a Christian should place the coming “joy” over against the present “sufferings” and consider the sufferings of little consequence compared to “the just recompense of the reward” which lies ahead. And he should not think it strange when he finds himself suffering for Christ’s sake, for “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (cf. 2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 4:12).
This is the norm for the Christian life. Rather, he should rejoice, knowing that as a partaker of Christ’s sufferings, he is also going to be a partaker of Christ’s glory (1 Peter 4:13).