By Brother Paul Montgomery

First Peter 2:20 "For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but, if when ye do well and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God." The word buffeted means to chastise or punish. We are to endure punishment when we do wrong which is the way it should be. But, are we to endure punishment for doing right? How many times have you felt that you were wrongly accused of something you did or did not do?

When I was a child, I would put the blame on my brothers when I had done something wrong. When my mother or father would ask who did it; I would point my finger at one of my brothers. I would falsely accuse them of doing wrong. Trust me, they did the same thing to me. But thanks be to God, our parents taught us to tell the truth and to endure punishment when we do wrong. But the question is, should we endure punishment and be falsely accused of doing evil when we have done nothing wrong?

In verse 20 of First Peter, chapter two, Peter says that "...when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God." First Peter 3:16-17 "Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing." In plain English, my friends, it is better to be falsely accused of doing wrong than to be righteously accused of doing evil.

We can read examples in the Bible of those who were falsely accused and endured the punishment. Such as Joseph and how his brothers sold him to the Ishmaelites. He was taken down to Egypt as a slave, and in his master's house, he was falsely accused by his master's wife. Because of this false accusation, he was cast into prison. But we see the Lord was always with Joseph. For it was God's will that he go down in Egypt to preserve life. He would interpret Pharaoh's dream of the seven years of plenty and the seven years of famine.

Pharaoh put him in second of command over the land of Egypt. And when the seven years of famine came, Joseph would save the lives of his father's house by feeding them the corn of Egypt. He didn't take any revenge over his brothers for selling him into slavery. But seeing that this was the will of God, he praised him by his faithfulness..

Also we can read of Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego at how they would not worship Nebuchadnezzar's golden image and were cast into the fiery furnace. But we see that God was with them and they were delivered from the furnace. We see that Daniel was cast to the lions for worshiping God. But, God was with Daniel and delivered him from the lions. Peter, Paul and the other apostles were mocked, ridiculed, beaten and cast into prison; but time after time they were delivered from wicked hands. Yes, Peter, and Paul at the end were put to death, but listen to what Paul had to say to Timothy, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7. So many examples of how men have been falsely accused of wrong doing, yet have been delivered by the hand of God.

But, there is no greater example of one being falsely accused of doing evil than Jesus Christ. First Peter 2:21-23 "... because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps; who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth; who, when he was reviled, reviled not again, when he suffered he threatened not; but committed himself to his [God] that judgeth righteously." Jesus, one who never sinned, yet took the punishment of all our sins. He was taken to Pilate and falsely accused. Luke 23:2 "And they began to accuse him, saying We found this fellow perverting the nation and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ's King."

Jesus once said to give unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. And we read in Matthew 26:59-61 and Mark 14: 55-58 how the priests found nothing but false witnesses at his trial. Stephen tells of these false witnesses in Acts 6:13-14 "And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law for we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us." Jesus did not destroy the law but fulfilled the law. False accusations is all any man can bring against Christ as an evildoer.

No sin has ever been found in him. The most perfect man who ever walked on this earth. He took the punishment as if he were guilty. What a perfect example Jesus Christ is to live our lives as we should. Let's pray for each other.

So, if such times come when you are being falsely accused for doing evil, do not be sad but rejoice. "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God rest upon you; on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part He is glorified." [First Peter 4: 14] God is with you, but most of all He is being praised. Is it not our main purpose in= life to praise and give glory to God? For myself, I would have to say. What other reason is there to live than to give praises unto God? "Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity." [Ecc. 1:2] So if to suffer as a Christian gives glory to God, then so be it. "Yet if any man suffer as a Christian; let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on his behalf."

[First Peter 4:16] Oh, I do not pray for such trials to come my way so, I may give glory to God. But when they come, let God be glorified.

But, what glory is there when we are righteously being accused as an evildoer? Peter asked this question in First Peter 2:20. He goes on to say in verse 15 of chapter 4, "But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters." A murderer who is accused as being a murderer, is righteously being accused. Same as a thief, an evildoer, and a busybody. We are to obey the laws of the land as long as they don't go against God's laws. And Jesus brought all of the laws of God into two commandments, to love God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself. If we can follow these commandments, then all they will ever have is false accusations.

There is no glory to God when we sin. And when others see us sinning, they now have the right to accuse us as evildoers. We can find an example of this in Second Samuel 12:14. Because of the sin of David with Bathsheba, Nathan says to David, "Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme..." Have we not seen this in our times? Those who claim to be men of God on TV and radio have been caught in the act of adultery or other such matters. They may not be Primitive Baptist, but in general by their actions have caused reasons to blaspheme God. But, we as Primitive Baptist are not perfect either, and we have at times been guilty of this as well. And, we being the true church of God, we should be more careful of what we do and say.

Oh, our sins may not be publicized as those on TV or radio, but how many times have our faults kept someone from joining the church? Giving them reasons not to join or not to come back.

Most of all we are the true church of God. God's enemies are watching. When we do wrong, they can point and say, evildoer. When we do as we should, what can they say? Nothing, but false accusations.

Who would want to falsely accuse us as evildoers? Is there anyone who actually hates us? Jesus said in John 15: 18-19, "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." The world wants us to be as they are, not as followers of Christ. The ways of God is not the ways of the world. John 17:14, "I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

If they hate God, they will hate us also. therefore they that persecuted and spoke evil of Jesus will do the same to us. Verse 21, "But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him [God] that sent me." They knew not of God as we do.

All through history we can read of ones who have been falsely accused. Many of these have been put into prisons or even to death. Will we stand for the truth today if such harsh persecutions some our way? I am sure most of us would give up our own lives and loved ones for the cause of Christ. But, to be put to death or cast into prison is not the only ways of being persecuted.

These two are physical persecutions, but what about mental persecution? For example, peer pressure. We want to be part of the "in" group. If you are like me, you don't want anyone to hate you. I want to be friends with everyone I meet. But, the price for friendship is sometimes too high for me. Jesus Christ is my best friend, and he sticketh closer than a brother. Any man that says I must put Jesus aside is no friend of mine.

If we follow Jesus the world will mock us. Have any of you been called weird, strange, or just plain stupid? What about being falsely accused as lawbreakers? Have we not seen in our own time one of our Elders being falsely accused of this? Has anyone been called a worshiper of the devil? I for one have because I profess to believe in salvation by grace. A man once told me that anyone who preaches salvation by grace is a servant of the devil and is out to deceive the child of God.

And here in Houston, Texas, there is a man [not a Primitive Baptist] who is writing a book on, why the Primitive Baptist doctrine is wrong. So far, he hasn't written that much and what he has written is junk.

There are many other types of persecution that can come our way, but when they come, what are we to do? First Peter 3: 14-15, "But and if ye suffer for righteousness sake, happy are ye; and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear." Colossians 4:6, "Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye say know how ye ought to answer every man."

Jesus says to fear not them that can kill the body and not the soul. But, we are to fear Him that is able to destroy both soul and body. We should profess our belief, not hide it in fear of what others might think or do. Be not ashamed to mention the name Jesus in public. If they do persecute you in any fashion, stand firm to your belief. Because God is with you and He will never forsake you. He knows of such times and will give you the grace to bear these tribulations. First John 3:13 "Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you."

There is coming a day when false accusations will end. God himself will say.."Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." But, until then my friends, give them nothing to accuse you of but false accusations.

In Christian Love, Paul Montgomery
Houston, Texas

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