Q. I recently heard a sermon where the pastor said we have to go through the refiner’s fire for God to grow us in faith. I’m having a problem with this, can you explain to me whether or not this is right? Thank you so very much for your ministry. It has helped me a great deal.
God bless you.
A. The phrase refiner’s fire is from the Old Testament in Malachi 3:2-4 and refers to Israel going through the Great Tribulation. It is not meant for the church. We are promised to be rescued from the time and place of the end time’s judgments. (1 Thess 1:10)
In John 16:33 Jesus said we will have trouble in this world, but to take heart because He has overcome the world.
So in the sense that enduring hardships in life can help our faith to grow, the pastor is correct. But the phrase refiner’s fire does not appear in the New Testament regarding the church. In other words, we won’t face anything like the Great Tribulation.