Summary: When we face persecution and rejection for our life in Christ, we can take courage in the fact that one day, we will find out that it was worth it all and much more.
We can take courage in the fact that one day, all those who ridicule and persecute us for our faith, if they do not repent, will have to face God. We need to be telling others about Him so they can avoid this encounter.
o Some can take more than others
o We all respond differently.
o Some blow up right away
o Some get frustrated
o Still others are calm and cool and can take
whatever life throws at them
What about the pressure of your life as a Christian?
How do you deal with people who give you a hard time for your faith?
When was the last time someone ridiculed you for your belief in Christ and His Word?
How does it make you feel?
Persecution is a must for the believer
We live with the idea that we can exist in our Christian faith without being noticed
The truth is that we have not truly lived our faith until the fire and pressure of scorn and persecution have been applied to us. It proves what we are really made of and how deep we are. Here is the test. Do we fold under the pressure or withstand the onslaught.
David here is feeling the pressure
When we obey God and live Christ openly, we will experience persecution and the glorious promise of rescue and comfort.
Here are five notable facts about living our faith that we should take to heart.
1. We ought to be persecuted
A. Matthew 5:11-12 – 11“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
B. John 15:18-20a - 18“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19“If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. 20“Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; . . .
C. Persecution should be a part of our lives just as much as life itself.
D. People aren’t persecuted for doing wrong but for doing right.
E. Albert Barnes, a minister of the early 19th century said this, “It has become a settled principle that nothing which is good and true can be destroyed by persecution, but that the effect ultimately is to establish more firmly, and to spread more widely, that which it was designed to overthrow. It has long since passed into a proverb that ‘the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church,’”
F. If we are not being persecuted in some way we are not a good representative of the kingdom.
G. Persecution comes in many forms:
i. Verbal abuse
ii. Physical abuse
iii. Character assassination
iv. Being ostracized
H. Luke 12:51-53 - 51“Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; 52for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. 53“They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
2. We will be wearied by persecution – 7:1-2
A. This is why God is our salvation
B. This is why God is our refuge
C. The illustration of a lion
i. Hunger and instinct drive him to kill
ii. No remorse and no regret
iii. This is the nature of the beast
D. We will become weary
E. Don’t try to be some supernatural superhero, you can’t do
F. In Christ alone you have strength
G. Isaiah 40:29-31 - 29He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. 30Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, 31Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.
H. The promise that only God can sustain and give strength to cope
I. Matthew 11:28 - Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
3. We better be persecuted for the right reason – 7:3-5
A. Fear of being unjust
B. Betraying friendships
C. Creating enemies for selfish reasons (plundered him who without cause was my enemy – v.4)