Summary: A sermon of hope for persons who are going through persecutions, trials, temptations, testings and tribulations.
Brethrens: to believe, now that one is in Christ, that one will not have problems in life: persecutions, trials, temptation, tribulation, testing, may be understandable-but that is naivety and ignorance. We need to add to our faith knowledge-[2 Peter 1:5-8]
To believe because you are the Pastor /Preacher/Worship Leader that you will not have persecution, trials temptation or tribulation, is a lie from Satan himself. I have seen preachers/Pastors buckle under persecution and I‘ve seen female worship leaders gave way to temptations, some get swell-headed while other get swell (belly)which forces them to become parents out of marriage. It is not a good thing. It hurts. It stinks. It’s hard, but it is not surprising because the word of God tells us in [Ecclesiastes 1:9-[That which hath been is that which shall be; and that which hath been done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.] Therefore persecution, temptation, trials, and tribulation that many of us are going through right now, are nothing new.
PERSECUTION: A Definition
The word Persecution, is derived from a Greek word signifying to pursue, and generally implies pursuing a person for the sake of his goodness, or God’s good-will to him.
The FIRST kind of it, is that of the HEART. We have an early example of this in Genesis 4:8 when Cain, who, because the Lord had respect to Abel and his offering, and not to him and his offering, was very wroth, his countenance fell, and at length he cruelly slew his envied brother. Thus the Pharisees hated and persecuted our Lord long before they laid hold on him: and our Lord mentions being inwardly hated of men, as one kind of Persecution his disciples were to undergo. This heart-enmity (if I may so term it) is the root of all other kinds of Persecution, and is, in some degree or other, to be found in the soul of every unregenerate man;
SECOND degree of Persecution is that of the tongue; [Matthew 12:34] “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh." in God’s account, evil-speaking is a high degree of Persecution. Thus Ishmael’s mocking Isaac in [Genesis 21:8], is termed persecuting him. [Galatians 4:29]
THIRD and LAST kind of Persecution is that which expresses itself in ACTIONS: "Blessed are ye, (says our Lord) when they shall separate you from their company:" or expose them to church-censures. "They shall put you out of their synagogues;" threatening and prohibiting them from making an open profession of his religion or worship; or interdicting ministers for preaching his word, as the high-priests threatened the apostles, and "forbad them any more to speak in the name of Jesus;" and Paul breathed out threatening and slaughters against the disciples of the Lord: or when they call them into courts; "You shall be called before governors," says our Lord: or when they fine, imprison, or punish them, by confiscation of goods, cruel scourging, and, lastly, death itself.
2 Corinthians 4:9 Persecution Will Come
In [Mark 4:1-17] Jesus gave the parable of the Sower .He spoke about some persons receiving the word of God, but because the word was not rooted in their life-they were not grounded in their faith, a little pressure/persecution and they quickly disappear.
In today’ language, this means that they don’t fellowship any more, they low key, and often when you see them they bend their heads down; making excuses etc. We could even say that persecution could drive you to backslide or (go back)!
Persecution is common to every Christian [2 Tim 3:12]
Brethrens: Persecution is the common lot of every godly man! They that lived Godly shall suffers persecution- [2 Tim 3:12] as we go forth in faith to do the work of the Lord, people will persecute us. They will call us names and try to make us feel like “drakes”. They may threaten to kill us and make false accusations against us-but I want to let you know this morning that if we are going through such-the Bible called us blessed.
“Blessed are they that have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”; “Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil for my sake” [Mat_5:10, Mat_5:11]
Yet Persecutions are like cell phones today. They come in many different colours, shapes, sizes and features. Pink, Green, Black ,Razor, Nokia, Sony-Erickson, dual band ,tri-band, quad band, fancy tone, classic tone, music tone etc. In the same way, brethrens, from false accusations to the infliction of death, the children of God are facing persecution today. I receive emails reports almost every day-about how many churches are burnt, how many Christians are killed, how the government of certain countries are cracking down on Christians.