Summary: As a Christian you were promised many things, and one of these was persecution. You may have been persecuted because of your Christianity, and I have some bad news. It is not going to get any better. These are the last days, and the Bible tells us that
Persecution of the Godly
by Jeff Cox
I. As a Christian you were promised many things, and one of these was persecution. You may have been persecuted because of your Christianity, and I have some bad news. It is not going to get any better. These are the last days, and the Bible tells us that we will be hated because of him.
A. 2 Timothy 3:12 “All who life Godly in Jesus Christ will be persecuted.”
B. Matt 24:3, 9 3 “As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age? 9 Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.”
1. A lot of Christians are struggling today because they have found out that their faith has caused them to lose their friends, jobs, clubs, social life, and many times family members.
a. Don’t be surprised if struggles find you once you make your commitment to Christ. 1 Peter 4:12 “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you;”
b. Luke 17:37 “And He said to them, ‘Where the body is, there also the vultures will be gathered.’" If you are a part of the body, vultures will find you, and you will be persecuted.
2. You have not been promised an easier life once you get saved; actually, it is the opposite. Once you have been born again, the devil will turn up the heat of persecution on you, seeing if you will give up.
C. Jesus was hated.
1. Isaiah 53:3 He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him
2. John 15:18,19 20 "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. 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; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.
II. How can the church be a pillar of the community if the world hates it?
A. If you are highly esteemed by the world, you are an abomination to God
1. Luke 16:15 “And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.” Basically, you won’t be popular—and if you are, then something is wrong!
2. We are only visitors and strangers here.
a. John 15:19 “but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world.”
b. 1 Chron 29:15 states that we “are sojourners and only here for a little while.”
c. Since we are only visiting, we should not get involved in all the ways and events of the world. We are here to glorify God, convert others to Christianity, and leave as overcomers.
B. The church can’t be an important part of the community. How can it if it is hated? How can a Christian run for office if he is hated? He wouldn’t get a vote!
C. Was Jesus a pillar of the community? Was he a respected public figure?
1. He was hated and feared. You will be too.
a. John 7:7 "The world cannot hate you, but (except) it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil.”
b. You make the world look at itself and not like what it sees. Compared to you, they are imperfect and dirty, so they hate how you make them feel.
c. The world will make things hard for you. They will resist you, and will reward their own, while they keep you down.
11. Amos 7: 10 “Then Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent word to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, "Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel; the land is unable to endure all his words.”
III. Eph 6:13 “… and having done everything, to stand firm.” Are you standing firm in the midst of adversity and persecution?
A. Did Jesus fight back?
1. John 8:59 “Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple.” Sometimes you just have to get out of the situation.