Summary: A sermon examining how to keep on when trouble comes your way.
Perseverance In The Midst Of Persecution
Kayla Mueller was a young woman who traveled to Turkey in 2012 to assist Syrian refugees. After some time she entered Syria with her boyfriend and was captured by ISIS. She was forced into marriage to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Following this she was enslaved, raped and tortured for many months. Through all she endured, Kayla Mueller consistently refused to deny her faith in Christ. In February 2015 Kayla was killed while in captivity. Her testimony of steadfast faith and perseverance in the midst of horrific circumstances serves as an example to others. She is not the only one... there are multitudes of Christians all over the world who are willfully facing extreme persecution as a result of their Christian faith.
We often take for granted just how blessed we are here in America. It is true that our religious liberties are increasingly under attack but we have it much easier than most of our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world.
It is a fact that if you attempt to live for Christ persecution will come. Our adversary will attack those who seek to be productive for Christ.
When we (as a church) seek to move forward for God... when we attempt to have an impact outside of these walls, you can rest assured...trouble is coming!
Satan will use every resource at his disposal to stop you from living a godly life. Paul tells us in - 2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. - The way I read this verse it seems that persecution is a guarantee for those who seek to be faithful to their Master. If that is the case (and it is) then we must be ready to persevere in the midst of that persecution.
Perseverance is defined as "steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success".
Paul told Timothy to "endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ." (2 Timothy 2:3) Enduring hardness refers to facing hardship, suffering affiliation and enduring trouble. As followers of Christ, we WILL encounter troubles that will test our faith. It is important that we are ready and determined to move forward in the face of oppression and difficulty.
In Acts chapter 4, some of the Lord's Apostles found themselves facing a time of persecution because of their work for Jesus. We can learn a great deal from how they responded to the persecution they encountered. I would like to walk through this passage and preach on the subject "Perseverance In The Midst Of Persecution.
In Acts 3:1-11 Peter and John encountered a lame beggar at the temple gate. The man asked them for some money. Peter told the man that he had no silver and gold to give him. But what Peter had was far better, he looked at this man and said "in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk. The man's legs received strength and he began "walking and leaping and praising God". - After this, all who were present were astonished. A vast crowd gathered together at Solomon's porch. Peter seized the opportunity to preach repentance and salvation through Christ to these people and as a result many of them came to faith in Christ (Acts 4:4) As we arrive at Chapter 4 trouble arises for the Apostles.