Summary: How am I being affected by persecution? This is one blessing we want to do without
Matthew 5:10 (AV)
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- One of biggest problems for the American church today is that it has never really made up its mind to follow Jesus Christ.
Example Lot’s wife:
Genesis 19:15–16 (AV)
15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.
16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.
Genesis 19:22 (AV)
Haste thee, escape thither…..
Genesis 19:24 (AV)
24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;
Genesis 19:26 (AV)
26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
Luke 17:31–35 (AV)
31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.
32 Remember Lot’s wife.
33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.
We hear somewhere else:
- Churches burned, Christians killed, believers fired from jobs, church members imprisoned, leaders slain.
- Christians killed for their faith around the world doubled in 2013 from the year before
- It is estimated that currently over 200 million Christians are being persecuted worldwide
- It is believed that Christians today are the most persecuted group in the world.
- How am I being affected by persecution?
- This is one blessing we want to do without
1. This is the last beatitude.
2. It is the longest beatitude (three verses).
3. It is the only beatitude that is repeated twice
4. It is the only beatitude addressed directly to the reader. (Not “the/they” now “ye/your/you”)
5. It is the only beatitude with a command
6. It is the only beatitude with an explanation (v.12)
7. Key Word for all 3 ver. “Persecution”
- The 8th beatitude is the result of the 1st seven
- When we begin to live the way God wants us to live we find pain & suffering
- Extremely bad treatment of someone, especially because of their race, religion, or political beliefs
- Thesaurus (Harassment, Torment, Torture
- A stand has been taken
Romans 7:14–25 (NIV)
14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.
17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.
18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.
19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.
20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.
22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law;
23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.
24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?
25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
- Paul wants the good and does the evil.
- He delights in the law of God, but this does not produce holiness
- Two natures are at war with different desires and activities
- It’s the battle within
- What you believe will direct what you do
- You may say you believe one thing
- My actions give evidence what I really believe