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God's Gift of Persecution: How Persecution of Christians Works For the Kingdom of Heaven

 

Expect Persecution. Accept it as a gift from God. Blessed is everyone who is persecuted. Everyone who is righteous is persecuted. Woe to those who are not persecuted for their righteousness.

Never be persecuted because you are doing wrong or because you are being a jerk. You probably know a Christian who is obnoxious. There is no goodness in suffering for doing wrong. But the ungodly will try to control you, and they will be angry that you don't go drinking with them, you don't say that sex outside of marriage is OK, you don't say that abortion is OK, you don't say that stealing is OK, you don't say that covetousness (Socialism) is OK, and many other things where God is doing His righteousness through you. When they are mean to you, you respond in love. They won't understand this. They can't understand this.

2 Timothy 3:12-13 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

John 15:17 These things I command you, that ye love one another. 18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things will they do to you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.

Matthew 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. 13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. 14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light to all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Luke 6:21-31 Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers to the prophets. But woe to you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. Woe to you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe to you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep. Woe to you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. But I say to you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And to him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

  • Think of the power of ridicule. This is how the Atheists have pushed Evolutionism into all the schools and into half of the Churches.
  • Condescension, how effective it is! This is Satan's tool. Christians are not to use it. It is not to be used to try to spread the Gospel.
  • Logic and Observation versus ridicule: Ridicule is the tool to take power over you and control you.

Logic and observation are the tools to help you rationalize your compromises and your denial of Christ. When logic and observation are applied to what cannot be observed or understood without revelation, they are rationalized. Keep in mind that rationalization is a form of insanity. Rationalization is a method to avoid reality. The failure to deal effectively with reality is insanity.

So how should a Christian respond to ridicule? Respond to ridicule and condescension with love and confidence.
This is the correct way to respond to ridicule and all suffering:
Your flesh, the stony ground in your heart, will tell you a lie about your feelings and your suffering and the opinions of others:

  • Think about it. What are the lies?
  • It will respond by telling you to lash out at God or God's creation.
  • At the same time, God speaks. Listen to God and make not provision for the flesh. (some caveats about hearing God's Voice)

When God speaks, faith comes (Romans 10:17). Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Literally, hearing by an utterance of God. God speaks. You hear. God places His supernatural belief, called faith, into your heart. It is a miracle. This is God's own faith in your heart.

When faith comes, it gives you access to God's grace (Romans 5:2). Let the grace, free gift, of the Holy Spirit flow through you.

Let grace do the work in you. (1Corinthians 15:10, Ephesians 2:10)

Yield yourself to His grace, His Holy Spirit (Romans 6:12-22). Instead of anger, the Holy Spirit will respond with the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, meekness, faith, and the strength of God. You will bless and not curse. You will flow in the anointing rather than the emotion of the flesh. You will not engage in any destructive activity. You will comfort, encourage, and build up.
As God does His works through you, His free gift of righteousness is working in you. (Galatians 5:5, Romans 5:17, Romans 10:3)
Powerful seeds of God are sown into your heart. The stony places are broken up. The stones are pulverized. God would not use suffering if there were another way to break up the stony ground. He hates to see us suffer. (1 Peter 1:22, Romans 6:19 & 22, Ephesians 4:20-24, Galatians 6:8)

1 Peter 1:6 & 7 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found to praise and honour and glory at the appearing [Apokalupsis: removal of a covering or veil] of Jesus Christ
1 Peter 4:1, Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
(ALT) Therefore, Christ having suffered [or, since Christ suffered] on our behalf in [the] flesh, _you*_ also arm yourselves with the same mind [or, attitude], because the one having suffered in [the] flesh has ceased from sin,
1 Peter 4:12-13 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed [Apokalupsis: removal of a covering or veil], ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
[Paul, speaking of himself] Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church: Colossians 1:24
When you endure trials and suffering such as stress, betrayal, tragedy, disappointment, criticism, contempt, malice, rebukes, disrespect, disobedience, dismissal, tantrums, mind games, and such, and you respond correctly, you will be sanctified. This is what is meant by God's illustration of the refiner's fire (Zechariah 13:9, Haggai 2:7-9, Malachi 3:1-3, 1 Peter 1:6-7, Isaiah 48:10-11). Many of the most evil seeds sown into the heart are the direct result of responding to a trial in the flesh. We need the Holy Spirit especially during a trial, but we tend to turn to the flesh for help. We need the ministry of the Church during trials, and we ignore the ministry that comes from the elders at our peril. This is part of the assembling together of the Body of Christ. Trials are brought into the life of the Christian to cause growth (1 Peter 4:12-13).
1 Corinthians 3:11-15 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Education Has Become One Of The Most Anti-Christ Elements Of Society.
Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

Some may still ask: "How Can A Loving God Allow Pain And Suffering? God Uses Suffering." While there is a lot we cannot know about God, there is a lot that we can know. We can know what God reveals about Himself. Consider the following points:

  • God does not have any joy in seeing any person suffer.
  • God is absolutely just, and there will be no suffering in vain. Every person will see, in the end, that everything is fair, just, and right.
  • All suffering has a part in working out God's ultimate plan. Not even a sparrow falls to the ground that God doesn't know about. Every hair on your head is numbered. There will be a day when we understand, as God does, the purpose for every bit of suffering and sorrow of every person.
  • In the light of the glory that shall be revealed in the faithful, all the sufferings of the present are insignificant.
  • In the light of Hell, all the pleasures of sin are insignificant.
  • It is part of the human condition that humans want to assume that anything they don't personally understand must make no sense or that it must not be true. This, however, is only an illusion. The natural mind is totally rebellious against God and cannot understand spiritual things. If you or I think we can analyze these types of things or come to an understanding by intellectualizing them, we are just stuck in our own prideful fantasy.
  • God understands the entire situation and is ultimately in control.
  • If there were no sin on earth, there would be no suffering.
  • If there were no sin on earth, there would be no death.
  • When Adam sinned, that put Satan in charge on a temporary and limited basis. Yes, Satan is real. God will even use Satan to bring about His ultimate plan.
  • God has a plan by which He will turn all of this around. That plan is being executed by God through a remnant who are learning to be obedient to the Spirit of God.
  • God's heart breaks for people with pain and suffering.
  • God has disappointment with us and is saddened by our rejection of Him.
  • Much of the suffering is a reward for not loving and obeying God, or not worshiping and respecting God, or not believing God, or not receiving God's free gifts.
  • Some suffering is for other purposes, such as tempering the faith of the faithful, or bringing those who have been born to maturity, or filling up the cup of iniquity of those who cause suffering, or for purposes we may not fully understand yet.
  • God would have all to be saved.
  • As in Adam all die, so in Christ, shall all be made alive.
  • Beyond all of this, God does not look at things the way that we do. He understands what is going on, while we only see from our limited viewpoint. He sees the end from the beginning. God knows exactly what He is going to do and how He is going to do it.

 



Author/Compiler
Last updated: Dec, 2011
 
 




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