SERVANTS' MINISTRY, Inc.
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THE REASON FOR PERSECUTION
Although persecution is meant to hurt and silence Christians, God uses it to accomplish His good purposes by the way it:
Persecution allows us to share in the sufferings of Christ.
1 Peter 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. (KJV) . . . Jesus was abused, tortured, suffered and died for us, and any time we are persecuted, our suffering is counted as His.
Persecution tests our loyalty. It proves our faithfulness to Him. Our loyalty to Christ is not found in what we say but in what we do when fiery trials come our way. That’s when we either stay true to God, or we compromise as we seek the world’s acceptance.
Persecution furthers the Gospel.
Philippians 1:12 But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; (KJV) . . . The Lord uses persecution to spread His message. Prison was the last place Paul expected to have an effective
ministry, but he not only had a captive audience with the guards who were chained to him, he also had enough time to write the books of Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians.
Persecution enables us to encourage others undergoing persecution.
When we have been mistreated and yet have experienced God’s help and strength to endure, we are able to encourage others who are presently walking that same road of suffering.
What the Lord did for them, He will do for us
Persecution demonstrates our loyalty to Christ.
If Jesus has first place in our lives, we will be willing to stick to a godly lifestyle even if it results in harassment and ridicule.
Persecution demonstrates our faith in God’s Word.
When we really believe the Bible, we will willingly suffer persecution knowing that God’s grace will be sufficient for every situation (2 Cor.12:9).
Persecution encourages us to anticipate a reward.
The Lord never forgets a single act of obedience or righteousness. In fact, He promises us a great reward in heaven (Mat.5:12), even for simple, kind acts towards someone in need.
The proper response to persecution
Man’s most natural reaction is to run from persecution, and sometimes that is exactly what we should do. When the apostle Paul experienced harsh treatment and could no longer be effective in ministry, he often moved on to the next city. His goal was to spread the message of Jesus to people who were willing to hear and respond, NOT to keep preaching to deaf ears, to those who refused to listen.
On the other hand, there were also times when Paul stayed in a city in the face of mistreatment. Jesus precisely predicted that His followers would be hated, yet they would stay and endure if it meant being true to Christ. Mat. 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. (KJV) . . . No matter how bad the opposition becomes, we have a Promise that NOTHING can separate us from the love of Christ, not even persecution. Romans 8:38-39 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (KJV)
When the Lord calls us to stand firm in a difficult situation, let us respond properly by:
#1. We must stand strong.
Eph. 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (KJV) . . .
Our strength to withstand persecution comes from the Lord. We stand strong in Him, based on everything He’s said in His Word.
#2. We must endure opposition.
This means we abide under the persecution.We hang in there and rely on God’s strength until He moves us out of the situation.
#3. We must love and pray for our enemies.
Mat. 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; (KJV) . . . This is a VERY difficult command. We are to pray, so that Jesus might be made known to our enemies through our responses to mistreatment. Unbelievers cannot understand why Christians exhibit strength, love, and forgiveness in the midst of ill treatment. Wherever the church has endured persecution, it has grown because people see how believers respond, and want that kind of life as well.
Some people react to persecution by stopping to talk about Jesus, for fear of offending someone. That is the WRONG way to go, in God’s eyes! We should unsettle them by courageously and clearly sharing the Truth because without Christ, they are on their way to everlasting separation from God. 2 Thes. 1:8-9 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; (KJV)
One day all the enjoyments and pursuits of ALL unbelievers will vanish, and they will have to stand before a holy, righteous God. It is our duty today to tell them about Jesus, for only Jesus can get them to Heaven (Jn.14:6; Acts 4:12). All we are to do is tell them about Jesus. We are not responsible for what they do after we tell them. Only God can save their souls, we cannot.
Jesus is the only One who can change their lives . . . both now and for all eternity. Rev.20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (KJV) . . . Unless your name is in the book of life, you will be condemned to an eternal Hell. See: http://www.hisservants.org/hell_h_s.htm
Anxieties, Hardships, Pain and Troubles,
Plague us in This Life on Earth
Trials in this Life on Earth
A Heart for God
Adversity, A Bridge to Paul
Adversity, A Bridge or a Burden
All People Are Called, Few Respond
Can I Win Over Drugs and Alcohol?
Causes of Hardships
Dealing With Anxiety
Describing a Heart For God
Faith, Different Stages
Faith, Progressing In
Follow God With Your Heart
God's Promises to the Persecuted
God Is Well Able
God of Promise
Hold Fast to the Bible
How to Maintain Hope In Adversity
Listening to God
Living Godly In An Ungodly World
Persecution of Christians
Reason For Persecution
Renewing of the Mind
Riches of God's Grace, A Treasure
Seeking God's Guidance
Seeking God, When He Cannot be Found
Seeking God, Today's Heresy
Seeking God, WHY Should I Seek God?
Temptation, God's Promise
Temptation, Guarding Against
Temptation, Preventing Backsliding
Temptation, Resisting Sin
Temptation, Responding To
Temptation, Satan's Goal
Testing the Faith
The Christian Life
Three Commands to the Wicked
Universalism and the World to Come
Waiting on God
Waiting on God, WHY Is It Wise?
Warnings in Romans Chapter 1