Christian Living Christian Topics Persecution

A Few Thoughts about Persecution

2 Timothy 3:12 NLT Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
We are taught first
B1 To live godly lives
C1 A life according to God’s standards
D1 Be holy, which is a life separated from the lifestyle and worldview of the nonbelievers. 1 Peter 1:15-16 NLT But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. 16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.
D2 Godly in thoughts, desires, words, and deeds
E1 Thoughts Proverbs 23:7 NASB77 For as he thinks within himself, so he is. He says to you, “Eat and drink!” But his heart is not with you.
E2 Desires Proverbs 11:6 NIV The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires.
E3 Words Psalms 10:4-7 NLT The wicked are too proud to seek God. They seem to think that God is dead. 5 Yet they succeed in everything they do. They do not see your punishment awaiting them. They sneer at all their enemies. 6 They think, “Nothing bad will ever happen to us! We will be free of trouble forever!” 7 Their mouths are full of cursing, lies, and threats. Trouble and evil are on the tips of their tongues.
E4 Deeds
F1 Proverbs 17:11 NIV Evildoers foster rebellion against God; the messenger of death will be sent against them.
F2 Matthew 7:23 NIV Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!
F3 2 Timothy 3:13 NIV while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
E5 All of the above 1 Peter 2:1 Williams So once for all get rid of all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all sorts of slander.
D3 Obeying, with God’s help and grace, the rules of the New Testament. See for example Ephesians 5:1-20.
C2 The benefit of living a godly life
D1 Discern the will of God. See Romans 12:1-2.
D2 We will display the fruit of the Holy Spirit. See Galatians 5:22-23.
D3 We will glorify God. See Matthew 5:16.
D4 We will be a witness to the Gospel. See 1 Corinthians 14:25.
D5 We will live happier and more peaceful lives.
D6 Others will benefit from our life.
B2 Two religions
C1 The religion of Yahweh, who is God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Christianity and its beliefs are detailed in the New Testament of the Bible. The Old Testament was regulations and laws for a nation, not the church.
C2 Any other belief system. These other belief systems are labeled with many different names. Nevertheless, the source of all in satan, for many of their rituals, etc. are the same or similar.
D1 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 WEL If our Good News is hidden, it is hidden to those who are lost, 4 In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers, lest the light of the glorious Good News about Christ—who is the image of God—should shine on them.
D2 Acts 13:8-10 WEL Elymas, the sorcerer (that’s what his translated name means), resisted us trying to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9 Then Saul (also called Paul) filled with the Holy Spirit looked intently at him 10 And said, “O you who is full of deceit and recklessly evil, you child of the Devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?
Why persecution?
B1 Those who do not or will not believe and trust in the Lord Jesus alone for salvation, either ignore or are actively antagonistic to believers. See John 7:7, John 15:18, and 1 John 3:13.
B2 People love darkness, which is evil from the Father of evil to thoughts, desires, words, and deeds. See John 3:19. Compare Colossians 1:13 and Acts 26:18.
B3 Envy. See Matthew 27:18.
B4 Hate of God’s ways and His people. See 1 John 3:12 and John 7:7.
B1 Dr Henry Morris points out in this devotional a number of steps people use to persecute believers.
B2 “Compromising infiltration”
B3 “Political and sociological means”
B4 “Discouragement by ridicule”
B5 “Threat of violence”
B6 “Attempted treachery”
B7 I might add torment, assault, and murder.
How to respond
B1 Brings endurance. See Romans 5:3-4 and James 1:3.
B2 Prunes the fakes. Compare Matthew 24:9-10.
B3 Gives opportunity to show Christian love. See Matthew 5:44 and Romans 12:20.
B4 Allows us to rejoice. See Matthew 5:12 and 1 Peter 4:13.
B5 Allows us to glorify God. See 1 Peter 4:16.
B6 Allows us an opportunity to pray for our enemies. See Matthew 5:24.
B7 We entrust out souls to our Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ. See 1 Peter 4:19.
C1 From the Biblical Illustrator on 1 Peter 4:19. The privileges of being a Christian.
1. A Christian is justified from the guilt and condemnation of sin.
2. A Christian possesses friendship and constant inter course with God.
3. A Christian possesses the certainty of victory over death.
4. A Christian has the prospect of perfect and immortal happiness and glory. (J. Parsons.)
C2 From the same source as C1.
Glorify God on this behalf.
The pious sufferer exhorted to glorify God
I. What is implied in suffering as a Christian.
1. To suffer in the character of a Christian. Where piety has its seat in the heart it will appear in the life, to be seen and identified by all (Matthew 5:13-16).
2. To suffer for discharging the duties of a Christian. Christianity frees its possessors from the slavery of custom; they are governed by the high principles of religion.
3. To suffer in the spirit of a Christian (Luke 21:19).
II. Why characters who thus suffer should not be ashamed.
1. Because they suffer innocently.
2. They suffer in a good cause.
3. They suffer from the purest motive.
4. They suffer for a blessed Master.
5. They suffer in imitation of the brightest examples.
III. Their duty under suffering circumstances, viz., to “glorify God on this behalf.”
1. Devoutly acknowledging Him and His gifts (1 Chronicles 29:11-12; confessing Him “worthy to receive honor, glory, might, and majesty” (Revelation 4:11). The very circumstance of their suffering should prompt them to this.
2. By firmness in the day of trial. Let nothing shake their firmness (1 Corinthians 15:58); but imitate the example of the disciples, who continued with their Lord in His temptations (Luke 22:28-29).
3. By a faithful and patient endurance of suffering.
IV. To this act of glorifying God, they are encouraged from-
1. The declarations and promises He has made. These are many, great, and various (Isaiah 41:10; Isaiah 43:1; Isaiah 34:2; I Isaiah 54:17; Matthew 10:32; James 1:12; Revelation 2:10; Revelation 22:7).
2. The honor it will confer upon them.
1. Let us examine our experience by this test.
2. Let us encourage ourselves in the Lord.
3. Let us pray for our persecutors. (Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons.)
We need to
B1 Train ourselves to be godly. The instructions are in the New Testament (Titus 1:1NLT). The grace is from the Holy Spirit. The action is from us. 1 Timothy 4:7 NLT Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly.
B2 We are to pursue righteousness and a godly life. 1 Timothy 6:3, 11 NLT Some people may contradict our teaching, but these are the wholesome teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. These teachings promote a godly life. … 11 But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.
B3 Remember that God knows how to rescue us. 2 Peter 2:9 NLT So you see, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials, even while keeping the wicked under punishment until the day of final judgment.

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