As you think about Christians being persecuted, the thought may cross your mind, "Will I be persecuted?
The short answer – “Only if you’re righteous…..”
The context of this teaching on the “Beatitudes” implies that if you are successful in applying the first seven of these Kingdom qualities, the evidence will be the eighth – you WILL be persecuted!
“You will be hated by all for my name's sake… “ Matthew 10:22
“Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.” John 15:20
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
The Apostle Paul later wrote:
“For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake… “ Philippians 1:29
“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted… “ 2 Timothy 3:12
‘Remember the words I spoke to you: ’No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” John 15:20
“Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you, and insult you, and reject your name as evil, because of the son of man”. Luke 6:22
“Every faithful believer will have some resistance and ridicule from the world, while others, for God’s own purposes, will endure extreme suffering” - John MacArthur
It’s a certainty, some of you here today in this room will face life threatening persecution.
Are you ready?
Several common forms Of Persecution:
1) Economic Persecution
Prophecies tell of a time when only those who take the mark of the beast will be able to buy or sell. We are seeing the beginnings of that with the some the Government mandates being handed down.
We will see Christians being passed over for job promotions or discriminated against in hiring because of their faith.
2) Social Persecution
Christians will be hated, ostracized and marginalized because of their opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage.
3) Family Persecution
Traditional marriage and parenting will come under increasing pressure as schools and government seek to gain more influence and control over their children.
4) Religious Persecution
We have already seen the beginning of religious persecution when the Catholic Church was required to provide birth control for its employees even against their moral and religious beliefs.
I believe we will soon see tax exemptions taken away for contributions to local churches and churches losing their property tax exemptions.
We will see the government continue to apply pressure over what pastors preach from the pulpit.
There will be state and federal discrimination laws making it illegal for pastors to refuse to marry same-sex couples.
Over my lifetime I have seen the Government systematically try to assume the role of God and to politicize religion and morality. That does not bode well for evangelical conservatives who believe in a big God and a small government.
5) Political Persecution
We will see continued efforts to increase the size and scope of the Federal Government. As the Government gets larger, the private sector shrinks and individual liberties erode.
We are seeing a determined strategy to eliminate opposition parties such as Republicans and Independent Tea Party types. There is strong evidence to suggest that conservative Tea Party organizations were intentionally targeted by the IRS and denied tax-exempt status that could have negatively impacted their chances in the 2012 elections.
The persecution of righteous believers will continue to increase. While it will take different forms, expect it to become increasingly stronger and more threatening.
God's Word clearly warns us it will happen. Why should you expect it won't happen and why wouldn't you be preparing yourself and your family to face persecution?