2 Timothy 3:12 “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”
Is it your desire to live godly in Christ Jesus?Do you suffer persecution? How you answer the first question will determine your answer to the second. If we are faithful Christians we will have persecution.
More and more we are hearing about Christians being persecuted, tortured and killed around the world. We have all experienced the ridicule, mockery, snubs; been called names, been treated unkindly or differently than others because we are Christians.
Just as the world hated Christ, so it hates His followers. Jesus was not put on a cross because of anything He had done wrong. None of us should be surprised when we are persecuted.
Luke 9:23 “Then He said to them all, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.’”
This is a great challenge of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ but we have this promise from the Psalms.
Psalms 34:19 “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.”
We should not let persecution keep us from doing what is right but trust the Lord! As we sing, “He is able to deliver me!” Jesus was not left in the tomb but raised again to live forever! And, so shall we!
Acts 14:22 “…strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.’”
Yes, the road to heaven is difficult. That’s why we need the strength and encouragement of the church to help sustain us through the trials we will face. That’s why the Hebrew writer encourages us not to abandon the church (Hebrews 10:24-25).
If you have done so, come back to God and His church. And, if you are not a Christian, come to Jesus so He can add you to His church (Acts 2:36-41, 47).
Though the persecution of Christians by the world is difficult, the burden of the sin of the world is much worse. Compared to the heavy burden of the sinner, the burden of the Christian is light. To those suffering the heartache, misery and condemnation of sin, Jesus invites you to come to Him for rest (Matthew 11:28-30).
Robert Dodson is the Preaching Minister for the Northwest Church of Christ.
6059 Azle Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76135