Blessed are the Persecuted


Matthew 5:10-12 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

 

We have seen a certain progression in the Beatitudes. It starts with humility before God, and mourning over our sins and shortcomings. These attitudes will begin to produce a meekness, a quiet strength that seeks to stand for God and His righteousness, which will, in turn, create a greater hunger for His righteousness to be fulfilled in us.

As we grow and mature into righteousness, it is critical that we have an attitude of mercy toward others when they stumble or have their own areas of weakness. Later, after the model prayer, Jesus emphasized that we must forgive others in order to receive God’s forgiveness (Matthew 6:14, 15).

As we walk in these things, we will become pure in heart and learn how to become peacemakers. In so doing, we become children of God in truth. In John 1:12 we are told that those who truly receive Christ and learn from Him have the right, the power and ability, to become children of God. In other words, we will develop the character of Christ Himself.

The final Beatitude is the blessing of being persecuted for our faith in Christ as demonstrated by righteousness. The world system is under Satan’s power, and hates true righteousness, and those who take a stand for God’s Truth (John 15:19; 1John 3:13).

There have been periods in various places where Christians have been able to live in relative peace. We in America have been blessed to have a fairly long period of little to no persecution. Gradually, though, this is coming to an end as more and more Americans pervert God’s truth to fit in with a God-hating world system, and as unbelievers actively rebel against God in greater measure. Other parts of the world that used to enjoy relative peace for Believers are even further in decline.

Don’t let false and weak-minded Christians sway you into choosing the path of least resistance, a path that leads to destruction. Keep pursuing God’s righteousness, even in the face of persecution. And I guarantee that – unless God grants America and other places repentance – that persecution is going to increase.

Baker’s and others being fined and/or put out of business for refusing to cater a gay wedding is only the beginning. The time is soon coming when we will be required to not preach about certain sins or face legal troubles – as is already true in other “free” countries. It won’t be long until it gets even worse than that, when employers will fire Christians simply because of their uncompromising faith, when more demon-possessed men such as the one who attacked the black church recently are given greater freedom by God to come against and test the faith of those who believe on Christ.

These things MUST TAKE PLACE (Matthew 24:6). Jesus warned us in the Olivet Discourse that the time would come, just before His second coming, when Believers would be hated in all the world for His Name’s sake.

We must stand firm for God’s righteousness in the midst of what is coming. But don’t worry about these things, for if our heart is truly to honor God then He will empower us and give us the strength we need to endure all things (Romans 8:35-36). We will be more than conquerors through Christ who gives us strength.

REJOICE and be exceedingly glad, if you are ever persecuted because you stand for righteousness; Those who do have a special and great reward awaiting them in heaven.

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