“The Persecuted Christian”
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
…If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. John 15:18, 19, 20b
Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Matthew 10:38
PERSECUTION: To cause CONTINUAL pain or suffering. To annoy constantly.
Throughout history, mankind has been PERSECUTED for their faith. They have been shamed, humiliated, had their children ripped from their arms and fed to hungry, beasts, while they are made to watch. They have been TORMENTED, TORTURED, THROWN into PRISONS. They have been BEATEN, STONED, BEHEADED, CRUCIFIED, Their wives and daughters have been BEATEN, RAPED, SODOMIZED, and KILLED. All because they were BELIEVERS in JESUS CHRIST.
We, here in the United States have NOT been subjected to too much of the intense persecution, I would imagine that the incident at Columbine High School, and a few beheadings here and there are about as brutal as we have had it here, speaking of PHYSICAL PAIN and SUFFERING. So we can be THANKFUL that we haven’t been INTENSELY PERSECUTED, like some around the word have been. However, when I think of the PERSECUTION that comes against God’s Children, I ask: “Why?” For the most part, Christians are GOOD people, peace-loving, honest, dignified, compassionate, loving, faithful, people of Faith. So why are they so BRUTALLY PERSECUTED? Well, Jesus tells us in the Gospel of John, the fifteenth chapter.
He says: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” It is because of our RELATIONSHIP with Christ Jesus that we are PERSECUTED. The closer we walk to Him, the more we are PERSECUTED. Satan is like a ROARING LION SEEKING WHOM HE MAY DEVOUR. He wants to make God’s people SUFFER or DENY their RELATIONSHIP with Him.
Jesus went on to say: “If they PERSECUTED Me, they will PERSECUTE you also.” He warns us to be ready, it’s coming. Do you have a RELATIONSHIP with God? If so, are you SPIRITUALLY STRONG enough to face the type of INTENSE PERSECUTION that the early church faced?
Jesus says: “Whoever does not take up their CROSS and FOLLOW me is NOT worthy of me.” If we aren’t willing to face INTENSE PERSECUTION for Christ, even to losing our life, then we are NOT WORTHY of Him. We are NOT WORTHY of SPENDING an ETERNITY with Him and God in Heaven. If you have NOT given your HEART and LIFE to God then you will NOT spend ETERNITY in Heaven, but will be spending it in HELL, the place of UNENDING, TORMENT, TORTURE, PAIN, HEARTACHE, AGONY and DESPAIR, with NO WAY OF ESCAPE. But God in His INFINITE MERCY and AMAZING GRACE is giving you the opportunity NOW, to come to Him with a TRUE REPENTANT HEART, CONFESSING your sins to Him and asking Him for His FORGIVENESS, BELIEVING, with ALL your HEART, that Jesus died for YOU, and is ALIVE in Heaven, making intercession for you, before God, then ACCEPT His gift of SALVATION, and be WILLING to take up your CROSS and FOLLOW HIM. Do it NOW while you still can. He waiting and coming SOON!!!