Topics: blessing, persecution, faith
I. Doubly blessed for the right kind of persecution
* We can expect ridicule and persecution because of:
1. The life we live!
- "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:10).
- Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12; see also Luke 6:26).
- Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name (1 Peter 4:12-16).
2. The Lord we love!
- "Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me" (Matthew 5:11).
- "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me" (John 15:18-21).
II. Be a blessing with a right attitude in persecution
* We can rejoice and be glad with persecution because:
- It confirms our true identity (Acts 5:41).
- It refines our Christian character (Romans 5:3-5).
- It brings eternal rewards in heaven (Hebrews 11:24-26).
- It draws us closer to our Lord (Daniel 3:25).
Sermon by Pastor Rod Akins October 24th, 2021