To follow Christ will mean Persecution
The followers of Christ have always been persecuted throughout history. The fact is that it will always be a part of a true believers walk until his return. Today, the persecution of believers may not be as obvious. In western society, it is more spiritual than physical in nature, but nonetheless, it effects the body of Christ.
The largest persecutor of true believers are the religious “church” members who desire to be accepted among men. Their pride has been well established in their traditions that manifest in their complacent, rich and socially oriented religious institutions. Anything that threatens their watered down “gospel” is considered divisive an unloving, which makes the bearer of truth the adversary.
Many are afraid of jeopardizing their status among their peers, not wanting to bring offense to maintain their lofty positions that they desire.
Many fail to realize that being a follower of Christ and persecution are synonymous with each other.
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. – John 15:18-19
Most professing “Christians” are in love with the world. They continue to hang on to their man-made traditions choosing to take the side of Satan. The modern “church” does not want the truth and will persecute any individual that gets in the way of their counterfeit agenda.
They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. – John 16:2
Many believe they are offering a service to God, but they are doing the opposite. When they are confronted because of their rebellion and disobedience to God, they turn the tables around on the messenger of truth.
Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. – 2 Timothy 3:12-13
Do you suffer persecution?
Following Christ will repel the religious “church” attenders because their truth is a sword. It will cause many negative demonic manifestations because it is a confronter of people’s egos. There will always be hostility towards those who oppose the systems of the world.
God does not want His followers to hide and try to avoid persecution, but learn to be confrontational. If we don’t, we will keep others from hearing the truth and deter them from coming to salvation. God does His work through us as we boldly share the Gospel to the world, which includes all modern “churches.” People need to know that we are representatives of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, not of the buildings called “churches.”
The clergy of the modern “church” in their man-made temples believe they represent God, but they are far removed from Him because they have always persecuted the true believer. They want to preserve their ambitious titles as “captains” over the people.
And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. – Acts 4:1
The religious leaders became angered, provoked and annoyed at Peter and John. They were the ones speaking truth and did not need to have professional certificates or high ranking titles to do so. The pompous religious leaders believed that they were the only ones who were qualified to teach. Today, it is no different, the salaried-to-serve despise those who preach a different Gospel contrary to their traditions.
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. – Acts 4:13
Speaking truth requires exposing the religious man-made liturgies that are contrary to the standard of Scripture.
For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. – John 12:49
Submission to Persecution
When the true Gospel confronts the easy man-made “gospels” of the modern “church,” it is considered blasphemy. Many fail to understand that their religious activities are an inverted, perverted “gospel” of Satan.
When we are persecuted for righteousness, it has a great effect. Although it may seem like a losing battle, it does quite the opposite. In fact, it exposes the professing religious dead weights for who they are. They are tares because they have committed their lives to the world, not to Christ. When a true follower of Christ pays the price for truth, they discard the waste through separation. Separation causes purification, and at this point, this is when God is able to do His greatest work through His people.
Committing yourself to Christ means confronting the world with his Gospel. If you are not facing persecution, then you haven’t committed yourself yet. It is only through trials and tribulations for righteousness sake that we grow in our relationship with him. Suffering persecution should be considered a blessing because it helps us grow into beacons of light to the hurt and the lost.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 5:10
In the midst of persecution, there is an opportunity to proclaim Christ and trust God to do what He wants to do in the situation. When Peter and John allowed themselves to be persecuted, it was an opportunity to come face to face and preach truth to the Sanhedrin.
And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders – Acts 4:7
Today, the clergy are considered rulers over the people, but how wrong they are in usurping the role that is exclusively for Christ.
Preaching the true Gospel message is submission to persecution. It comes from walking in obedience to the Word of God by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Yielding to the Holy Spirit in persecution will bring victory because it will bring us closer to God and helps us grow in maturity.
The “churches” of men are full of people who run and hide in the midst of persecution. They will not yield to the Holy Spirit out of fear that they will displease and bring offence to others. Unfortunately, they are worthless to God working anything through them.
Standing boldly on what is right is always victory. We must disagree with the world if we are to consider ourselves a true believer. The world is immoral, selfish, prideful, greedy, materialistic, etc... When we face these things head on in our walk with Christ, it is an opportunity to be a shining light in the darkness by testifying truth.
The leaven of spiritual hypocrisy has infiltrated the world; therefore, we must proclaim the truth to counter it.
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12
We are not called to say things that are deemed pleasing and acceptable, but to stand on and contend for the standard of truth, God’s Word. We will be persecuted for it. As it happens, submit to it and let God work through you. It is an opportunity to boldly proclaim the true Gospel.
Most often, it is fear of being ridiculed and slandered that many keep their mouths shut, but the truth is that if we are not willing to speak up for truth, it reflects how much we are willing to put our personal feelings aside and serve God. Most “pastors” avoid certain truth in Scripture because they do not want to ruffle any feathers. They are self-serving in their worry of offending others; therefore, the “gospel” they preach will not bring conviction. It is useless.
If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. – 1 Peter 4:14
Being persecuted for the sake of Christ will bring the glory of God upon you. We cannot identify with him unless we are suffering with him.
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