To be a Follower of Christ will Bring 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 to some. In western society, it is more spiritual than physical in nature, but nonetheless, it effects who we are in Christ.
The largest persecutor of true believers are those within the man-driven church system. Their pride has been well established within the traditions of the great religious institutions. Anyone that threatens, or exposes their lies are considered divisive, heretical and unloving. Today, the bearer of truth will most likely will be deemed an adversary.
Many are afraid of those who are called to expose the religious elite who have usurped the headship of Christ for their own. They will defend their status with any means necessary to maintain their lofty positions over others.
Many fail to realize that being a true follower of Christ and persecution will be 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 who profess Christ are in love with the world. They love to hang on to their man-made traditions willfully choosing to conform to the ways of the world rather than the principles of the Kingdom of God. Those in the modern church system do not want the truth and will persecute anyone 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 really they are doing the opposite. When they are confronted on their behaviours of rebellion and disobedience to God, they turn the tables around and make the messenger out to be the liar.
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?
This is an indicator of whether you desire to live a godly life, or not.
Following Christ will repel the religion of attendance and self-righteous behaviours. Truth is a sword and will be recognized by those who are living a lie. It will cause demonic manifestation in many because it cuts to the status of their hearts. We must understand that it is a given that those who are "the called out ones," the ekklesia of Christ will face hostility from others who desire to live in deception.
God does not want His children to run and hide to avoid persecution, but learn to be confrontational at times when He calls them to do it. If we don’t, we will keep others from hearing the truth and the opportunity for them to eventually repent of their ways. God will do His work through us and sometimes it requires that we boldly call those to repentance.
We are called to be representatives of the Gospel of the Kingdom to be a shining light to the world. We cannot be a light unless we no longer partake of the counterfeit antichrist system called, church.
The epitome of what church is are man-made templates in man-made temples where people believe they represent God. Unfortunately, they are far removed from Him because they require hired men to be the “captain of the temple” to be over them rather than Christ.
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
In this verse, the religious leaders became angered, provoked and annoyed at Peter and John who were teaching. It greatly bothered them that they did not need to have their professional certificates, or high ranking titles to do so.
It is no different today where pompous religious leaders believe that they were the only ones who were are qualified to teach.The oxymoronic salaried-to-serve despise those who preach the true Gospel that is contrary to their man-made 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 that sometimes we will have the opportunity to expose man-made religion that behaves 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 counterfeit gospel of the modern church, it will expose the inverted and perversion of the antichrist religion that opposes the testament of Christ and the apostles.
When we are persecuted for righteousness, it has a great effect. Although it may seem like a losing battle personally, it actually does quite the opposite as it exposes the professing religious dead weights for who they are and also an opportunity to plant seeds for the Kingdom. Tares have committed their lives to the way of world, but the true follower of Christ separates from those ways. For many, separation is often the hardest, but this is when God is able to do His greatest work of purification, not only in our own lives, but in others as well. Seeds can take time to grow and bring forth fruit and that is why we must walk in faith in obedience, even when we may not see the final outcome.
When we commit to Christ, it means confronting a dying world with the Gospel.
If you are not facing persecution in your life right now, then you haven’t committed yourself yet. It is through trials and tribulations for righteousness sake that tests our faith, but through it we grow in our relationship with God, but also are an example to others. Suffering persecution should be considered a blessing because it reveals who we are. Many don’t think of it this way, but there are many throughout history who have suffered much more than the possibility of losing friends, or offending someone.
“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 were 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 church clergy are the "rulers of the people and elders." They have usurped the role of High Priest and Head that is now exclusively for Christ.
Preaching the true Gospel message will be your submission to persecution because it requires walking in obedience to the word of God. Yielding to the will of God in persecution will bring us closer to Him and allow us to grow in our maturity in Christ.
Churches are full of people who run away and hide because they are afraid they may face persecution. They will never yield to the the way of Christ because it is their fear of man that they are afraid to displease and bring offence to others. Unfortunately, they are worthless in expanding, or spreading seeds for the Kingdom of God.
Standing boldly on what is right will be in disagreement with the ways of the world if we consider ourselves to be followers of Christ. 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 of the truth.
The leaven of religious spiritual hypocrisy has thoroughly infiltrated the world; therefore, we must proclaim the truth and not walk in fear. Our hope is to want to be an instrument of God to help set other free from their religious oppression and spiritual bondage.
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
Are you being persecuted?
We are not called to just say things that are deemed pleasing and acceptable, but to stand on and contend for the standard of truth. Yes, we will be persecuted for it. It is not if it happens, but when it happens. We must submit to it and let God work through us. It is an opportunity, but many don’t see it this way and run. The fear of being ridiculed, slandered and the loss of friendship keeps many mouths shut.
However, if we are not willing to speak up for truth, then it reflects how much our personal feelings take precedence over doing the will of God.
The church Pastor will always avoid certain truths in Scripture because they do not want to ruffle any feathers. They are either self-serving, or in fear of offending others. God cannot use them nor anyone else to bring conviction and repentance in the lives of others. They are useless for the Kingdom.
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 truth will bring the glory of God upon you. You cannot claim to identify with Christ unless we are suffering with him and walking as he walked.
Satan leaves alone those who are already helping his cause of worshipping mammon.
True freedom and peace comes when we fear God more that we fear men. It is only then that our eyes will open to understanding that persecution can be a blessing. It shows that we are walking the narrow road and that God is using us.
Imagine the audience who first heard these words,
Then they will hand you over to be PERSECUTED and KILLED, and you will be HATED by all nations on account of My name. - Matthew 24:9
Have you been persecuted, or hated?
Many have been killed on the account of the name of Christ. They did not fear man, but God.
Oh FEAR YAHWEH, you his saints, for there is no lack with those who fear him. - Psalm 34:9
Are you being persecuted for the truth?
- Examples of Confronting Error in the Body of Christ
Taking a stand and defending truth will causes dissension and "ruffle feathers" within the Body of Christ, but the Truth must be used to judge what is righteous and unrighteous behavior.
- Actually, God Calls Us to Judge Within Biblical Context
Many object to criticism and use the common responses such as, “It is wrong to judge” and “He who is without sin cast the first stone”. From this point many “Christians” relinquish any further contention. What many don’t realize is that they are givi