Friday, October 29, 2010

Reviled and Persecuted
     Since I opened the topic of persecution in my last post, I decided that I would share some other ideas on this topic.  I would like to note first, that I am not qualified to write on this issue by experience or by much reading or studying.  Nevertheless, I have a few basic observations which a person could make just by reading the Bible.  
     2 Timothy 3:12 reads, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."  Often when we here the word persecution we immediately think of imprisonment, torture, and death either by the government or an anti-Christian group.  Stephen, Paul, and many other Christians from the New Testament to the present time have suffered in these ways.  Persecution can be much broader than this, because, "we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."  The devil will persecute anyone who wants to live a godly, Christ-like life.  We here in America do not suffer in the same way as Christians in China, but, the devil is out to persecute us in other ways.
     In Matthew Jesus taught his disciples that they were blessed when they were reviled, persecuted, and spoken evil of.  In Luke when Jesus was speaking of the same subject, He did not refer to any bodily damage, but said, "Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake."  As far as I know D. L. Moody never was tortured for his Christianity, and yet I am sure that there were many men who hated and avoided him.  Even so, we may or may not suffer physical persecution, but if we will live godly we shall have men speak evil of us and dislike us. 
     We should not let the danger of persecution turn us from living boldly for God, anymore than a soldier would avoid conflict because of danger.  Though all who live righteously do suffer let us particularly remember them which suffer adversity and are in bonds. 
     "O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me."  Psalm 7:1

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