If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. John 15:18-20 KJV
The word persecution has been on my mind and in my spirit a lot this week. Not a word I really want to think about, but as I read this week’s headlines, and as I read the scriptures, I can’t help but dwell on it.
There has been a large and growing hostility towards the followers of Christ over the past several years. Even here in America we see this hostility, this hatred, increasing at a very alarming rate. As I look down the road and contrast it with history and the direction our nation is going, I can’t help but shutter for my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
As Christians here in the Western world, we’ve had it pretty good for a very long time and most believers here in America couldn’t image God allowing us to face persecution or tribulation, but that’s just not biblical. In fact, the Bible tells us if we are TRULY following Jesus, truly walking upright, then we WILL without a doubt suffer persecution. Paul told us that it’s through much tribulation that we enter into the kingdom of God. He made this statement shortly after being nearly stoned to death for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Acts 14:22)
Consider the following scripture. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12 KJV. Notice the word “all”. All means all. All who desire to live godly will suffer persecution. It doesn’t mean some, it means all. Now there may be millions of Christians who never see any form of persecution for their faith, but then the question is, are they truly living godly in Christ? Jesus said the world hated him, therefore the world will also hate you. (John 15:18-20)
While I don’t desire to suffer persecutions or tribulations, I have to acknowledge it is part of what it means to be a child of God. We are the heirs to the coming kingdom, and the enemy is going to do everything he can to hinder the promises of God and cause us to loose faith. However, the scriptures say those who persevere to the end will be saved. (Matthew 24:13)
Regardless of what you’re facing, remain strong, remain faithful, His promises are true and He will bring them to pass. You will be rewarded and you will be joint inheritors with Christ, IF you’re willing to suffer with Him.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Romans 8:16-17 KJV