Scripture indicates that believers can expect to face hardship, ridicule and oppression, from individuals and state authorities, on account of their faith. It encourages believers to remain faithful in the face of such persecution and to draw strength from the example of Jesus Christ himself.
THE SOURCE OF PERSECUTION
Jesus warns of the leaven of the Pharisees (Religious order) and Herod (Government Order) Mark 8:15 A reminder that this persecution can also be very subtle.
In Revelation we see the Beast rising out of the sea (Worldly Governments) and the Beast from the Earth (Religious Order) These two orders Crucified Jesus – Rome and the Jews. Since the beginning these are the two greatest enemies of the true church. Gal 4:29 The greatest persecutor of evangelical Christianity is probably liberal Christianity.
Persecution is an intrinsic part of Christianity. In Acts 4:1- 32 are some tremendous insights that we can learn from the way the Apostles handled persecution. For the early church, persecution was a blessing. That is still true today–persecution is a blessing to all churches and all believers.
Persecution is characteristic of this world
Ps 10:2 See also Amos 1:6,9; 2:1; Hab 1:6-11; Rev 6:8; 9:7-10
2 Tim 3:12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution Mk 10:29-30; 1Th 3:4
Persecution for doing what is right not your own wrongs 1 Pet 3:13-17 “rejoice in so far as you share Christ’s sufferings that you may rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed” 1 Pet. 4:13.
Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
We need to endure persecution so that the seed of the Word can take deep root
Mark 4:16-17 These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.
Family and friends can also be guilty of persecution Mt 10:36 See also Mic 7:6; Ge 4:8; Mt 10:21; Mk 3:21; Gal 4:29
Fear of persecution leads to doctrinal error: Gal 6:12
TOOLS TO ENDURE PERSECUTION:
Against the Culture, feels like aliens – Citizenship in Heaven Phil 3:20
Keep yourself unspotted from this world. James 1:27 Do not love the things of the World John 2:15
“If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also (Luke 6:29);
do not resist an evil person (Matt. 5:39);
A soft answer turns away wrath Prov 15:1
Let the Spirit speaks Mark 13:11
the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world 1 Pet 5:9
it hated Jesus before it hated you. John 15:18-20
blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness (Matt. 5:10)
a crown that will last forever 1 Cor. 9:24–25