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Persecution

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Persecution

“Yes and everyone who wants to live a Godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”

2 Timothy 3:12 NLT

Persecute;
1) to persue with harassing or opressive treatment, esp. because of religion, race, or beliefs; harass persistently.
2)to annoy or trouble persistently. Webster's dictionary


What a bold statement to Christians living in America today. This scripture is truly a word in season for us. When this verse is studied, whatever methods or hermeneutics used, the conclusion should be this. It means exactly what it says. Let’s look at this with our hearts and minds open to this simple but sharp truth. Treat this verse as an equation. Use simple math. The will to live a godly life + persecution = a Godly life.

Now, looking at the verse this way helps us to see and understand that without persecution and the will to live a Godly life, you cannot obtain a Godly life. If either the willingness to live a Godly life or persecution are missing from the equation, the sum or outcome is different. If persecution is not present, it is only because the willingness to live a Godly life is also absent. When we are persecuted, who does this benefit? Us! Paul could see this very clearly. “You can be sure that the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with His comfort through Christ. So when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your benefit and salvation.” 2 Corinthians 1:5-6 NLT

There is no misprint here. Persecution as stated here is for my benefit. Boy, that sure doesn’t sound right does it? Let me explain with a practical example. A position is opening up at work. You and a co-worker are considered for it. The co-worker tells some lies about you to get the position and gets it. Not only were you not accepted for this position, but you may not be considered for any future promotions either. Here is the test. What is your reaction? How do you feel toward this co-worker? Are you expressing jealousy, bitterness, anger, or envy? According to Paul, in Galations 5:19-21, these are all works of our sinful nature, or will you desire to do what is Godly? Have you ever heard it said, “that to know what someone is really like, wait to see them in a heated moment.” It can be very revealing.

This is where the willingness to live a Godly life comes into our focus. When we are willing and yielding to the Holy Spirit, our reactions and feelings are different. “But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, He will produce this kind of fruit in us. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Here there is no conflict with the law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to His cross and crucified them there. If we are living now by the Holy Spirit let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or irritate one another, or be jealous of one another. Galatians 5;22-26

View persecution and injustice as a carpenter’s claw hammer. You can use it to pull that sinful nature off of that cross or you can use it to drive those nails tighter, keeping that nature crucified and allowing the character of a Godly life to be seen. I don’t believe our heavenly Father is happy when we are persecuted, but I know He is very pleased to see us imitating Him.

Let’s recap, we must become willing to live a Godly life and nail our sinful nature to the cross. Then we will see the persecution come. Until we put to death our carnal desires, we are no threat to the enemy. So there is no need for persecution. Don’t be surprised that the minute you begin to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead, the enemy will begin to trouble you in hopes of discouraging you so that you quit. But remember this, “the Spirit in you is greater than the spirit that is in the world.
 
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Hi Jiggyfly,

Great stuff, this is such a Godly perspecitive. I definately agree that persecution is for our benefit and has eternal rewards and is an incredibly powerful witness.

This seems to be a topic that requires a lot of discernment when it comes to situations though. I am not sure that the example of a co-worker lying to get a position you are both competing for is persecution. It seems like persecution is being attacked for being a believer or being asked to revoke what you believe.

I could have too simplistic a view - but it may be an important subtlety. It's just that - being honest is what God wants and it is something He likes, since He hates lying. It's a norm, like the law. Seems like it would fall under the Old Testament and persecution is under the New.


Matthew 5:21 "For I tell you, if your uprightness does not surpass that of the scribes and the Pharisees, you will never get into the kindom of heaven."


If you are being beaten or your life is threatened and you are asked to renounce the Lord and you don't - that seems to go beyond a norm. Enduring persecution seems to me to have deeper spirtual consequences than just being honest around people that are liars.

In Acts, the Lord came to Saul and asked why he perscuted Him and Saul was then on his way to arrest Christians for their beliefs when on the road to Damascus. (Acts 9:4)

Paul describes his persecution of Christians in Acts 22 "I even persecuted this Way to the death and sent women as well as men to prison in chains..."

I have listened to Christians talk about their trials sometimes as if it were persecution - I just don't think that is wise. It could be God closing a door or some other action that led to a series of events that had a ripple effect that had nothing to do with the person feeling the heat of a trial. By contrast, persecution seems to be malicious: a direct attack.

I hesitated to post this, since your post is so right on and this is a small point. It's just that, I think it is important that we don't view ourselves as being persecuted when we may not have all the details of a situation - or minimize the amazing witness of those who are persecuted. This may just be about degrees. Matthew (13.21) says a root of the words may not last "should some trial, or some persecution" - a distinction, but it could still be synonymous. But given the broader context of the fufillment of the law, I think persecution is a specific kind of trial.

Thanks for your contribution Jiggyfly, you really got me thinking and digging!
 
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Very good point fightngwrmwood. I went back and read it over and I left some out, sometimes in trying to convey my thoughts on paper, they get lost on the way to my two typing fingers, thanks for your help. I will fix this right away.
 
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Persecution blessed are ye

Well I look for signs of persecution everday in my everday life. I kinda look forward for the occasion to shine for Jesus, amen. The word of God says we in the last days will have to suffer persecution- they did it to the Lamb and we are like him. 1 Peter 3:14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness sake, HAPPY ARE YE: and be not afraid fo their terror, neither be troubled.
 
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Thank you Jiggyfly.I`m glad you posted this thread.It helped me to think about a subject that needs courage and strength.Yet though persecuted a person suffering in the name of love is driven on and strengthened by the love and power of our dear Lord Jesus.God bless anyone who loves and yet is persecuted.
 
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I find this subject most intriguing, and I am most in agreement that Christians "will" suffer persecution, it is a Biblical concept. I have a question that I am dying to ask.

With the popularity of the "Left behind movies" and books out there, what do you people think of the Rapture, and the idea that it is for taking Christians from persecution. I know what I think, I would like to here what others think. Seems that most of the Christians I run into outside of my denomination, believe in the Rapture. Any thoughts?

Rick
 
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aremessenger said:
I find this subject most intriguing, and I am most in agreement that Christians "will" suffer persecution, it is a Biblical concept. I have a question that I am dying to ask.
With the popularity of the "Left behind movies" and books out there, what do you people think of the Rapture, and the idea that it is for taking Christians from persecution. I know what I think, I would like to here what others think. Seems that most of the Christians I run into outside of my denomination, believe in the Rapture. Any thoughts?
Rick
The Bible is very clear that whoever desires to live a godly life will suffer persecution but thats not necessarily the same as great tribulation talked about in the book of Revelation. There is no such thing as a mature Christ follower who has not endured much suffering and persecution.
I haven't to date come to a full understanding concerning the rapture of the Church, Rick. I have taught on the book of Revelation, but it has always been on a deeper revelation of the Christ. I have to admit that I along with many others are intrigued by the Bible prophecies concerning the future/endtimes and the mystery that they invoke.

I do believe that a knowledge of the phenomena concerning Christ's return is a great evangelizing tool to bring people to an awareness with a seriousness that we are at the culmination of this stage.
Jesus gave a parable about "ten virgins", in it is revealed the importance of readiness for the Bridegroom's coming ( matthew 25:1-13).

My experiences concerning my walk with the Lord have brought me to focus on the Bridegroom Himself and my readiness rather than the phenomena that points to His return.

Matthew 6:31-34
31 “So don’t worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. 32 Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, 33 and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.
34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
 
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Well I look for signs of persecution everday in my everday life. I kinda look forward for the occasion to shine for Jesus, amen. The word of God says we in the last days will have to suffer persecution- they did it to the Lamb and we are like him. 1 Peter 3:14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness sake, HAPPY ARE YE: and be not afraid fo their terror, neither be troubled.


I realize that this is an old post but..... If you look for persecution and look forward to it? Try this. Seek first the kingdom of God... with all your heart. Go after all the promises in the Book. Then watch where the persecution comes from. You may be amazed, both at the source of it and the ferocity of it.
 
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Old post indeed...........

Old post indeed... It's good that we dig these old things up as there is valuable information in them.

Jiggyfly:

Not only were you not accepted for this position, but you may not be considered for any future promotions either. Here is the test. What is your reaction? How do you feel toward this co-worker? Are you expressing jealousy, bitterness, anger, or envy?
Now I question what is considered persecution???

I have lost a job or two because I just talk about Jesus all the time. I have learned that I am paid to work, not evangelize, but I did not know that then. I never considered these things a big deal.

I always felt that in order for real persecution, I would have to be preaching in Iran somewhere. All the rest of the petty stuff just means you need to GROW up, and get in faith...... Get over it, and don't be a baby.

Sad this thread is so old... very interesting topic...

I had two cases in prison that may have been considered persecution.
but both did not bother me a bit. No fear, and faith will do amazing things.

Then I look at Peter...... thrown in jail and was going to be beheaded.

this is the same Peter that denied Jesus because he was scared silly........
Latter on we see a different Peter............

His head in jeopardy, what does he do??? Pray all night?? Praise God all night??? NO, He just goes to sleep to get some rest.

When the Angel shows up and wakes Peter to tell him that they were going on a jail break, Peter just stretches and Yawns then says... OK... I suppose... The Angel had to remind him to even grab his cloak.

Then the Angel tells Peter to go back out and do the same thing that got you here in the first place... No problem...

I see two different Peters here. One strong in the Lord, the other scared to the point of denying Jesus...

Could it be possible that Persecution is only what someone considers to be valid by their growth and faith??




Jesus Is Lord.
 
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Old post indeed... It's good that we dig these old things up as there is valuable information in them.

Jiggyfly:



Now I question what is considered persecution???

I have lost a job or two because I just talk about Jesus all the time. I have learned that I am paid to work, not evangelize, but I did not know that then. I never considered these things a big deal.

I always felt that in order for real persecution, I would have to be preaching in Iran somewhere. All the rest of the petty stuff just means you need to GROW up, and get in faith...... Get over it, and don't be a baby.

Sad this thread is so old... very interesting topic...

I had two cases in prison that may have been considered persecution.
but both did not bother me a bit. No fear, and faith will do amazing things.

Then I look at Peter...... thrown in jail and was going to be beheaded.

this is the same Peter that denied Jesus because he was scared silly........
Latter on we see a different Peter............

His head in jeopardy, what does he do??? Pray all night?? Praise God all night??? NO, He just goes to sleep to get some rest.

When the Angel shows up and wakes Peter to tell him that they were going on a jail break, Peter just stretches and Yawns then says... OK... I suppose... The Angel had to remind him to even grab his cloak.

Then the Angel tells Peter to go back out and do the same thing that got you here in the first place... No problem...

I see two different Peters here. One strong in the Lord, the other scared to the point of denying Jesus...

Could it be possible that Persecution is only what someone considers to be valid by their growth and faith??




Jesus Is Lord.

Good post Mike My point was though. Watch the source of it. I know. Satan is the ultimate source but watch who it comes through. Brothers and sisters in Christ will persecute you more than the world will. Those who tried rather than did and found 'it didn't work for them, or those who didn't want to make the effort to get into the Word. These are the ones that will try to pull you down the most. They listen to the wrong voice and act on that.
Which reminds me of a thing I've wondered about for years....namely ..."Why is it that man finds it easier to believe a lie than the truth?"
 
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Awesome!!

Brothers and sisters in Christ will persecute you more than the world will.
Preach it!!!!!!!! Amen!!!!


As for the lie V.S truth.............. Most choose to believe what their senses tell them, and not what God said about it.


Jesus Is Lord.
 
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Branson is AWESOME!!!!

Branson is just Awesome!!!!!

come over and check the chat out....... I get on sometimes now... and there are pretty cool people over there.

Jesus Is Lord.
 

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