1 Corinthians 4. Forum Discussion

Persecution

Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” – 2 Timothy 3:12

That can be an intimating scripture to think about.

We all want to live godly lives, but do we want to be persecuted? If we are honest, that’s a quick “no” for most of us.

Merriam-Webster’s defines persecution as:

  • “To harass or punish in a manner designed to injure, grieve, or afflict.”
  • “To cause to suffer because of belief.”

Paul mentions some of the ways that he and his fellow apostles have been persecuted in chapter 4:

  • We are weak.
  • We are without honor.
  • We are hungry.
  • We are thirsty.
  • We are poorly clothed.
  • We are roughly treated.
  • We are homeless.
  • We are slandered.

In addition to this list, we know that the apostles were imprisoned, beaten and even martyred because of their faith. For us, persecution can come in much more subtle forms. We can be called names, abandoned by our friends and families, discriminated upon at our jobs, etc., all because of our faith.

So why did the apostles put up with all that and continue to follow Jesus and His teachings? Why should we?

There are many possible answers to those questions, but today we will focus on just two.

  1. Following God is the right thing to do. For those of us that believe in doing what is right, this is extremely important. But how do we define what is the right thing to do? God’s word gives us direction and purpose in our lives. He tells us what is right and what is wrong, and he puts it in writing for all to see. In the thousands of years that God’s word has been around, nobody has ever been able to disprove God’s word. That’s because it is the pure truth from God. Having a “true north” to strive for, a perfect moral compass, gives us purpose and an order to our lives.
  2. When it’s all said and done, it will be worth it. Consider this, in 2019 the average life expectancy was just 78.87 years. What happens in those years dictates where we will spend eternity. If we live our lives pursuing fleshly lusts and disobeying God, we will spend eternity in hell. If we choose to follow God’s ways, we will be saved through His grace and spend eternity in heaven.

In conclusion, a little suffering now, or even a lot of suffering now, will be worth it.

Paul writes in Romans 8:18, “The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

The book of Revelation says this about life in heaven:

”And they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” – Revelation 21:3-4

When everything is considered, the right choice is easy to make.

Thank you for joining us today. Please join us again tomorrow as we look at 1 Corinthians 5. Our forum will be discussing, “Chasing perfection in an imperfect world.” May God’s blessings be upon you until then. Amen

Comments

Carl

People might encounter a Christian and become disgruntled because of the ceiling that living in the flesh results in. I find people resent the Word of God because it shakes their value system. It makes them look at what their behaviours, attitudes, and lifestyles are designed to prevent -facing your own negative emotions or realities about life. When we're persecuted, people are projecting, almost like a town throwing tomatoes at someone for having an undesirable trait for that community. Almost like "how dare you disrupt my false consciousness"..

Reply
Carl

God helped me through persecution by giving me fortitude and just the comfort of the Spirit

Reply
Drexel

Carl, I’m in total agreement with you. I’ve come to realize that Christianity is not for everyone, because it requires you to take a stand. However, this stand is best shown in the way we live, in the way we speak and in the way we treat others.
We don’t go with the flow, nor make decisions base on popular opinion; in other words we’re not worried about what others think of us as found in Proverbs 29: 25;
“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.” NIV.

Therefore, our decision is base on what’s right, and our standard of right and wrong comes from The Word of God. One of the most difficult weaknesses to break away from is worrying about other people’s opinion of us. I almost lost my life because of this weakness when I was 19, and it is a lesson I will never forget. It takes strength to take a stand for what is right. It takes great inner strength to handle persecution and to do so in a way that is Christ like.
While persecution can sometimes prove to be deadly, however, the majority of persecution is more mental than physical. The Navy Seal have a saying;
“Its mind over matter, if you don’t mind then it doesn’t matter.”

My Brother, where The Lord has brought me from nothing about this world matters any more. I don’t care what you say about me, I don’t care what you say to me: and I don’t even care what you do to me because for Christ sake it doesn’t matter.

Reply
Michael
Drexel

Appreciate your comments Drexel. Amen.

Reply