My friends persecution is a part of Christian life. Every drop of blood matters in the Spiritual realm. There was once a man of God caught up and taken in the spirit into the heavenly realm. He was shown in the Spirit that the demons were having a discussion among themselves. (This man of God while crossing the heavenlies on his way to Heaven on a visitation was allowed to hear the conversation taking place among the demons.) When he heard he was astonished to hear that the demons said that when the Christians become martyrs for JESUS it really creates a tremendous force against the demons and as a result thousands of souls are saved by just one persons’ (in Christ) sacrifice for Christ. Every drop of blood shed by the children of God in persecution generates an enormous power in the Spiritual realm.
My dear friends if You are suffering for sake of Christ, kindly cheer up. God will really exalt you and honor your sacrifice.
Let us see some of the features of tribulation or persecution from the word of God in this second part of the teaching.
1 Peter 5:8 says
“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
Yes the devils roams about like a roaring lion. My friends the persecution can come out of many reasons- it may be the devil who tries to harass and stop the work of God, it can be Lord allowing us to go through a test like Job (Job 1 and 2)and Abraham (Genesis 22) in order to promote us, persecution may also arise because of our own mistakes, when we give entry to the wrong people because of lack of discerning and also lust of flesh, lust of eyes and the pride of life. So the above verse teaches us to be sober in our conduct because if we are not watchful then the devil who is watching us is like a roaring lion and can attack us because of our lack of watchfulness.
1) Revelation 2:10 says (amplified)
Fear nothing that you are about to suffer. [Dismiss your dread and your fears!] Behold, the devil is indeed about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested and proved and critically appraised, and for ten days you will have affliction. Be loyally faithful unto death [even if you must die for it], and I will give you the crown of life.
Here the Lord forewarns HIS people in the church that the devil will try to bring an attack against the believers but the church must be loyal and faithful even unto death, then we are promised the Crown of life. So my friends when you are ready to die for CHRIST, You will receive a great reward, a crown in Heaven, that no one can steal or take from You.
2) Job 2:6 says
So the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your power, only spare his life.”
The devil may touch the people of God but remember he cannot do it without the permission of the Lord.
1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
The Lord won’t allow you to be tempted or tested beyond your ability. GOD will make a way out also for you to escape.
In Job 2:6 we read the Lord commanding the devil that not to touch the life of Job. My friends you cannot leave the world even a single day (if you are being persecuted for the name of the Lord) before the timing of the Lord JESUS.
3) John 15:18 says
If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before it hated you.
My friends if you are going through hate and opposition then you must know first that it is the work of the world to hate and also importantly the world is hating not you but CHRIST The Hope of Glory living in you.
When in Acts 9 Saul (who was later called St Paul), when had an encounter on the road to Damascus (with the Lord)
Acts 9:4 says
Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
Was Saul really persecuting the Lord JESUS? In his knowledge he was doing so to please God but God had other perspective. HE saw things differently. Whenever anyone opposes a true believer for the sake of Christ remember that he/she is not opposing you but Lord JESUS CHRIST in You. When you follow the Lord first of all you will face opposition from your own household members then as you remain faithful and continue to pray in the spirit, your Spirit man starts to grow, then Lord mercifully starts to save your household people and in the mean time second level of opposition starts i.e. the preachers or other believers in the body of Christ start working against you(out of competitiveness and jealousy), people in authority at the Spiritual level start opposing you (if you are working in the power of the Holy Spirit), but then as you remain faithful, Lord starts using you in a greater way and then many people are blessed but then the world, the society opposes you. Remember JESUS too was opposed in-spite all HIS miracles and goodness. The world hated JESUS first and then us.
Always remember in life that as it happened with JESUS, the kind of people who opposed HIM will oppose You too provided you have a close walk with the Lord.
Remember there will always be a Judas to betray you, Peter to deny you and Pilate to crucify you in your life.
4) 1 John 3:13 says
“Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you…”
1 Peter 4:12 says
“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you”
Dear brothers and sisters do not be surprised or count it as strange when you go through the fiery trial. It is a part of the Gospel. Philippians 3:10 says
“ that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death…”
St Paul who was a faithful witness and had preached all over, now says in Philippians 3:10 that he wants to know the fellowship of the sufferings of Christ, very few people would pray such a kind of Prayer. It is a real self denial for willing to be partaker of sufferings in Christ.
5) 1 Peter 4:14 says
“If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.”
Yes the Spirit of Glory rests on those who are being persecuted for the sake of Christ. The Glory of God i.e. Lord in its fullness rests upon those are ready to go through anything for CHRIST. Lord’s name is always glorified through our lives even if we go through trials. Whether it be physical torture or mental harassment or even any other issue brought up against you, kindly cheer up and carry your Cross and follow Lord JESUS CHRIST and Lord will honor You in due time like Job 42:2,5,10. God will bless You many folds.
to be continued…