Why Aren’t We Being Persecuted?

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October 30, 2020

John 16:1-6

“All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things.”

CONSIDER THIS

Here in the United States, persecution is a concept we understand, yet it is a non-value. On the contrary, Jesus sets the persecution of his followers as one of the highest values in his kingdom. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:10).

To follow Jesus means the inevitability of persecution. So why aren’t we persecuted in the United States? Could it be because we have established a form of Christianity that doesn’t warrant being persecuted? We live in a value system that most highly prizes comfort. Anything that disturbs our comfort and security must be put down. Is it any wonder that we react to the persecution of Christians in other parts of the world by thinking we should somehow stop it—effectively trying to make it a non-value for them too?

Notice what Jesus doesn’t say. He does not say that when we are persecuted he will intervene or make sure someone puts a stop to it. No, he says when you are persecuted you are blessed in the kingdom of God. Really, he’s telling us we should expect it and not be surprised when it happens. So does Jesus want us to sit by idly while our brothers and sisters are being torn to shreds for their faith in him? I think rather than coming to their defense, he would have us come to their side. At least I can say that’s what it looks like he plans to do.

“I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them.”

So is persecution something we should seek out? Heavens no. We should probably be asking the question, Why is persecution not seeking us out? I think it’s because we are mostly asleep to what the New Testament considers Christianity.

Awakening is coming, and it will be glorious; however, with it will come persecution. Count on it. It’s why Jesus instructs us to count the cost, prepare for it, and not be surprised.

I know this may sound harsh. Go back and read today’s text. It is harsh.

THE PRAYER

Abba Father, we thank you for your Son, Jesus, who endured our persecution all the way to the cross. Thank you for his incredible prayer in the face of persecution, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing” (Mark 11:25). Thank you for this gracious warning he gives us and even more for his promised presence in the midst of such trials. Come, Holy Spirit, and increase our courage. We pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

THE QUESTIONS

1. Why aren’t we being persecuted for our faith?

2. Why do we feel burdened to eradicate persecution of Christians, as though that were Jesus’ instruction to us?

3. What would it mean for you to prepare for persecution?

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For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I believe that the reason we here in America , haven’t faced the kinds of persecution elsewhere in the world , is due the fact that we’ve been raised to accept the myth that we live in a Christian nation. Someone once said that when people believe that everyone around them is Christian, then nobody is. I believe that Biblical truth was contaminated when Church and State were conflated into “Christendom “. Current events around the world have convinced me that a time of persecution for true Christianity is about to happen even here in America. Like you have insinuated, because we’ve been raised to believe the ” American dream” is consistent with true Christianity, we’ve been asleep to recognize the inconsistencies between our form of Christianity and what’s Biblical. We’ve come to expect this as the norm and believe it should be this way everywhere. How to prepare? : Firstly, we need to know and believe the truth that persecution will come against true Christianity. Secondly, we need to pray for unity, maturity, and Spiritual empowerment to resist the temptation to compromise our witness in the face of persecution. May God help us.

  2. We ARE being persecuted! With all the social justice issues swirling around our congregations and with the new age emmergent church ideas mesmerizing the traditional church away from truth, to discuss biblical truth can bring instant rebuke! If you say you’re concerned for someone’s soul or tell people you read the Bible you are a fanatic. That’s inside the church. Persecution in the form of disrespect and ostracizing happen in your family when you stick up for marriage defined in the word or when you stand against the transgendering propaganda constantly aimed at our young people who are falling for lie after lie. Emotional pain hurts like physical pain. If you stand for righteousness in or out of the church you will be openly persecuted. There may be no blood shed but the effect of undeserved attack is felt. If you include repentance and salvation in your testimony you are old-fashioned. My conclusion is to keep the Gospel the focus of your life, take the hit from the world and let others continue to scratch their heads over the controversy Jesus brings with truth. Yes, persecution is real in our world. It’s real to me.

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