TOPIC: BLESSED ARE PERSECUTED BELIEVERS
Bible Text: Matthew 5:9-12
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”Matthew 5:11, NIV
In the first century, Christianity was a new religion and it attracted persecution from family, workplace and the state. The Jewish rulers persecuted everyone who dared to identify with Jesus’ movement. Many people preferred to die, insisting “Jesus is LORD,” than to burn a pinch of incense to a statue of the Roman emperors and declare, “Caesar is lord.” Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:12(NLT), “yes and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”
Jesus never hid the fact that His disciples could die in the course of following Him (Mark 8:34-35). Jesus Himself died at the hands of those who persecuted Him. Therefore, persecution ranging from mild to extreme cases is part of the Christian life. The righteous conducts of Christians usually challenge and unsettle the wickedness and corruption going on in the lives of individuals and communities. When the conscience of non-believers is unsettled, they retaliate against the Christians through persecution instead of repenting.
Jesus promised to reward everyone persecuted because of Him in His own way, now and in eternity. Rejoice and be glad if you are persecuted for Christ’s sake.
Insight: Your reward is great in heaven if you are persecuted because of the Gospel.
Prayer: LORD, strengthen me to endure in the time of persecution.
RBT Passage: Isaiah 15-19