1 Peter 4:12-14 “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.”
- Brunson: ‘The Majority Of Believers Are Not Ready For The Pressures Of Persecution, And This Is Very Dangerous’
- I thought of myself as a relatively tough missionary—we had faced threats before; I had even been shot at once. But I was not prepared for what I experienced in prison. It was much more difficult than I imagined it would be, and I almost didn’t make it through. Persecution almost knocked me out.
- Many Christians do not think this can happen in the United States, but it can. Followers of Jesus throughout history and in countries around the world have experienced persecution. In fact, our experience of very little persecution up to now is the exception.
- What Will Drive Persecution?
- I think two wedge issues will drive persecution. First, the exclusivity of Jesus in salvation—that Jesus is the only way to God. Second, that Jesus demands obedience from His followers in a number of areas that are hotly contested in our culture, such as sexual morality, gender identity, marriage, family, life and Biblical justice. Those who are faithful to Jesus in upholding Gospel exclusivity and obedience to Christ are going to be labeled as evil people, and those who persecute us will justify themselves by saying that we are a people of hate, that we carry a message of hate.
- Here’s how we can start to prepare to stand under pressure:
- We need to talk about persecution, be aware of it and plan for it. If we don’t talk about it, then when that dark wave hits, it is going to shock many people, and that places them in danger of being knocked out.
- First, read the New Testament with a different eye. It’s full of exhortations to prepare and also examples of people living victoriously under persecution.
- Read the Gospels with a focus on what Jesus says about persecution, how He Himself deals with persecution and how He prepares His disciples.
- Second, begin to pray now that you and your loved ones will have enough faith and strength to stand. This is what Jesus urged His disciples to do.
- Third, learn from persecuted Christians, those who have gone before and endured faithfully.
- The Hard Truth
- The hard truth is that God allows His children to suffer persecution, and it can be more difficult than we think.
- Because this can be a discouraging subject, we need to keep before us the truth of the supremacy of Jesus, the image of Jesus as the Lion. He will not be defeated.
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