Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
- I often feel or have been persecuted by others for my/some sake; therefore the kingdom of heaven is mine. True or False
- I have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake; therefore the kingdom of heaven is mine. True or False
We hear stories about being persecuted from the pulpit, in our homes, on our jobs, and from talking to people. What we don’t hone in on most of the time are the words “for righteousness’ sake” and “my sake” , which Jesus clearly stated. He did NOT say for any other reason that “theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
I was reading about persecution during my bible study and discovered that there are four types; “physical, social, mental, and spiritual” per Bakers-Evangelical-dictionary. Here’s a snippet and the link for further reading.
The Nature of Persecution
|Both the Old Testament and New Testament give examples of physical, social, mental, and spiritual persecution. Physical persecution includes taking another’s life ( Gen 4 , Cain murdering Abel) or maiming the body ( Exod 22 , 23 ). Social persecution (sometimes called discrimination) consists of making individuals or group outcasts. An example of extreme mental and spiritual persecution is seen when Peter and John were threatened not to preach the gospel (Acts 5:28 Acts 5:40).
Another example I’d like to add, is when they tell you at work “You can’t talk about God in the workplace, everyone is not a Christian.”
Some have experienced at least 3 of the 4 types of persecutions mentioned; some have experienced all 4, not necessarily for righteousness’ sake. What exactly does it mean to be persecuted for righteousness’ sake? Let us set all that other self- righteous persecution stuff to the side for a moment.
Hear ye! Hear ye!
If you are living a GODLY life, then YOU will suffer persecution. People that you have known forever-family and friends, people that you work with, people that you attend church with, and people that you just meet will be lost relationships if they perceive you as being a God fearing upright person. (Mark 13:11-13; Luke 21: 12-16; 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 11-13 )
People of the world just can’t deal with the Jesus in you and God being the head of your life. Worldly people are unforgiving and unapologetic. They can beat a spider at spinning a tangled web of deceit and hide in broad daylight behind many vices. They are good at making others that follow Jesus appear as the lost one. Be not deceived beloved when you KNOW who you are in Christ Jesus. Self righteous people will say w/o blinking their blinded eyes “ the bible is just stories written by men…” and then they will point out a verse or two and claim it in the same breath, yet reject the whole Gospel of Christ. I’ve been told that on several occasions when defending my belief in God’s word. Righteous people are to remove the dust(worldly people- the wicked and the proud) from our sandaled life.
“For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.”-Malachi 4:1-2
TRUTH– Life is a tare and wheat movie awaiting its ending credits. I’ve learned that as Christians, WE must suffer such in order to be stored in His barn as wheat. (Matthew 13:24-30)
Sigh!-There is evil fused with good in our churches that many with seeing eyes are lending blind eyes to. Does faking blindness put the church in a righteous standing with God? Nope. You have to ask yourself, why does the church allow evil within its walls without confronting it? I’ll tell you why- fear of being persecuted for self-sake, i.e., man-made by-laws, losing members and money. The church, THE BODY OF CHRIST can not stand in silence when evil is operating within its walls. The task of the church is to abide IN Jesus so that He abides IN the church. The church could learn a lesson or two about the righteousness of Jesus. According to John 15:1-7,18-21, Jesus said
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”…….“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.”
Additional Reading- 1 Peter 3:8-18 and 2 Timothy 3:1-5,11-13
The persecuted strongest weapon is to,
“… Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” (Matthew 5:44)
“Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
This post concludes my study of the Beatitudes. Thanks for stopping in. 😛