Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | July 2, 2010

Christian Persecution

Taught our small group Bible Study tonight.   Subject was Persecution.  Here were the teaching points -excerpted from my powerpoint slides.

Christians WILL be persecuted.  The whole of the lesson is to figure out – why? And what will you do about it?

The kinds of persecution include

•Governments •Non-Christians •Christians •Family, friends, church family, strangers •At work, school, hobby, public places •By the media, arts, politicians and on and on….

The Word of God on persecution is

•Matthew 5:10,5:11,5:12,5:44,13:21 •Mark 10:30 •John 15:20 •Acts:9:4 •Romans: 8:35, 12:14 •1 Corinthians: 4:12, 15:9 •2 Corinthians: 4:8,12:10 •1 Thessalonians: 3:4 •2 Thessalonians: 1:4 •2 Timothy: 3:11,3:12 and Hebrews: 11:37

Which tells us if we are righteous – right with God – not self-righteous, and obey Him by thought, word and deed, we will be persecuted.  Okay.  Then, when we are so connected in a spiritual relationship, we can rejoice in what happens.  Hard to imagine, but plain to see in history and current events.  We are told to be glad in our persecution – whether it is a stern look, a clucking tongue, or torture and death of us – and our families, especially our children.   That is very, very tough stuff to contemplate, let alone face as so many Christians have, do, and will.

Then, and this is the uniquely Christian part, we are to love our attackers.  We had a long discussion about this.  I would rather be a Christian warrior and fight to kill my attackers.  I am not keen on being a martyr for the faith.  Yet, Christians have gone like sheep to the slaughter and gone down fighting for Christ.  Both are Biblical responses.  The key is to love our enemies – even if you are fighting them.

And, finally, now what?  

Revelations 2:10:  Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer.

We talked about how that suffering is likely, or may, come to our church family in our lifetimes. 

The Apostle Paul promises us a personal  relationship with Jesus Christ will bring peace beyond understanding, joy that knows no bounds and persecution. 

It is worth it all.  Because Constantine follows Diocletian.  The Roman Emporer who declared Christians the enemies of humankind and tried to eradicate them was followed by the Emporer who became a Christian and declared the whole empire would become Christian.   So it went.  So it goes.

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Responses

  1. This is a good post. I have the opportunity to teach on the same topic at my church. Can you refer me to some online materials and possibly a link to your PowerPoint presentation?
    Thank you


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