“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. —John 15:18-20
Do not be surprised when difficulty comes. Jesus promised it would come— “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Jesus Himself was verbally persecuted, physically persecuted and then killed, but then He rose from the dead the 3rd day proving Himself to be the Son of God (Romans 1:4; I Corinthians 15:3-4). However we get there, Jesus has prepared a place for us in heaven (John 14:1-6).
Here in America recently we have heard about chaplains in the military, a baker, a florist and a photographer who have all been persecuted for their faith in the Lord Jesus. There are many others who are persecuted that do not make the news. Still, in the U.S. persecution is nowhere near what our brothers and sisters go through in some parts of the world where they are imprisoned regularly, tortured and killed. What was their crime? They loved Jesus and would not deny their faith in Him. Do you and I truly love Jesus? Then we will be obedient to Him (John 14:21). You can be sure that as you and I seek to live godly that persecution will come in some form (II Timothy 3:12).
“Persecution Of Christians Reaches Historic Levels, Conditions Suggest Worst Is Yet To Come”
January 7, 2015
Approximately 100 million Christians are persecuted worldwide, making them one of the most persecuted religious groups in the world. Islamic extremism is the main source of persecution in 40 of the 50 countries on the 2015 World Watch List. While persecution can take many forms, Christians throughout the world risk imprisonment, torture, rape and even death as result of their faith. https://www.opendoorsusa.org/newsroom/tag-news-post/persecution-of-christians-reaches-historic-levels-conditions-suggest-worst-is-yet-to-come/
Remember, those who have trusted the Lord Jesus are in the Kingdom of Light, the Kingdom of God’s Dear Son and those who do not know Him are in the Kingdom of Darkness, the Kingdom of this World which is headed up by Satan (II Corinthians 4:4). Jesus rescued us out of the world and the world hates us because we belong to Him. So, do not be surprised when persecution arises as we live godly lives for Him.
Dear Father, may we be faithful until death, however it may come. Thank You for our home in heaven. We so look forward to being there with You and all who love the Lord Jesus. Even so, come Lord Jesus!