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Resentment Leads to Persecution

Religious persecution plagues countries around the world and the problem is only getting worse. A report published this year by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) gives us a clear picture of the world’s top offenders. 

Burma, Central African Republic, China, Eritrea, Iran, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam are where people of faith face the most aggressive and violent forms of persecution.  (Taken from: https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/politics/2019/april/global-persecution-report-christians-are-the-most-persecuted-and-its-accelerating).

The push-back to the “faith of our fathers” in America is the result of several factors.  However, at the core is the age-old rebellion against any allegiance or acknowledgement of God.  The temptation in the Garden of Eden that brought sin into the world was the word from Satan that “the couple could be as God”. That desire to be our own authority, do what is pleasing to us, and live devoid of any restriction that crimps our will is stronger than ever. 

Christians are praying for the rapture.  However, what if the rapture does not come soon and American Christians face true persecution, imprisonment, and death?  Since that has more often been the lot of Christians in previous eras and is still true in much of the world, how then should we live if we are ever arrested and persecuted for our faith?

Resistance and resentment were running high in Ephesus and Timothy wasn’t the most popular person in town. A man of God calling for right behavior among a people who wanted it their own way is always seen as an irritation.  For the most part Timothy’s world is a mirror of our own. He faced many of the same difficulties and problems as he tried to keep the church together and at the same time reach a lost and perverted world. Paul told Timothy to understand that persecution is a part of being a Christian. The truth is that the world doesn’t like different.  We like to be the same.   (Have you ever noticed that even people who try to be different all do the same thing in the same way?). We don’t like to be singled out.

A Quaker, William Dewsbury, spent 36 years of his life laboring to spread the gospel.  For 19 of those years he was locked away in English prisons. Days before his death, with family and friends at his bedside, he told them, “I can say that I never played the coward, but joyfully entered prisons as palaces.  And, in the prison houses I sung praises to my God, and esteemed the bolts and locks put upon me as jewels.”  

Power filled living is different than the world and there needs to be for us an embracing of being different if we are going to live power filled lives.  (Copied).

In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

2 Timothy 3:12.   Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Luke 6:22If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. John 15:18 .