Persecution

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Mat 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 

Mat 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Luk 21:12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.

Luk 21:17 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.

Rom 12:14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

When people read these verses we seem to normally have the attitude of Gratefulness. When reading them we usually say, “I sure am grateful we live in America where there is freedom to have a Bible and go to church. In some nations like China the Christians are actually persecuted for what they believe. God has blessed us with country that has freedom.” And then we leave it at that.

Those are fine things to say, and I am grateful that I can have a Bible without worrying about it being taken away. But I wonder if we could take God’s word a step further. Is the reason we aren’t being persecuted simply because we aren’t doing enough of what God wants? Are we being ignored by the world? The Chinese Christians are persecuted because they are following what God has told them to do enough to provoke anger from the government. Various Christians in Muslim countries are persecuted because they shine there light far enough to provoke the Muslims.

Now I wouldn’t know, but I would imagine that those persecuted Christians do have the choice to put there light under a bushel and keep there thoughts so secret that no one knows that they were Christians. They could keep their faith to themselves. But instead they provide enough salt in their country to be blessed by persecution. Is it possible that we aren’t rising to the occaision? Is it possible that if we were to do all God wished that we too would be persecuted?

Keep in mind that we need to act with love. That is one of the most fundamental things of Christianity. But some people will react to that love. In James it says how a friend of the world is the enemy of God (Jam 4:4). The scripture also says how God is love. We can conclude that friends of the world will be enemies of God’s true love. Yesterday I talked to a teenager about God. He started swearing and getting all upset at me(though his friend whispered “I believe you.” to me). The teenager repeatedly asked me why I was telling him that he was going to hell (which I hadn’t). I repeatedly replied that it was because I cared about him and didn’t want him to die without a saviour. He still continued to get upset at me. God bless him. I realize I made some mistakes with what I was saying, but he was reacting against love. Though it wasn’t near as much reacting as some Christians see.

Oh to be more like Christ. He died for us.

Levi

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