Monday, November 3, 2008
In the last days there will be more and more persecution for the church. We will suffer for standing up for Jesus. For living a godly life. For choosing to be devoted to God and His ways. A lot of the time it can even be those who are closest to us. We must know what the word says about persecution and the end thereof.
As in the movies we can say, “Go ahead make my day”, or my version, “Go ahead, I get the Crown”. Many may try to change you and your path, but you must endure to the end.
In 2 Timothy we read we will have persecution. We will be made to suffer for our religious stand. BUT...
2 Tim. 3:12 Indeed all who delight in piety and are determined to live a devoted and godly life in Christ Jesus will meet with persecution [will be made to suffer because of their religious stand].
But... We are blessed and we will receive the crown of life. No matter what people say or do to you, keep the end in sight. Keep the faith. Knowing that the trying of your faith worketh patience and in the end you will be the one with the crown.
James 1:12 Blessed (happy, to be envied) is the man who is patient under trial and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive [the victor's] crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him.
We are not to fear what man can do to us and they will do things. The main goal of the enemy is to steal your faith. Without your faith you will not endure to the end and you will not receive the crown. We must be loyally faithful even unto death. Death in this life or the next. Paul said we must die to self. Some will have to die physically too.
Rev. 2:10 Fear nothing that you are about to suffer. [Dismiss your dread and your fears!] Behold, the devil is indeed about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested and proved and critically appraised, and for ten days you will have affliction. Be loyally faithful unto death [even if you must die for it], and I will give you the crown of life.
1 Peter 5:4 And [then] when the Chief Shepherd is revealed, you will win the conqueror's crown of glory.
The other goal of the enemy is to shut you up and to censure you. He wants you to stop telling other of Jesus and His saving power. But, we must not let others stop our voice. We must even yell the louder. Tell other more. We are going to share in the suffering of Christ, but rejoice, you know the outcome. We WIN!!
1 Peter 4:13-14 But insofar as you are sharing Christ's sufferings, rejoice, so that when His glory [full of radiance and splendor] is revealed, you may also rejoice with triumph [exultantly].
14 If you are censured and suffer abuse [because you bear] the name of Christ, blessed [are you--happy, fortunate, to be envied, [i]with life-joy, and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, regardless of your outward condition], because the Spirit of glory, the Spirit of God, is resting upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.
Luke 6:22-23 Blessed (happy--with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, apart from your outward condition--and to be envied) are you when people despise (hate) you, and when they exclude and excommunicate you [as disreputable] and revile and denounce you and defame and cast out and spurn your name as evil (wicked) on account of the Son of Man.
23 Rejoice and be glad at such a time and exult and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is rich and great and strong and intense and abundant in heaven; for even so their forefathers treated the prophets.
We shall suffer affliction, tribulation, and persecution, BUT, nothing can separate us from Christ’s love. We are His and not even the most powerful person on earth can change that. We are MORE than conquerors. The enemy is going to try to tell you God doesn’t love you anymore. You are too bad, you have suffered to much, just give up. The enemy is a liar.
Rom. 8:35-39 Who shall ever separate us from Christ's love? Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword?
36 Even as it is written, For Thy sake we are put to death all the day long; we are regarded and counted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us.
38 For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers,
39 Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Nothing the enemy does will prosper. He will try over and over again. But be of good cheer, Jesus has overcome the world. Look at this next scripture, it is our heritage to have peace, righteousness, security, and to triumph over the opposition.
Isaiah 54:17 But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall show to be in the wrong. This [peace, righteousness, security, triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord [those in whom the ideal Servant of the Lord is reproduced]; this is the righteousness or the vindication which they obtain from Me [this is that which I impart to them as their justification], says the Lord.
The last thing we must remember is to not let anyone take your crown. This means do not let them seize it from you. Do not let them take it from you by craftiness or fraud. Do not let have access to your crown. Do not offer them your crown.
Rev. 3:11 I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one may rob you and deprive you of your crown.
Many fall because they give up and give place to those who are of the devil. We must not let them steal what God has given us. NO matter who they are. We might think that our enemies are people we do not know. But satan will use those closest to you. So protect your crown. Endure to the end. Receive your Crown and Keep it. Tell them “Go ahead, I get the Crown”.