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- Matt 2:16-23 Attempted Murder of Jesus
- Do not expect to be honored in a world where your master was crucified- CH Spurgeon
- This portion begins the persecution of Jesus. From the time he was born, he hadn’t even done anything, the Governmental powers were out to Kill him.
- We talked before about Herod propensity for Sin- and here we see the fulfillment of it
- People have always had a problem with Jesus. The world will never fully accept him
- We can, and should do whatever we can to lead people to him, but to think that somehow, the world is going to fully accept him and his ways, is a false theology- JESUS was rejected- HE was crucified- we aren’t more powerful than he was-
- Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess eventually- but persecution is our inheritance
- I want to talk to you about persecution today. What it is, how to prepare, what to do
- You will hear many people today say that Christians are not persecuted-
David Guzik came up with – 10 Myths about Persecution that I want to share briefly
1. It’s only persecution when people are getting killed. No Joseph and Mary were persecuted when they needed to flee- when Paul was beaten. When you lose a job, or are ostracized.
2. As long as someone else is persecuted worse, we shouldn’t complain. No persecution is persecution. Is Racism in your apartment complex ok because you weren’t killed?
3. Persecution has to be violent to be real persecution. Bullying is persecution. Words. laws
4. Persecution has to directly impact everyone before it is real persecution. Not all Christians in the world are treated the same- and it’s the same in America- Right now we are treated different than other states in the union
5. Persecutors openly hate Jesus Christ and Christianity. Not always- sometimes they seem friendly- but they don’t agree with what we believe silently. Some churches help the persecution
6. Christians are persecuted without reason. No we are- we are against what they believe
7. Christians should always silently accept persecution. No– Paul spoke up- we can speak up
8. Persecution always unites the Church. Not always- some Christians stand by in silence
9. Persecution never “Works.” Sure it does- Christians are afraid to speak up!
10. Persecution is the worst thing that can happen to Christians. No- we’ll live through it
What does persecution look like
- People think its being burned at the stake- but its bullying on social media. Its ostracizing by people at work and in community. Often at the hands of professing Christians who have abdicated their role in society under the banner of tolerance, acceptance and love. Infiltration in public schools/unis
- Laws that directly affect Christians and the Institution of the church-zoning, gathering, taxes
- Rhetoric that is pervasively attacking Christian institutions and beliefs on media and TV
- Christians believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven- exclusive claim to truth
- Believe that marriage and sex should only be between a married man and woman
- Male headship patriarchy- ACB too- finagled herself out of the kitchen to a Supreme court seat.
- The nuclear family as God’s ideal for the world- I’m a child of divorce- but its not the IDEAL
- We don’t believe in abortion- We don’t believe in evolution- We believe that Sexual immorality is wrong- drunkenness and drug abuse is wrong. We hate pornography and lawlessness
- The people who are the actual power brokers in this world say that Christians are oppressive, but ABC, NBC,CBS, FOX, CNN, Every city newspaper, Facebook, Twitter, MSN, Magazines, Movies, TV, Music, Public School and Public university have the influence over the nation. Not us. At all.
- It’s not us. At all. And our beliefs and positions are shouted down, threatened with violence
- We are labled bigots. Racists. Predjudiced. “Phobic” backwards people who are not in touch with the times. Christian universities take bible and Christian off their names so kids can get jobs. The “Pence rule” was ostracized. Daughter philosophy book- bible is story of men oppressing women- no muslim
- We’re the ones who forgive the pedophile, adulterer and murderer. We’re the ones who give the most money, do the most good. We start schools, hospitals, and drug rehab and we’re the wrong ones. We do the most good- We believe Jesus is the answer to racism and everything else.
- We’re persecuted for our beliefs. You can’t deny an invite to gay coworkers wedding on religious grounds and be understood. You can’t refuse to share a room with a co-worker of the opposite sex without condemnation. You can’t opt your children out of sex education without being labled backwards. Sports are on Sundays, business on Sundays, Zoning laws that adversely affect the expansion of the church. View on dating, sex, primacy of Jesus, love of Church, no abortion
- How many times have you heard about churches during covid in the news v muslims, Buddhists, or Sikhs? Any? Did you see the attack that ACB has got for her catholic beliefs? Would they do that to a Muslim? Nope. Talk show guy fired for saying there is only two genders. Dictionary changing words
- At the end of the day- this is what they want- No reference to God. Anywhere. They want to have sex with whomever they want. They want to answer to no one and have the group vote to agree with whatever they think is the most important flavor of the day.
- Intervarsity kicked off campus for requiring leaders to be Christian https://www.relevantmagazine.com/current/nation/university-kicks-intervarsity-off-campus-requiring-leaders-christian/
- Teacher gives a kid a bible in new Jersey https://www.lehighvalleylive.com/warren-county/2017/05/teacher_who_gave_student_a_bib.html
- Football coach fired for praying https://www.cnn.com/2015/10/29/us/washington-football-coach-joe-kennedy-prays/index.html
- The Root of Persecution
- Fear of loss of Power– Those who have power do not want to lose it- This was Herod’s problem and it’s the God of this world’s problem as well.
- Mark 12:12 And they sought to lay hands on Him, but feared the multitude, for they knew He had spoken the parable against them. So they left Him and went away.
- Herod’s fear is that people would call him the King of the Jews- that people would follow him
- Governments don’t like people who follow someone other than them- They want submission
- Why do you think every president cozied up to Billy Graham? Cause Billy could turn the nation
- Shining light on Sin
- People love their sin. They love their sexual immorality, drunkenness, gossip, anger, self righteousness, selfishness, idolatry, greed, envy and debauchery. And anyone poised to take it they reject- They don’t want to give up their sin!
- Proverbs 1:29 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the Lord,
- John 3:20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
- And when it shines- they ATTACK- To protect their sin- they don’t want to give it up
- Hatred of Truth
- Romans 1: 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
- People don’t want to know the truth because it reveals that they are not in power, and that they are in sin and that they need a savior- It humbles them- they don’t want that truth!
- No Christian escapes persecution
- Many people who claim to be Christian escape persecution- because they live like the world lives and does what the world does- you never see sharks eating each other in a frenzy
- This is prophecy- John 15:23-25 READ
- The Cause of it is simply because you align yourself with Christ- no other Reason
- And Jesus promised we would experience it. And even more as you see the day approaching
- John 15:18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.
- The inheritance of Jesus was persecution and death. He fled from the authorities many times because they intended to arrest him and kill him
- He wasn’t bound by their laws or their ideas about who God was and what he shouldn’t do
- He broke the law and healed on the Sabbath. He ate with the unclean. He hid from authorities
- Cause what was right was what was right in God’s eyes- not in the eyes of those who pass Godless laws.
- Peter says we should expect it and see it coming- not surprised.
- 1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;
- If you are going to stand up for righteousness and live a certain way- its going to ruffle the Godless feathers around you
- When you say no to something- or you set a limit- or you tell your kids teacher, coach no or an employer no. You’re going to be persecuted for it. When you tell your family you’ll come after you go to church- or you can’t go because of whatever Godly reason they will hate you
- And if you speak the truth on social media or in person? People are going to be MAD MAD
- If you really want to be persecuted- say something to a unsaved person who says they are saved
- 2 Timothy 3:12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
- Response to persecution
- Since persecution is inevitable- we should expect it, prepare for it and respond well.
- Luke 6:22 Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man’s sake.
- You’re blessed for persecution! Jesus said it- Don’t be upset about it!
- I’ve lost most of my friends from the Christian college I attended because of my view of the Bible and God’s word. I’m ignorant. I’m zealous. I’m not reading the right books. (gay marriage books)
- That’s the first part- Realized you’re blessed- It’s a blessing to be persecuted!
- 1 Peter 3:14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”
- It’s no trouble- we knew it was coming- we knew it would happen. God will bless us for it
- 1 John 3:13 13 Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you.
They are just going to hate you and you have to learn to be OK with it
- I Know I talk a lot about the church- but its important- this is why the inner fighting within the church with gossip, back biting, anger and factions makes no sense to me
- We should be getting beat up enough by the world we don’t have any energy left for others
- We should be coming together to encourage an love each other through our wounds
- I’d guess the people who fight other Christians have all that energy because they never fight the world- Cause fighting your own team is about as dumb as it gets.
- Be encouraged! Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
- Nothing can separate us! God’s love reigns!
- When I was talking to a group of pastors a few months ago- I was trying to encourage them to open up their churches- They were very concerned with how the public would view them
- I’m like- They weren’t beating down your door before corona- they already don’t like you
- So what do we do?
- Realize you’re blessed. Mat 5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Bless those who persecute-Rom 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
- Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
- Rejoice! You get to share in Christs suffering 1 Peter 4:13 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
- This is a choice! You can choose to go join the world and get their praise!
- Hebrews 11:25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,
- I see it often- people come to Jesus, and realize its not all fun and games- and they go back to the filth they came from- You can go back to whatever bar, drug house, den of illrepute and they will welcome you with open arms. Just go back and do what they are doing.
- I for one- want to rest in Jesus- I want the persecution-
- Psalm 84:10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather [a]be a doorkeeper in the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
- Revelation 6:9 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.
- They’ve shut down the churches with Corona- under the fear of a virus- Completely unconstitutional
- If I want to shoot up heroin, marry a man, castrate myself, smoke weed, light a street on fire, or celebrate any other kind of evil they will throw me a parade
- But if I want to worship my God- they will shut it down. I do not comply. Equal treatment under law
- No words for marches, celebrations for sports teams, famous funerals, nothing- but CHURCH- noo
- John 16:2 They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.
- Make no mistake- they are coming for us. They will eventually be marching in front of our buildings
- Cancel culture cancels everything that goes against their ideals. Shouts down free speech
- 1 Corinthians 4:13 being defamed, we [a]entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.
- I’m ready. I hope you are.
- Some of you are afraid because you’ve never had to fight. We stick together, were fine
- Herod wanted to Kill Jesus- he didn’t want to lose power when Jesus is a baby
- Now- Herod just hides in the government and does the same thing-
- To this day- they want to eradicate Christianity in the same way- we will be OK
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