We live in a culture that is very hostile to Christianity, perhaps increasingly becoming hostile. This is also because the Lord Himself prophesied about persecution. The Lord prophesied about it because the world was already hostile to Him. In this passage, the Lord teaches us how we can endure persecution.
Every Christian is called to suffer and to expect persecution in this life. The Bibles places such expectation because God knows that we live in a sinful world among fallen people, who do not like to worship The true and living God of the Bible. In this passage, we learn how we can respond during persecution.
Church history has a record of martyrdom so prevalent that a person’s genuine faith in Christ was verified by how much they were willing to suffer and be persecuted for Christ sake while witnessing for Him every second of their lives. So, what kind of character traits should a Christian show forth in the church and in the world especially in times of spiritual adversity? Listen to the sermon to learn the marks of a healthy Christian.
There is one prevailing truth which the Bible keeps reminding Christians about, that is our eternal fellowship with God. This is not just our destiny, but it is also our longing. We were created with a sense of eternity in our hearts, which can only be realized in actuality when we behold God on the last day and enter into eternal fellowship with God. In this passage, the Apostle Paul explains why and how we need to keep groaning for our eternal home, which is God Himself.
Christian life is not devoid of suffering. It is not always filled with happiness. Christian life involves suffering because of the sin we carry with us, and also the sin and evil we see around us. Sometimes, this reality of suffering and hardship can be daunting. But this is where a great comfort lies, because it is God who enables us to persevere, assuring us that our suffering is momentary. In this passage, we learn how to endure suffering with eternity in mind.
Elisabeth Elliot on suffering once said ― “Whatever is in the cup that God is offering to me, whether it be pain and sorrow and suffering and grief along with the many more joys, I’m willing to take it because I trust Him.” This needs to be the response of every Christian in times of suffering, because hardships are inevitable in this life. In this passage, we learn how suffering should enable us to trust in God, an expression of our humility and dependency on Him alone.
Suffering is a universal experience and an inevitable part of our lives. The world suggests us to flee suffering at all costs, so we are provided with millions of solutions everyday to get rid of suffering. However, according to the Bible, God doesn’t want us to avoid or flee from suffering but to embrace it for the greater purpose. In this passage, we learn the purpose of suffering in Christian life, and how God uses it in the lives of others so that ultimately He is glorified in and through our suffering.
Christianity stands or falls on the doctrine of Christ’s resurrection; you take away resurrection, and you’ll lose Christianity. It is this truth that seals believer’s faith firmly and gives hope of life after death precisely because Jesus Christ rose from the dead. It indeed shows us that Jesus Christ is the Son of God came to die for sinners, to purchase the forgiveness for their sins. In this passage, we learn how unrealistic, illogical and hopeless it is to disbelieve in Christ’s resurrection, and what blessings the truth of resurrection entails for those who trust in Him.
We often define happiness based on how successful we are in our endeavors. If things in life are not as desired, then we will not be happy. But Jesus does not define happiness based on the good things that happen in our lives, he defines happiness even when bad things happen to us. He presents a counter-intuitive perspective on having a happy life. Listen to the sermon to find out.