What will you do when you are persecuted and your life is at stake especially because of your obedience to Jesus Christ? Most of us can try to be diplomatic and save our lives if we’re summoned by the government authorities. In this passage, God describes how a true disciple remains to faithful to Him in the midst of persecution.
Bible keeps reminding us again and again to trust in the Lord especially when we cannot control the outcome. Sometimes we fail to trust in the Lord when we are uncertain about the future. In this passage, we learn how to trust God during impossible situations.
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.
Christian Life consists of various character qualities which are an indication of our genuine faith in Christ. God expects His children to exhibit certain spiritual qualities so that the world might glorify His name. In this passage, we learn about being faithful in our callings, and also to seek God’s approval in everything that we do.
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.
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.
‘Decree’ literally means to order something that comes to pass. Christianity rests on the truth about God’s eternal decrees concerning the salvation of men, and controlling all that happens in this universe. Everything is predestined by God. As R.C Sproul once said – “What predestination means, in its most elementary form, is that our final destination, heaven or hell, is decided by God not only before we get there, but before we are even born. It teaches that our ultimate destiny is in the hands of God.” In this sermon, we meditate on the doctrine of God’s Sovereign and unconditional election which was decreed much before the world began.
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.