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The Blessing Of Persecution

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef
The Truth Network Radio
June 7, 2019 3:00 am

The Blessing Of Persecution

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef

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As we come to this eight in the series of the Masters manifesto.

Probably it is the most difficult one to explain the most difficult one to comprehend in our culture today because the very few of us. I suspect who really know or understand, let alone comprehend what it is to be persecuted for righteousness sake, I doubt that I want to tell you there are two different causes for persecution and most people model. The two there's a big difference between being persecuted for righteousness, and being persecuted for your own folly. There is a difference between being persecuted for righteousness and the offense of the cross and being persecuted for being an offensive. There is a difference between being persecuted for the sake of your witness for Christ and being persecuted for placing yourself to be a prosecuting attorney.

When Jesus said blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness. There is a word here that is a keyword that he added, and that is falsely that is a keyword for a circle around in your Bible falsely. That means if I lose my job because I have taken my employers time to debate Christianity with others, then I'm not persecuted for righteousness. If I get rejected because I determined to push my opinion to the bitter end. I'm not persecuted for righteousness as I get ostracized because I am arrogant or abusive. In my attempt to witness so-called that is not being persecuted for righteousness. I know that some Christians around who have an ego problem and they want to be noticed and they want to be praised and so they get themselves into trouble and then this is all being persecuted for the faith many years ago, a young man came to see me and he set the base of the lesser job simply because he's a Christian is a tell me about it.

I began to probe it within five minutes I realize that not only that he was given three notices by his employer for taking hours and hours of his working time so-called to witness for Christ and he would not heed any of those notices, but he was offensive rather than persecuted for the faith and thus is a far cry from what Jesus is saying in this manifesto. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, listen carefully, Jesus did not say Blessed are those are persecuted because there are jerks and offensive.

Jesus did not say Blessed are those who are suffering because of their foolishness and lack of wisdom.

No, Jesus did not say Blessed are those who are suffering because out of their anger and bitterness. They lash out. No, Jesus did not say Blessed are those who are suffering because of their fighting spirit. No none of that. But as we come to the end of this Masters manifesto. We found that this particular one. The eighth one is a double portion of blessing. It is double portion for Christians who totally committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ. This double portion of blessing is for a life that is motivated, that is propelled for righteous living. This double portion of blessings is for those who seek a deeper walk, those who seek a higher calling.

This double portion of blessing is for Christians who have dispense with low living, those who have dispensed with shallow spiritual existence. This double portion of blessings is for Christians who have chosen the narrow way and not the highway. This double portion of blessings for those who are seeking nothing in life but the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ and that is why the apostle Paul said in second Timothy chapter 3 verse 12 he said Timothy all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, not may be all possibility this is very well be persecuted. If you live righteously for Jesus Christ. You will be persecuted when you live righteously. You don't have to be confrontational, listen to me very carefully. This is important why because righteousness itself is confrontational whether righteousness expressed verbally or just live righteousness by its very nature is a contrast to wickedness. We have no indication in the Scripture anywhere in the Scripture in the book of Genesis that Abel was trying to evangelize his brother came. There is no inkling anywhere that Abel was Bible bashing his brother came." A lot of the pillars of believe, but eyeballs righteousness was a contrast and a contrasting rebuke to the wickedness of his brother Abel's life of obedience to God was a sharp reproof for his brother's disobedience and caking in a fit of anger.

In a fit of rage. She killed his righteous brother, you don't half to go out looking for persecution mission to replace.

You don't have to go out looking for when you live righteously. Persecution is going to find you but then there is an easy way special at all young people. There's an easy way to avoid persecution. There is a very simple way to avoid it and stay away from it and live at peace. Or so you think all you need to do just live and let live. All you need to do it, just mimic the world and the standards of the world and will leave you alone.

All you need to do is never expressed discomfort at the world's immorality and would cost you nothing. All you need to do is keep your mouth shut about Jesus and you will be fine. All you need to do is go along to get along and go along with the notion that all religions are equally right and you know what they will love you all you need to do is laugh at their jokes laughed when they mocked God laugh when they name his name in vain and they will leave you alone. All you need to do is get tipsy at the cocktail parties. You know what, far from being persecuted. You be the fun of the party.

The root meaning of the word righteousness, not the word itself but the root meaning from which the word comes it means to divide.

It means to be different. It means to be distinguished in the world does not like difference the world loves conformity and that's why kids like to wear the same genes in the same Nikes in the same clothes in the safe act the same way talk the same way. Why because the world forces the mental mold the world hates being different.

The world loves easy-going, no absolutes, no truth in Jesus was persecuted because he was different. Jesus was persecuted because he did not fit into the mold.

Jesus was persecuted because he did not conform to the image of what they thought the Messiah ought to be like Jesus was persecuted because he spoke the truth. He lived the truth and he was willing to die for the truth and he died for the listen to what Jesus Christ said in John chapter 15 verse 19 is that if you were of the world. The world loves his own, but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Some years ago I had a real rude awakening to this whole question of tolerance. The whole word. The word tolerance and is bandied about by the liberals. I discovered back in that event. Tolerance means that those who believe in biblical Christianity must be tolerant of sin and must be tolerant of heresy. Those who are biblically Orthodox must be good boys and girls in and they keep their minds sharp in the midst of the wholesale departure from the truth of the Scripture to their understanding, tolerance means that since the Bible is an archaic book.

Anyway, we all must accept the newfangled ideas which is not new at all is as old as the devil himself was a rude awakening for me is a word. Tolerance is a great work someone forward in its original use. Nothing the way they twisted therefore to speak of biblical truth to them to stand up and say, thus says the Lord, in all gentleness and all love doesn't matter how you do it because to them is intolerance, and it must be signs you can announce to the world today that you're a Presbyterian or a Baptist or Episcopalian or Catholic Ocala floppy and whatever might be in the world do not react will not react but you let Jesus come into the conversation ended phase changes color very jugular veins begin to pop up and the demeanor turns 180° and there is narrow and send outs barking signals of real anger and hatred is when somebody comes and asked me to pray said now do you understand that I will always conclude my prayer about secular groups in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ will thank you very much regret recalled he will get a call the next guy is a God bless you. Don't invite me.

If I'm not going to name the name of Jesus and because this world's reaction to the name of Jesus.

You know what happened in the past several years, the church began to lower its biblical morality and biblical standards in order that accommodate the world and as the church lowers its biblical standards to accommodate the world. They will not be persecuted.

There will be called nice, but I want to do something else.

They will not hear from the lips of Jesus. Blessed are you, Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of heaven here has double meaning. The no meaning is being in heaven with the Lord reign forever. I'm going to come to that. But there is a secondary meaning to this. The kingdom of heaven it please that the believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. They are able to reign they are able to rule in the midst of the persecution and in the midst of the suffering in the midst of being hated and in the midst of persecution in the midst of suffering for righteousness. They walk around as if they owned the world.

You know why the detonators of the world doesn't know what but I bet he owns a world everyone of Jesus's disciples possible exception of John understood those words.

Few years later because every one of them was raining and was ruling in the midst of dying in the midst of being persecuted for righteousness sake. It was James the brother of John who was beheaded a great year at 36 A.D. Thomas was killed in India and he was ruling in writing to the last minute, over himself and his life.

Simon, the brother of Jude was crucified in Egypt in the reign of Emperor Trajan.

Simon the zealot was crucified in Mauritania marked the first Bishop of Alexandria was burnt in Egypt and was buried there.

Bartholomew was beaten and beheaded in Armenia. Andrew, Peter's brother, was crucified in A.D. 80 by government again and was better than Acadia set up was stoned in Phrygia.

James the brother of the Lord Jesus because of his influence. He was given an opportunity to stand on the top of the Temple and they said you stand up there and proclaim that you have followed a false teaching of your brother Jesus and then when he stood up he began to proclaim the gospel that his brother has lived and died and rose 4 and then out of anger. They came on.

They pushed him out from the temple and when they came down they found him not bad, they began to beat his head until he died to say nothing of Peter, who considered himself to be unworthy to be crucified like his master he said not crucify me upside down what suffering. Have you experienced for righteousness lately.

I can ask myself the same question.

Even today, while we in the West live in the lap of lecture and live in conflict a bigger suffering is for the services few minutes longer bigger suffering as we don't have the right because I write this of the rights that thousands of Christians around the world are being imprisoned. They are beaten up with bicycle chains or been deprived of food in and sleep. They are killed simply because they are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ and today millions of Christians are being harassed daily for the name of Jesus that is persecution for righteousness. Blessed are those so Jesus who are persecuted for righteousness sake, and then a second blessing, he said, Blessed are you when they insult you harassed you for my namesake. This is a double portion of blessing is the only time that says blessed twice of all of the Masters manifesto that we be looking at Blessed are those who are truly the citizens of heaven. Those who are motivated in this life by the life that is to come blessed indeed. Blessed are you when men revile you, and speak evil against you falsely, for my sake, that the word revile means seriously insulting or throw abusive words that somebody it means to vigorously mark somebody publicly.

I know that sometimes because of our love for Christ and our commitment to the truth of his word. It causes people to call us names. It causes some people to despise us. It may cause some people to call as bigots falsely they might call us extremists. Falsely there will call us backward falsely. It was the Romans.

In the early Christian church. They began to accuse the Christians falsely they call them catalyst because they said they were eating and drinking the communion cup when Brad they said the love feast is a feast of immorality. Can you imagine the Romans calling the Christians tomorrow but that's how they would falsely accuse you. Sometimes because of our faithfulness to Christ. People will falsely accuse us of not being compassionate, using their own definition of compassion which is shallow at best. Sometimes because of our faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ. Some people must smile at our faces and then criticizes behind our backs at actors behind our backs insult is behind our backs. Listen to what Jesus's critics said of him. In Matthew chapter 11 verse 19.

They said he was blocking this that he was a drunkard. They said he was a friend of tax collectors and sinners if they said that about the Lord of life. Who are we to expect any less slander behind one's back is harder to take because it's hard to defend slander behind one's back has an opportunity of spreading has an opportunity of being believed before one can have a chance to correct it. But I want to tell you this. Listen carefully while slander is regrettable is not something that you know you enjoy your publicly welcome but far from being worried about it. Far from spending time fretting over at far from letting it affect you and consume your energy. I want you to know that Jesus said blessed are you not only that but he said we experience for slander should be rejoicing. Jesus is saying that when you're being slandered count on me when you're being falsely accused look up to me. He said when you are being maligned falsely don't retaliate. Leave it with me when you are being falsely accused. Don't let it consume your energy spend time pricing for your prosecutors because that is how we are going to have victory.

The apostle Peter, who was there that the Mount of Beatitudes and heard those words of Jesus expounds on them in first Peter chapter 3 and verse 18.

Then he repeats the Masters teaching and he tells his readers to sit far from defending ourselves. We should consider ourselves to be lynched. That's really what they are saying that is a summary of chapter 3. When we suffer because we are different when we suffer because we are distinguished from the world. Peter is telling us that when we are hated when we are maligned when we are afflicted. Remember that the real animosity is not against us but is against the Lord, who will represent Satan's great enemy is Christ, and he opposes Christ everywhere, especially in the life of his faithful followers. When we are attacked for the sake of Christ.

We are a target because of the righteousness that we represent and exemplify.

So my precious friends, far from fretting France from being angered.

Matthew 512 Jesus tells us that we should be happy, and we should rejoice and be glad. You were John Stott said about this particular verse.

He said we don't retaliate like an unbeliever.

We don't sulk like a child. We don't lick our wounds in self-pity like a dog.

We don't just grin and bear it like a stork, and we don't pretend that we enjoy it like a masochist but we are truly to leap for joy. Why, because our inheritance in heaven is great greater than you can imagine. Now some people think that being different is being somber. The New York saddle time that he honestly looking at some of you feel free to smile that you face going to correct when you have some special cream or something and does not was supposed to be for believers is another testament the world wants to see status. Our faces look as if you been baptized in vinegar that is not what Jesus is saying here. In fact, I had the story recently about a deacon who went to the airport to pick up a preacher. I guess preachers coming in and he did know what he looked like, so he waited people coming out of the gate and finally he survived. I know this guy look like in the first solid looking man walking out is that there must be him. Somehow preachers just supposed to have some places and he walked up to him and he said Sir are you a preacher and the man said no none in the sense of the reason… Well been sick for a few weeks. I want to do something else that Jesus said here that you must remember those of you English scholars grandma scholars listen. Jesus is not making a recommendation hears it all. By the way would be nice to rejoice when you get into trouble to get persecuted know is in the imperative mode. It is a command that Jesus is commanding us to rejoice when people persecuted for righteousness when they insult us unwanted because now we are commanded to rejoice. Some people might falsely take you to court and you lose some things. Some might have taken you to court and cheated the system and took whatever precious possession you have is one thing that nobody in the world of the world can never take away from you and that your joy Jesus gives two reasons to be glad when you are persecuted for righteousness sake. First of all, he said, because your reward in heaven because that's where your reward in heaven. Our present life is no more than a viper. James said it appears for a little while and then it disappears all of a sudden you see it in your cooking rate is in the kitchen. You see the steam coming up and all of a sudden eternal is it that's life is fleeting in this temporal and if we only can understand this as I told you in the very beginning. It is the thing that will help you overcome whatever is facing you. I haven't taken my wife's permission to tell you this but I'll tell you whenever we get into a discussion and that is you might call it something else with us or I'll call it a vigorous discussion at least José doesn't just remember that one mother is like to help me now, but I'm preaching the truth. I'm telling you the truth when you begin to comprehend heaven and the fact that the greatest thing until you haven't all the problems you're facing will not mean anything about 100 years from now you'll be in heaven. L. The problem still down here when you focus on heaven. Jesus said that is why he said you must store your treasures.

You must store your silver and your gold stocks in your bones real estate all of your possessions to heaven because that's where you spending I have never known anybody to affect all deposition with them on a weeks vacation. I've never seen anyone who went to the train station to catch a train and took all the positions and set them on the train station with all their possessions. But that's where we are we on a train station. We are on vacation when I got home. This is our home, and the more you convince your mom.

You focus on that more you think of having the more you realize that all your fretting is nothing Jesus said that the evidence of heaven are not ordinary dividends. Investors there are not only the evidence and then not only internal he know what he said. He said they are great. They are great are his supplies in the back, probably saying well you know don't serve God for reward. Of course you do you do therefore you really like it will not listen to what Hebrews 12 to said about the Lord Jesus Christ. This is because of the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame I got news wave is good enough or just good enough for me. I'm looking for my reward in heaven. It is neither selfish nor unspiritual to look forward to the reward in heaven. The apostle Paul. Look forward to the crown in heaven walked toward the end of his life he knew in his heart that he fought the good fight and he stood for the truth and paid a heavy price for it and he knew that when he gets on the other side is going to hear those words. Well done good and faithful servant.

And there's a second reason for rejoicing when we suffer for righteousness. Jesus said, you're in good company when you suffer little as it is for Jesus sake you are in a great company of men and women of old. The little that you suffer for Jesus sake, should remind us that we are linked together with men and women for hundreds of years who have stood where we stood, who have suffered what was suffered, who are now rejoicing in heaven.

Think of how many of them were put in boiling oil for the sake of Christ.

Think how many of them were painted with tar and let like a human torch.

Think of how many of them that were covered by sheepskin and thrown into a wild animals rejoice because you are in good company. They suffered for the sake of Christ.

You know what these early Christians could escape persecution easily. First, simply little compromise here in a little compromise here wasn't a big deal. All you need to say Caesar is Lord. That's all.

So many Christians are saying Caesar is Lord.

All week long.

But you know the difference. Earthly comfort was not the primary motive for missing but Jesus was Jesus was in many ways these Beatitudes painter comprehensive portrait of a true Christian does not paint a picture of a Presbyterian Episcopalian, the or of Methodist or Catholic.

It does not do that at all. It paints a portrait of a true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.

A true follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and every one of those is a step up on a step up on the step there were not just casually thrown eight of them like that, no first step is that I declare spiritual bankruptcy.

I come to God and say I can save myself I can help myself.

All my work is but dirty rag only your righteousness can save me. Blessed are those and then Jesus said the next step is to mourn over our sin would grieve over our sin in the third step is would become meek by taking power and control over our lives. And fourthly, he said, far from being smug and satisfied with oneself. It is a daily hunger. It's obtained a thirst for righteousness, and then the next step comes is that we don't run away from this world we don't escape from this world, but rather be right in the midst of it showing mercy upon those who have been battered by sin and the six step is that we live the transparent life we live the life that is integrated what we say we believe in the way we live our integrated, and then the seventh. He said seek to make peace through God's truth finally today is saying that there are some who can perform this in the not only perform a thankless job, but they will be harassed there be persecuted there be oppressed that we slandered their be insulted on the account of the righteousness which is seek to exhibit in the world sits before us in this manifesto. The choice of blessing and a curse.

I pray that every one of us would choose the blessing because blessing come only from following the Masters manifest with you have heard the entire series or you just heard today's message of the Holy Spirit of God has been speaking to you to make this to be the manifesto of your life. I beg you not to quench the Holy Spirit don't postpone it once. I will one day I will do this. This is a blessing that God is offering you don't choose the Kirsch take the blessing. Heavenly father, we know we can trust you publicly that we cannot, of our own strength. Do any of this.

We by nature being harassed and attacked by the enemy and all his cronies in this world, but we thank you that he who is with us is greater than he is against.

We thank you that we have the Holy Spirit of God given to us in order to fight and win. We thank you that you have given us victory right now. We thank you that we can have the victory in Jesus name. If we seek in father I pray that in his power and his grace and his mercy that you will strengthen us to live by and through your son's manifest in his name I pray, amen.

Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael.

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