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August 24, 2020 1:46 pm
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On denied Christian other people. Walkable one 570 because of a prison is common for believers that will be discouraged through oil drilling 40 Marshall is a special blessing for Christians who endure persecution of blessing given by Jesus in his best-known seven from a series on the Beatitudes is David happy harassed and thank you for joining us in (one of the things I remember growing up is my parents allowing me to read a book on martyrdom and I had really never thought about the fact that people suffer like that just because they happen to believe in Jesus Christ. Course now that there are many organizations that reach out to martyrs and help them and encourage them and many people think that we may understand that a whole lot more personally in this country. Before long as things continue to spin out of control with Bible tells us, Jesus tells us it's possible to be happy even when you're being persecuted is what he said blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 510 through 12, you know, the way we think.
Today, the way our minds are taught to work persecution and happiness don't fit in the same sentence. But Jesus says they belong together and find out why.
As we open our Bibles together today to Matthew five verses 10 through 12 let's get started with the first half, Jenny Adams missionary in Peru for 34 years ministered faithfully as a teacher at the missions Bible school in Tramiel and in remote villages. She drove her own van. One of the few vehicles in the community and often pick up passengers who needed rides into town or back to their homes in the villages willingness to give young woman arrived one day was routine young woman had previously attended a mission school and her father was a village pastor and she frequently asked arrived.
Little did Jenny Adams know that the young woman's brother was a cocaine processor and used his sister to transport the drug Peruvian law views a person as guilty until proven innocent. In Jenny's case the newspapers were quick to exploit the story of an obvious attempt to discredit foreign missionary endeavors North American Protestant woman pastor has discovered without any doubt. One reported that there is not a better or more rapid way to get to heaven than with cocaine drug which is able to trigger a divine high that was in the Peruvian paper Jenny Adams was captured by the National Guard young lady had left 3 kg and 900 g of cocaine in her van.
The reporter went on to say that no one suspected what true activities were as a drug trafficker and that the pastor of souls could not give any coherent explanation.
She was gleefully.the cocaine missionary and authorities arrested her with no consideration of her long years of ministry and service in Peru. She was imprisoned for 20 days.
Ms. Adams was released but not until after she and the work of her mission were totally discredited and she was vilified in all of the public newspapers in her community.
What happened to her has happened many, not just on the mission field, which may be the front line of our advancing of the gospel, but it happens every day in the workplace happens often in the schools on our college campuses or high schools. Strangely enough I have been learning it even happens in some churches where people are persecuted for their faith.
I don't know about you but I can imagine anything that would make you believe in the human realm that persecution is something that is blessed or is the cause of happiness in one's life.
And yet Jesus said blessed are they who are persecuted are natural sense of values doesn't see any happiness in persecution.
No one that I know enjoys being maligned.
Almost everybody I know wants to have people say good things about them and feel like there accepted in their neighborhood school or in the workplace, it would seem. On one hand that just being a Christian, especially if you live a decent life and upstanding good life that if people didn't agree with the way you live.
They would at least see that the standard of your life is maybe a little bit better than most, and they would look at you and say I don't necessarily buy and what this guy believes but I do respect his life and they would show you respect us that the weight is there is something about a Christian who is living for God, not a holy Joe not somebody who wears his sanctification on his sleeve. But somebody just lives the normal natural Christian life within the marketplace that brings a sense of condemnation into the environment and causes anger in the hearts of those who watch and the response is like the way he is. He's different than I am. I am not happy with his presence here makes me feel guilty when he's around.
And so they vilified Christians they persecute them. No doubt you've ask yourself many times if you've experienced that. How can I ever find blessing in this well. The Bible says that those who experience what I have just described, have an opportunity for a kind of joy and blessing. In fact if you look down there to phrases that Jesus uses he says you not only blessed but you're supposed to rejoice in the what's the next phrase, and be exceeding glad you're supposed to take great joy and gladness in the persecution that comes because you're a Christian, you say, why haven't felt that well let me remind you that Paul wrote to Timothy in second Timothy chapter 3 in verse 12 that all that live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution, can make any comment about whether you have persecution or not. When you examine your own life in light of that verse. It says all those who live godly in Christ Jesus will there's not any doubt about it there's no option here will suffer persecution in some way.
I remember reading in the New Testament about how when the disciples were sharing the gospel in beginning to teach one of their adversaries said these men have turned the world upside down and I thought to myself, that's exactly the problem. The world is upside down. But the upside down world thinks the questions upside down and so they look at us and were out of context and we don't fit people don't like you when you're different.
That's at the basis of racism. That's at the basis of all divisions we have in society. The difference of people so I want to talk with you for a few moments about these words from Jesus.
They fascinate me.
First of all I think it's important that we look at the reason for persecution. Matthew five you will notice it says that this persecution is for a particular reason it says blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness sake, and later on in the next part of this context, it says persecuted for my sake bureaucracy people think of being persecuted when the just get what they deserve it all been bad if you're bad and you get in trouble for. That's not persecution. Remember about a guy who went to see a psychologist because he had inferiority complex.
Our buddy Tony had an inferiority complex, and the psychologist examined and came back and he sits on about this he said you have accomplished your inferior.
Sometimes we need to just be honest if were in trouble because we been doing bad that we got no reason to get on this kick about how spiritual we are because were being persecuted. Jesus is not talking here about getting in trouble for the things you do that you shouldn't do in fact in first Peter 415 Peter said let none of you suffer as a evildoer as a thief as a busybody in other people's matters. Don't get in trouble for doing stuff you shouldn't do and then fall back on, being persecuted as a Christian lifetimes. The people I hear talking about persecution are not talking about what Jesus is talking about. They just got on the wrong track on the wrong thing and are paying dividends that come to them for it.
The words persecuted for righteousness sake and for my sake.
Caution us to make sure that we are opposed and hated solely because we are followers of the Lord and not unaccountable misconduct Christians in Jesus day were persecuted because of the difference in their lives. It was a constant rebuke to the pagans even more so than today.
Peter says that the heathen spoke evil of the Christians for no other reason than the Christians did not run with them to the same excess of right they were different. So the reason for persecution again on the blessing here you make sure you get in on the reason the reason for persecution must be it's for righteousness sake. And it's because of your identification with Jesus Christ. No other reason.
That's the reason. Notice that Jesus says the realities of persecution are threefold. There are three words that he uses to describe what happens to you when you live for Christ, and he began to get flack for it to begin to take because of your position.
First of all, he says they will revile you that it's not a common word that we use today with the word revile is a Greek word which means to cast in one's teeth. It is used in the crucifixion of Christ in Matthew 27 when they mocked him and made fun of him and reviled him and scorned him. It's to throw something into one space.
It's to abuse one with bile vicious mocking words to revile somebody, you and reviled the raise your hand. It's an awful experience is to be in a situation where you done nothing wrong you just try to please God and live your life the way you should limit and all somebody gets in your face and just rip you to shreds young lady in our church came to me and she told me the story. She said she started in a Realty business and she went to the particular realty firm because somebody told a bunch of Christians there and she was just a new Christian. She came to Christ to shadow Mountain church.
So she went to this Realty place and she went in and met the boss and she told the boss that God had sent her there while he was supposedly Christian, but he was so nervous about God sent someone to work for, so she got into the business and she got started. One day she just made it often comment about something about God and he called her into his office and got right in her face and just reviled her. He cast her faith back in her teeth and sent to her you take your Jesus Christ and your God and you get out of here in the power of Jesus. She said God told me to come here and I'm not leave until God tells me to leave and he just looked at her and he said well then get out here and go do what you gotta do she's only later that man came around now has some interest in the things of God. You know you can get reviled if you live for God in the marketplace serve the Lord second was the word persecution not to be reviled. But Jesus says you be persecuted. The word persecution is from the same root word is the word pursue and it's the idea of what happened when Paul before he became Paul was pursuing the Christians he was persecuting them.
But remember he was chasing him down, despite how where they were and he was going to get and put them in jail and persecuting them for their faith. How many of you have ever felt like somebody's pursuing persecuting it's been with us since the beginning of time.
Persecution has been a part of everyone who's ever walked with God from day one, Cain slew Abel and wherefore did he slay him because his own works were evil and his brothers were righteous.
Joseph was a good and godly young man thrown into a pit by his brothers because they were jealous over his standing with his father all throughout history go through the list of people who made an impact in history you will find all of them somewhere along the way, paid a price for the godliness and righteousness and for their living for God persecution.
Not only will you be reviled and persecuted. But the Scripture says this one we understand what they will say all manner of evil things against you falsely notice how Jesus put that who say all kinds of evil against you falsely, for my sake, this is a very interesting expression that talks about the creativity that people use in criticizing and vilifying and reviling you it says they don't just say the things that will be normal to say.
They say all manner of things they actually spent time creating new ways they spend their creative juices trying to figure out a way to put you down ever since that but you know what you been on the assignment. You know that's what they do when people get off and revile and persecute and say all manner of evil things against you now, having said all that, that's the bad news that's going to happen and let me remind you again what the Bible says if you live godly in Christ Jesus you can get some flack suffer persecution. You're going to have people not always leaking. You are the citizen of the year and I want to stop for a moment before going to tell you the good news let you know that my heart is really identified with young people in our church and face that every single day on the secular campuses where a lot of our kids want to live for Christ in the secular campus.
We got a lot of college students are on the secular campus trying to live for Christ and if you not like everybody else you not always been to be the most popular person on campus and they may not always want to elect you to office, or they may not invite you to the important things that happened, but I want you to know if you stand for Jesus Christ and you live godly you not trying to be obnoxious about your faith but you just being who you are in Christ. What I'm saying right now is especially for you.
God will honor that. And he will bless you for. In fact, Jesus said blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake and for my sake, which are now it's for the right reasons. But listen here are the things that happen blessing number one. Persecution is a complement.
You know that it really is. Persecution is a complement persecution shows that we take somebody so seriously that we consider the fact that he must be eliminated. No one ever persecutes a person who is futile and ineffective and indecisive persecution only comes to the man whose life is so positive and so real and so effective that he is regarded by those who see them as some sort of a danger or threat or a sense of condemnation.
George Bernard Shaw said that the most wonderful complement the world to have a patron offers to burn his books. Persecution is always a proof of the utter genuineness and sincerity of the faith of the man who was persecuted to say something different. Somebody was just out there serving as time somebody's out there compromising somebody's out there facing both ways, based in the critical and uncommitted will never be persecuted with you getting some heat on the campus at your college or if they're on your case. At the school you attend or if there bad mouthing you in the office where he worked. I go to Tyson.
That's one of the greatest compliments. You must be doing some right you must be living godly in Christ Jesus. Remember watching the movie some years ago about a football player who send out the end of the bench and he wasn't very good. At least when he came out for the team and the coach started to get on his case just get on every day we came practice. He was always in trouble when they complained about in the coach that something like this.
He said son you got nothing complained about the guy who should be complaining is the guy that I'm never talking to because I talked to you and I'm on you because I want you to be better to complement that I spent so much time trying to encourage you to get better as the guys were sitting over there that I never talk to those of the guys are in real trouble. Some of your questions while talking foreign language you today.
You've never had anybody say a bad word about you.
You just sort of fit right in. That's not a complement. I'm not telling you should go out and try to be as noxious as you can and I know a lot of Christians that think that's the way to do it but that's not it. I'm talking about just being who you are in Jesus Christ living your life every day to the honor and glory of Jesus Christ. If you do that somebody's show up and not be happy about your presence is what you know it's a complement to complement. Secondly, not only is it a complement. It's a credential. It really is what Jesus said. He said if you do this and you get this kind of treatment. Just remember, the prophets got it before you came along and I got it after they did, and everybody. Whoever lives for Christ is going to be like this. It is like wearing your badge. It identifies you with those who are righteous, Matthew 1022 says you shall be hated of all men for my namesake. Christ, in a sense, you see is a king who was in exile and if we are his followers.
We are often looked upon with derision because we are identified with him. Paul said, I reckon that the sufferings of this age are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Jesus in John chapter 15 reminds us that if were going to be identified with him to get same treatment he got in some way. If they hated me. He said, and you identify with me they're going to hate you, and you know what, at the end of his life. Paul prayed that he might be consumed by the Fellowship of sufferings in Christ.
He wanted to be identified not only a complement. It's a credential and thirdly not only a complement in a credential.
It is a catalyst you know what the Bible says about suffering and about persecution. It is the only way you can get some qualities in your life.
There are some things you cannot develop as a believer. Apart from stress and difficulty and persecution.
There is a timeworn story about the spelling. What was pastored and wanted his parents to pray with them because he Denali patients. He said pastor I just the most impatient thing around the house and would you pray with me about patients, about two weeks later he came back he said good night. Manny said what did you price of my lights, number, so I just went to the word of God for the formulas as tribulation works patients alike prayed for tribulation. God must be answer my prayer know it's kind of a silly little thing but it's true isn't the most important lessons I've ever learned in my life I learned under the pressure of difficulty in the midst of suffering and pressure and tribulation and things I never would have ordered if I had gotten the menu in front of me those important lessons I would never have learned the best lessons in life I've learned in the most difficult situations and God says in his word that tribulation does work patients and patients hope, and hope makes is not a shame. So when you're under persecution. One reason you should rejoice is God's up to something in your life. He's doing homework processing you for heaven. He's getting grown-up. It's the same kind of situation as pain is to a child when his first starting to grow.
There isn't any gain without pain, there isn't any growth without the stress, the common modern interpretation of the Christian faith. Men and women is so benign as to make me sick. You listen to it on the radio you hear on television. The Christian life is on grand sailing on into the harbor of heaven with no ill wins. But that's not what the Bible says the Bible is a talk about us having it easy all the way to heaven. The Bible calls us soldiers.
The Bible say were in a fight were wrestling against the enemy and preachers and teachers and would be saviors and stand up in front of us and try to give us the idea that the Christian life is all peaches and cream are not doing us any favors is not the way this can I get a witness know that don't you know that the life that God is calling us to live is not always easy but here's the good news when you're under pressure is up to something that is true is a remember that Charles Haddon Spurgeon said he got to the place in his life work if he wasn't experiencing some kind of major difficulty. He knew that God wasn't going to do anything great in this life for a period of time. So every time he had trouble every time he had resistance every time he had the reaction when he was doing got this kind of excitement in his heart because he knew God was up to something. He actually called trouble. Here's John the Baptist because it was foretelling the fact that the gun was coming.
God was going to do something in his life, that's a different way to look at difficulty but that's the biblical way. Tomorrow will finish up our discussion of happy are the harassed and then on Thursday and Friday. Kind of a wrap up message on how to really be happy. I can imagine anything that's more important to us in this time of sheltering and difficulty in economic deprivation and to know there's a way to be happy in the midst of it all. Jesus tells us how and when to listen to him for a little bit longer in the series as we learned how to be happy.
Thanks for listening. More information on Jeremiah series how to be happy. According to Jesus, that website that we offered to help you stay connected to an important and motivational son of David Jeremiah.org/radio when you do ask for your copy Bible study John divinity of Christ. It's part of the Jeremiah Bible study series individual study divinity amount.
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