Basis In Sectarian Conflict
One perspective holds that the earliest examples of Jewish persecution of Christians are examples of Jewish persecution of other Jews, that is, sectarian conflict. Prior to the destruction of the Temple, Judaism was extremely heterodox after the destruction of the Temple in AD 70, early Christians and Pharisees vied for influence among Jews.
According to Douglas R. A. Hare, “it has long been recognized that in the Gospel according to St. Matthew the conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees has been intensified and it has often been suggested that this intensification reflects the continued struggle between the Church and the synagogue.” Hare asserts that prior to the first revolt, Jewish persecution of Christians was more frequently directed at Christian missionaries to synagogues in the Jewish diaspora than against the church in Jerusalem. Organized opposition to Christianity appeared during the first revolt and after it . Few Christians were martyred prior to the Bar Kokhba revolt. Most of those who were killed were victims of mob violence rather than official action. None were executed for purely religious reasons although individual missionaries were banned, detained and flogged for breach of the peace. According to Hare, the numerous New Testament references to persecution reflect early Christian expectations of persecution based perhaps on the pre-Christian “conviction that the Jews had always persecuted the messengers of God”.
Rejoicing In Reviling Is Impossible
Finally, the fourth obstacle to rejoicing and being glad when reviled and persecuted and slandered is that it is humanly impossible. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a fallen human to feel joy when reviled and persecuted and slandered.
Jesus faced such impossibilities head-on in his ministry. His response was this: With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God . Or to put it differently, he said, You must be born again .
Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.
If we have been born again, we have within us the power to see that reward clearly enough, and treasure it highly enough, and be satisfied in it deeply enough that the miracle of verse 12 will happen: we will rejoice and be glad when reviled and persecuted and slandered for our faithfulness to Jesus.
In The Bible God Plainly And Directly Tells Us Christians That He Sometimes Allows His Children To Suffer Persecution And Tribulation For His Namesake
So, if persecution and tribulation comes our way, then we can be strengthened by the knowledge that God forewarned us of this in the Bibleand we can be strengthened by the words of Christ
Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen Matthew 28:20
In other words, we can KNOW that ANYTHING God allows us to go through is a thing that He will go through WITH usand whether the end of that thing is life or deathwe can come through it victorious and receive a great eternal reward.
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Persecution Tribulation Suffering: What Does The Bible Really Say
The topic of persecution, tribulation, and suffering is not a feel-good topic. But, it is a topic that the Lord wants us to know about and understand because He specifically included it in the Bible. Lets have a look
According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. Philippians 1:20
In this verse, the Apostle Paul is describing the level of COMMITMENT that we MUST have in our relationship with Christ.
Specifically, the Apostle Paul is point-blank saying, Live or Diedecide to let me liveor decide to kill meeither wayI WILL remain the saved, servant of Christ who magnifies Christ.
This verse describes the same level of commitment that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. Daniel 3:16-18
Now, lets have a look at our next verse
For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake Philippians 1:29
Then, Jesus opens the sixth sealand that is when:
Persecution And Suffering For Jesus Christ
Open a of this article
No one wants to suffer, but in a fallen world it is unavoidable. Whether physical pain or mental anguish, suffering is part of the human condition for everyone. However, this is not the type of suffering I want to explore in this article. Instead, I want to look at a different kind of suffering: suffering because of our faith in and faithfulness to Jesus Christ.
Why take up such an unpleasant subject? Because if we understand the inevitability, purpose, and fruit of suffering for Christ and the resources He gives us to face it we will be better able to endure when it comes. Forewarned is forearmed.
This is obvious to believers living under oppressive regimes. However, some in the West may say, Yes, but we arent facing that kind of persecution today. It is true that for many centuries, followers of Jesus in Europe and America havent faced culture-wide persecution because of their faith in Christ. But that era has almost disappeared, and a new era is upon us.
Exactly what it will be like is not yet clear, but it seems unlikely that it will be favorable to those who follow Jesus. Signs of opposition are already apparent.
Let us then look at the teaching of Jesus, Paul, and Peter about persecution and suffering, seeking to learn valuable lessons along the way.
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Deep Sorrow Mingles With Joy
The context itself presents an apparent obstacle. Matthew 5:4 says, Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. So, if the sadness of mourning is pronounced as blessed, where does rejoicing fit in? Paul says in Romans 12:15, Weep with those who weep. And he tells the Thessalonians that there is a kind of grieving that is not hopeless . All of these texts assume that there are good reasons for tears and sorrow and mourning in the Christian life. There is real pain. And pain really hurts. And tears are inevitable and right.
So, where does rejoicing and being glad fit? The solution to this obstacle is that the Bible presents two relationships between sorrow and joy. One is that they happen sequentially the other is that they happen simultaneously. For example,
Psalm 30:5: Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
Psalm 126:56: Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!
Weeping, then joy. Tears, then shouts of joy. Sequential: first one, then the other.
On the other hand, Paul says in Philippians 4:4, Rejoice in the Lord always again I will say, rejoice, even though just a few verses earlier he had referred to his own tears over the enemies of the cross . If we pressed him how this can be, I think he would refer us to 2 Corinthians 6:810 where he said, We are treated as . . . sorrowful, yet always rejoicing as poor, yet making many rich. Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing. Simultaneous.
Lukeacts’ Opinion Of Romans And Jews
While evidence has been offered both to argue LukeActs’ positive view of the Roman Empire and the opposite, scholars tend to see LukeActs as pro-Roman and analyze it as though it was written with a Roman audience in mind. Larger Lukan themes like the Gentile mission, which sought to spread Christianity beyond the Jewish diaspora, support this reading.
Even as scholars point to passages sympathetic to Jews, there is wide agreement that a strong anti-Jewish streak runs through LukeActs, even if it is not always consistent. Because these passages have been used throughout history to justify anti-Semitism, scholars like Luke T. Johnson have attempted to nuance the portrayal of the Jews both by presenting a less homogenous dichotomy of ‘Christians’ versus ‘Jews’ and by contextualizing the polemics within the rhetoric of contemporaneous philosophical debate, showing how rival schools of thought routinely insulted and slandered their opponents.
These attacks were formulaic and stereotyped, crafted to define who was the enemy in the debates, but not used with the expectation that their insults and accusations would be taken literally, as they would be centuries later. Furthermore, LukeActs certainly holds Jewish texts in high regard, repeatedly referencing them in relation to Jesus and others, casting doubt on interpretations that LukeActs is trying to completely divorce itself from its Jewish heritage.
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Expect To Be Persecuted
1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you.
The Bible never commands Christians to pray for persecution, but the Bible definitely tells us to expect persecution. 1 Peter 4:12 says thatwe are not to be surprisedwhen persecution comes, or think that some strange thing is happening to us when we are persecuted.
Persecution is part of the package of our salvation! That doesnt mean that our salvation is earned or merited through enduring a certain amount of persecution. No! The Bible clearly teaches that salvation is a personal gift from God, and persecution is not part of the price. The price of our salvation was fully paid by God Himself when our Lord Jesus suffered and died on the cross for our sins. But while persecution is not part of the purchasing price of our salvation, it is part of the path of progress of our salvation. We do not get saved by suffering persecution, but when we are saved we will suffer persecution.
The concept of saved to suffer may rattle us a little. It may even cause us to experience a few negative thoughts about our God. But those negative vibrations are cancelled out when we see from Scripture that God has a reason for permitting His children to be persecuted.
Several of Gods reasons for allowing His children to suffer persecution are given in the verses that follow 1 Peter 4:12.
What Does It Mean Blessed Are Those Who Suffer Persecution For The Sake Of Justice
Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of justice But Jesus includes the possibility of persecution for the sake of justice. This one grows out of the previous seven, because the forces that oppose what God wants still have great power in the world.
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Examples Of Persecution In Luke
Compared with the Acts of the Apostles, the Gospel of Luke contains few explicit examples of persecution against Christians. There are, however, several passages that mention coming difficulties for Jesus’ followers and Jerusalem, which scholars believe foreshadow the hardships Christians will face in Acts. For instance, while Matthew and have versions of the rejection of Jesus in his hometown, Luke devotes much more time to the episode than the other gospels. S. G. Wilson suggests that this might give a glimpse of later persecution by Jews and rejection of the Jewish mission for a gentile mission in Acts . In Luke, Jesus speaks of “people hate” and “defame you on account of the Son of Man” and likens his followers’ suffering to that of earlier prophets . Jesus later says to “not fear those who kill the body and after that can do nothing more” .
The major exception to these less direct references to persecution is the Passion narrative in 22:1-23:56. Jewish chief priests and scribes plot to kill Jesus , arrest him , question him before the Sanhedrin and then take him to the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate . Jesus is questioned by Pilate , “Herod” , sentenced to death , crucified, died, and buried . Luke’s depiction of Pilate is thought by scholars to be key to understanding the author of LukeActs’ opinion of the Roman Empire.
Bible Verses About Persecution
You will pursue them in anger and destroy themFrom under the heavens of the Lord!
Let their way be dark and slippery,With the angel of the Lord pursuing them.
Why do you persecute me as God does,And are not satisfied with my flesh?
Many times they have persecuted me from my youth up Yet they have not prevailed against me.
In pride the wicked hotly pursue the afflicted Let them be caught in the plots which they have devised.
Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
Because he did not remember to show lovingkindness,But persecuted the afflicted and needy man,And the despondent in heart, to put them to death.
Our pursuers are at our necks We are worn out, there is no rest for us.
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Scriptures That Give Hope Amidst Persecution
Do you remember a time in your life when you wondered why God allowed you to suffer tremendously while following his commands? Did you find yourself questioning God through your prayers? Do not worry, for the Lord is merciful and just his love is unwavering and he will never fail us.
The following are some scriptures that you can keep in mind whenever you encounter suffering and persecution because of your faith in Christ.
1. Matthew 5:10-12
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
3. 2 Corinthians 12:10
That is why, for Christs sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
4. 1 Peter 3:14
But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear their threats do not be frightened.
5. Romans 8:35-37
6. 1 Peter 4:14
If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
7. James 1:12
8. Romans 5:3-5
9. James 1:2-4
10. Revelation 3:11
I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.
Best Bible Verses About Persecution
Matthew 5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 2 Timothy 3:12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 2 Corinthians 12:10 That is why, for Christs sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. Luke 6:22 Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. John 15:18 If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.
Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? Matthew 5:11 Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Matthew 5:44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Romans 12:14 Bless those who persecute you bless and do not curse. Psalm 31:15 My times are in your hands deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me.
Group 1 Bible Verses About Persecution
Group 2 Bible Verses About Persecution
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Group 5 Bible Verses About Persecution
Group 6 Bible Verses About Persecution
Group 11 Bible Verses On Persecution
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