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What Does The Bible Say About Persecution

Persecution Of Christians In The New Testament

Christian Persecution – How to Handle It – What Does the Bible Say?

The persecution of Christians in the New Testament is an important part of the Early Christian narrative which depicts the early Church as being persecuted for their heterodox beliefs by a Jewish establishment in what was then the Roman province of Judea.

The New Testament, especially the Gospel of John , has traditionally been interpreted as relating Christian accounts of the Pharisee rejection of Jesus and accusations of the Pharisee responsibility for his crucifixion. The Acts of the Apostles depicts instances of early Christian persecution by the Sanhedrin, the Jewish religious court at the time.

Walter Laqueur argues that hostility between Christians and Jews grew over the generations. By the 4th century, John Chrysostom was arguing that the Pharisees alone, not the Romans, were responsible for the murder of Christ. However, according to Laqueur: “Absolving Pilate from guilt may have been connected with the missionary activities of early Christianity in Rome and the desire not to antagonize those they want to convert.”

What The Bible Tells Us About Persecution

Suffering. Its not exactly one of our favorite topics.

No one wants to suffer and no one wants to be persecuted. God created us with bodies that feel pain and naturally attempt to escape pain. Why would any logically thinking person desire to suffer? He wouldnt. It is unnatural.

Yet suffering is a common biblical topic . Persecution is a common biblical topic . The Bible has numerous texts that indicate that the children of God will suffer. Herein lies the paradox. We are created with bodies that distain and avoid pain and conflict. Yet, despite that truth, we actually choose to suffer! This truth presents a mystery one of the great mysteries of Christianity. For someone to choose to suffer, the person sees inherit value in doing so. He or she sees a cause or purpose greater than self.

It has been noted, especially within the last decade or so, that Christians are on the verge of another great persecution. The anti-Christian sentiment in the world today is growing at an alarming rate. It is vital that we prepare ourselves for difficult days ahead. One of the ways we prepare ourselves is to re-visit the biblical teachings regarding persecution. Obviously this study is not intended to be comprehensive. There are literally dozens of suffering texts in the New Testament. However, it will be beneficial if we consider three.


Matthew 5:10-12

Roman 8:18, 35-39

Note some important lessons in this text:

2 Timothy 3:12

The Faithless: Surrounding Ones Self With The Ornaments Of Faith

Those who fight against God have NO faith in either God OR His Word.

It does NOT matter the many pretty words which issue from their mouths or how they choose to spend their time.

It does NOT matter what raiment they may choose in which to clothe themselves.

It does NOT matter how many ornaments of faith with which they choose to surround themselves.

Indeed, to others of their kind, those who CHOOSE to fight against God OFTEN desire to appear to be righteous.

As Jesus Christ Himself once said,

They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.

John 16:2

HOWEVER, those who CHOOSE to fight against God have NO faith in God OR His Word.

Or His Son, Jesus Christ.

And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.

Acts 5:39-40

DOES the reader believe he will see the followers of Jesus Christ persecuted for their beliefs?

OR, does the reader mistakenly believe that we are too civilized for something like that to happen?

It is not YET too late: there is still time to change direction , place your faith for the future entirely on Jesus Christ and enter the kingdom of heaven.

DOES the reader believe he is saved?


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What Does The Bible Say About Persecution

    Blessed. Strong. Loved. Comforted.

    These are not words that come to mind when I think about persecuted Christians. Honestly, I tend to see them as forgotten people who are sad, lonely, and broken.

    But in reality, these Christ-followers persevere because we are praying for them and because God delivers on the promises He has made to those who are faithful.

    Many of our fellow believers face a different kind of persecution from what the Bible tells us happened during Jesus day. It takes many forms, including social marginalization, slander, loss of opportunity, racism, gender discrimination, and more. And every day the situation seems to grow bleaker.

    As we draw closer to the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, reflect on these Bible passages for a better understanding of how God views persecution and how we should view it, too.

    Expect To Be Persecuted

    What does the Bible say about persecution?

    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 that “we are not to be surprised” when 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 doesn’t 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 God’s reasons for allowing His children to suffer persecution are given in the verses that follow 1 Peter 4:12.

    Future Glory

    Present Glory

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    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.

    Respond To Persecution By Affirming Our Commitment To The Lords People

    The apostles were a part of a united, caring, generous fellowship. As soon as they were released, they went to their companions and shared what had happened to them. Luke records that the whole congregation was of one heart and soul. They were marked by unusual generosity and care for one another. There are three elements here:

    A. The Lords people should be committed to community.

    They had a corporate mindset. Their first instinct was to share with one another what had happened and this led to corporate prayer, as we have seen. They did not view the church as we Americans often do. We are individualists. We idolize the pioneer who goes it alone. We often go to church and sit next to people we dont know, leaving without ever getting to know them. Many do not have any meaningful fellowship with another believer in the course of a week. Ive often asked someone who has come to me for counsel, Do you know any other Christians with whom you could meet during the week for mutual encouragement and prayer? They think a minute and say, No.

    Of course, there are times when a person needs to stand alone, even from the Christian crowd. But we need to develop this sense of community, of belonging to a body of Christians, without whom we are not complete. We need to have a network of brothers or sisters that we immediately want to get together with when a difficulty hits us, so that we can share and pray together.

    B. The Lords people should be committed to unity.

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    Five Ways To Fortify Yourself For The Coming Storm

    by Billy GrahamOctober 22, 2015

    This article was originally written in 1957, but the words ring true today.

    In the event of a national catastrophe, much confusion, terror and consternation would reign. What would the Christian do? What should our attitude be? Which way would we turn if the country in which we live were suddenly wrecked and all the props gone?

    As a whole, our nation does not know what privation is. We do not know what sacrifice is. We do not know what suffering is. Suppose persecution were to come to the church in America, as it has come in other countries.

    The immunity to persecution that Christians in our country have experienced in the past two or three centuries is unusual. Christ strongly warned Christians that to follow Him would not be popular, and that in most circumstances it would mean cross-bearing and persecution.

    What Does The Scripture Say About Persecution

    How to Prepare for the Coming Persecution – What Every Christian Needs to Know

    One might ask, why the persecution? In simple terms, if Christians were like the world earthly, canal, vain, sensual, and given to unregulated pleasure, ambition, and wealth, the world will not oppose them the way they are currently doing. Christians are persecuted because they do not belong to the world . Someone might ask, how? It is important to understand that although Christians dwell in this world, they are not part of it because they are governed by different principles from those of the world. Unlike the world that is driven by the love of sin, evil, and wickedness, Christians are motivated by the Love of God and the desire for Holiness through Christ. It is our separation from the world that arouses its animosity .

    Facts about Christian Persecution that you should know

    1. The persecution of Christians allows them to share in a unique fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ

    It is high time for Christians to learn what it takes to recognize the value of persecution for their faith or believe in God. In short, they should even learn to rejoice during moments of persecutions. We can learn from the book of Acts 16:16-40 that the more Paul and Silas were persecuted, the more they rejoiced and gave praise to God for His goodness. Although their bodies were covered with wounds from intense torturing and whipping, they kept praying and thanking God. They found their suffering in prison as a reason to pray the more, sing and praise God the more.

    4. Persecution must come

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    What Would You Do

    Since we have experienced little religious persecution in this country, it is likely that under pressure many would deny Christ. Those who shout the loudest about their faith may surrender soonest. Many who boast of being courageous would be cowardly. Many who say, Though all others deny Christ, yet I will never deny Him, would be the first to warm their hands at the campfires of the enemy.

    Jesus, in speaking of the last times, warned, Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My names sake . The Scripture says, because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold .

    The Apostle Paul, referring to the coming evil day, said, Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand .

    Here are five ways to fortify yourself so that you will be able to stand in that day.

    End Times Prophecy Report

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    And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony and they loved not their lives unto the death.Revelation 12:11

    Since it has been over two years since we covered this topic AND since ETPR has been attempting to go over important end times topics recently AND since this IS an important end times topic, we decided to focus on it once more for any readers who may have missed it the first time around.

    The piece we did the first time around in April 2019 was entitled The ONE Thing Believers Have to Give.

    Some things bear repeatingand what bears repeating is a good way to hit the high points of that article.

    This is a way of walking the walk.

    Some people talk the talk BUT offering ones life to God when Satan and the man of sin are killing Christians is walking the walk.

    It should also be remembered that ANYONE who suffers physical persecution for Jesus Christ CEASES TO SIN.

    John mentions this in his First Epistle.

    John ALSO mentions a reason WHY believers will be offering God their lives.

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    Preparing For The Coming Persecution

    Preparing for the Coming Persecution

    Matthew 5:10-13 and following

    Did you know that one of the signs were living in the last days is the persecution of the church.

    As surely as I am standing here, the church will know more and more persecution. There is no way you can be a genuine Christian and be exempt.

    2 Timothy Yea, and all that will live Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. Thats a pretty clear statement. All and shall. No ifs, ands, and buts about it.

    The new whipping boy in the world today is the Bible-believing Christian. He may be the most hated, persecuted person on earth. Bible Christians today endure everything from the limitations of their freedoms and civil rights to scorn and ridicule in the media. Many are going through prison, and many through death.

    In Matthew 5 our Lord Jesus said:

    11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

    The word persecute literally means to pursue, to find something youre doing wrong. If you fly the flag high for the Lord Jesus Christ where you work, let them know youre a Christian, theyll watch you, looking for something to accuse you of.

    There is a way you can escape persecution: just fail to be salt and light. Just compromise.

    Be conformed to this world and you wont get any persecution.

        Comforted In Gods Hands

        What Does The Bible Say About Persecution?

        But I trust in you, Lord I say, You are my God. My times are in your hands deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me. Psalm 31:14-15, NIV

        Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil my cup overflows. Psalm 23:4-5, NIV

        Its hard to say that persecuted Christians who have been physically and psychologically attacked are protected in the darkest valley. But, in a sense, they are safe within Gods divine plan. The danger and the fear may be real, but so is Gods love for them.

        Some Christians are delivered from pain in this life, while others are not. Its hard to understand why some are spared and some are not. But the Psalms are full of praises of thanksgiving to God even in the midst of hard times.

        The early Christians and the persecuted church today know that God is always with them. And one day, Hell bring them out of these earthly trials of persecution. But its important to remember that those living through persecution do not ask for prayers for the abuse to stop. Instead, they seek the strength to endure it, because it is through persecution that God grows His kingdom.

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