Christian Life Church
July 24, 2022 8:30am & 10:00am
Matters Along the Way - Aware of Satanic Plans #20 Understanding Persecution
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  • Christian Life Church Columbia
    2700 Bush River Rd, Columbia, SC 29210, USA
    Sunday 8:00 AM
Matters Along the Way - Aware of Satanic Plans
#20 Understanding Persecution 7.24.22
Last week…Destruction; Deception; Distortion/Dilution; Distraction
Today we will focus on the idea of “Destruction.” The Biblical term is “persecution.”
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came so that they would have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10 NASB
“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12
“All [who] will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12
1. The Concept
Matthew 5:11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

Matthew 5:44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
Matthew 10:23When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
Matthew 23:34 Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town,
Luke 11:49Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’
Luke 21:12But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name's sake.
John 15:20Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
Acts 7:52Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered,

Romans 12:14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
Galatians 1:23They only were hearing it said, “He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.”
Mark 4:17And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.
Acts 8:1And Saul approved of his execution. And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.
Acts 11:19Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews.
Acts 13:50But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district.
Romans 8:35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
2. The Perspective of Jesus
Mark 13:5-13 ESV And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. 6 Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. 7 And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains. 9 “But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. 10 And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. 11 And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. 13 And you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
A. The Reasons for Persecution
1. The Lord We Love (vv. 9, 13)
“If you were of the world, the world would love his own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:19).
2. The Life We Live (v.9)
“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10).
The word righteousness comes from a root word which means, “to divide”—that is, “to be different.” “And be not conformed to this world”—that is, squeezed into this world’s mold (Romans 12:2).
B. The Result of Persecution
1. Physical Suffering
· Some will be beaten. Mark 13:9
· Some who will be put to death. Mark 13:12
· Imprisonment
2. Emotional Suffering
· Imprisonment
· Legal entanglements
· Broken relationships
· “Without natural affection”
· Divided families
3. The Realms of Persecution
A. Religious Persecution
1. “Councils and synagogues” (Mark 13:9) refers to religious persecution.
2. Power granted will eventually be power used.
B. Governmental Persecution
1. “Kings and magistrates” (Mark 13:9) refers to governmental persecution.
2. Persecution via government is a constant in the history of the church.
3. Many have said, “I love my country, but I fear my government.”
C. Domestic Persecution
1. “Father against child; child against father; brother against brother.” Mark 13:12
2. Family members shall deliver one another to death “for His name's sake.”
D. Social Persecution
1. “Hated of all men”
2. Irrational; illogical
3. The new buzzword: TOLERANCE
4. The Response to Persecution
“The gospel must first be published among all the nations. But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak...but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye.”Mark 13:10–11
A. An Opportunity to Trust (Mark 13:11)
B. An Opportunity to Testify (Mark 13:11)
· Stephen's defense in Acts 7; The effect on Saul in Acts 9:5
· “The Chicken Pie”
· This is difficult because the greater the stress level is in a situation, the greater the tendency we have to defend ourselves. Many a good chance to testify has been lost by men not wanting to be “run over,” and women not wanting to appear vulnerable.
C. An Opportunity for Thanksgiving
· This will be endured for His sake.
· Acts 5:41 “They rejoiced that they were worthy to suffer for His Name's sake.”
· 2 Timothy 2:12 “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us.”
A Case Study
Revelation 11: 1-13 ESV Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, “Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, 2 but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months. 3 And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” 4 These are the two olive trees and the two lamp-stands that stand before the Lord of the earth. 5 And if anyone would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes. If anyone would harm them, this is how he is doomed to be killed. 6 They have the power to shut the sky, that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying, and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague, as often as they desire. 7 And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them, 8 and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that symbolically is called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified. 9 For three and a half days some from the peoples and tribes and languages and nations will gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb, 10 and those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to those who dwell on the earth. 11 But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood up on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them.
12 Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here!” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies watched them. 13 And at that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.
Adrian Rogers points out five best characteristics of those who are “successfully persecuted.”
1. They are spiritually prepared. 11:3, 4
❖ They are called lampstands, indicating they bear light.
❖ They are dressed in sackcloth, for they are called to preach judgment.
2. They are sovereignly protected. 11:5, 6
❖ They have power over death (in the same way Elijah had before the captains of fifty.)
❖ These have power over nature.
❖ Whatever they need to survive and do the will of God – Jehovah sees to it!
3. They are satanically persecuted. 11:7-10
v The principle of Revelation 12
v When a martyr dies, that doesn't necessarily means the devil has won! (Even if the world celebrates!)
v The suffering of Jesus
4. They are supernaturally preserved. 11:11
❖ Luke 21:12 “But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.” And it shall turn to you for a testimony.” “Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.”
❖ Nothing can touch you unless Father allows it.
❖ The fear of John Hus
❖ D.L Moody: “I do not know if I could be a martyr for Jesus in Jerusalem – all the grace I need for this day is to be a preacher here in Milwaukee. The day may come in which I will need a martyr's faith, but until that day, I need not concern myself. And if such a day comes – His Grace shall be sufficient.”
5. They have successfully prophesied. 11:13
❖ They didn't fail; they succeeded!
❖ Ezekiel 2:7: “And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.”
❖ Ezekiel 2:5: “And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall they know that there hath been a prophet among them.”
❖ “You are in the company of prophets!” Jesus
Christian Life Lessons
Where to go from here?
1. Settle your personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
2. Seek to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit—He will guide us through dark valleys.
3. Watch your responses so that all suffering is “for Him,” not the result of sin or carelessness in our lives.
4. Teach your children how to stand alone without generating fear in them. Be sure to be age appropriate!
5. Study to show yourself approved to God—a workman that has no need to be ashamed. Be diligent to faithfully understand God's Word. – Paul
6. Be ready to give clear understanding to everyone for the spiritual hope that is in your heart. – Peter
7. Live in touch and in tune!