Persecution in biblie times and early church


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What the Bible says about persecution and how it purifies the

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  • Persecution in biblie times and early church

    1. 1. Persecution in the Bible and Early Church Dr. Robert Patton Missionary to Suriname, South America
    2. 2. The situation today    82% of all martyrs for faith are Christian 166,000 were killed in 2003 – by now, we believe the number is 200,000 200,000,000 are under threat of death, imprisonment or torture; 400,000,000 are discriminated against in addition
    3. 3. Do not be surprised   The Bible, especially the New Testament, was written by persecuted believers for persecuted believers. It deals especially with persecution for righteousness.
    4. 4. Peter warns  1 Pet. 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as thou some strange thing happened to you 13. But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
    5. 5. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, martyr for Christ killed by Nazis WWII   Discipleship means allegiance to the suffering Christ, and it is therefore not at all surprising that Christians should be called upon to suffer... When Christ calls a man, He calls him to die
    6. 6. Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    7. 7. Bonhoeffer: Cheap grace   [It] is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.
    8. 8. Jozef Ton’s comments    God plans to populate the universe with those who resemble Jesus Christ True believers will share the responsibility with Christ and reflect His glory We are on earth to test us and develop the necessary character
    9. 9. God’s plan for the future for the believer   Rev. 1:[6] And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Rev. 5:[10] And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
    10. 10. Jozef Ton’s concepts    Trials and testings are to prepare us for eternity – will we pass the test? He provides what we need, but we need to permit Him to work in our lives He wants to make us kings like He is King, but will only entrust such positions to them who obey Him as He obeyed His Father
    11. 11. Cheap grace and God’s grace   God’s grace: It is the grace made dear by the life of Christ that was sacrificed to purchase man's redemption. Cheap grace arose out of man's desire to be saved, but to do so without becoming a disciple.
    12. 12. Bonhoeffer’s comment   only he who believes is obedient, and only he who is obedient believes He places emphasis on true belief demonstrating itself in obedience to God’s commands, and not simply intellectual acquiescence
    13. 13. Persecution purifies the church  We need cross-carrying messengers of a cross-centered gospel
    14. 14. The promise of Christ   Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses (martyrs) unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth Marturia – witness = martyr…
    15. 15. God’s ultimate goal for man is dominion with Him   Rom. 8:[29] For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Heb. 2:[10] For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
    16. 16. God’s goal   Mt. 24:[47] Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. Lk. 12:[44] Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.
    17. 17. Man was no longer fit to rule after the fall   With the fall, God’s plan was thwarted as man now had a sin nature, and his spirit became unable to communicate with God At the cross, Jesus basically restored God’s plan
    18. 18. God is currently testing mankind   God has chosen the world as the place for both developing and testing man’s character He is testing man’s obedience and his allegiance to his Creator
    19. 19. There are several names for God’s final purpose      Obtaining an inheritance Reigning with Christ Being glorified with Christ Having treasures in heaven Rewards in heaven
    20. 20. Suffering and martyrdom are part of God’s plan   They develop the character man needs to be fit to rule They test the quality of his work as well as his loyalty to the King
    21. 21. But it is more than simply suffering.   All people suffer at one time or another. Most people become sick. All people die. We all suffer loss of loved ones, etc. Persecution is suffering for righteousness sake – and this is highly prized and rewarded by God
    22. 22. Jesus – beatitutes  Mt. 5:[10] Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.[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
    23. 23. Man created in God’s image  Gen. 1:[26] And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. [27] So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
    24. 24. Man’s creation is important     Man is created in the image of God, and has intrinsic worth and respect and dignity God works in creation on man’s behalf God’s character founds the basis for law He expects us to act toward others as He acts toward us
    25. 25. This remains true after the fall  Genesis 9:[5] And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man.[6] Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man
    26. 26. Man created in God’s image  God is concerned with minimal civil rights to vulnerable groups     Life To be unharmed The necessities of life - we should not be denied them Protection of personal property
    27. 27. Man created in God’s image   Humans have rights because God created them, protects them, and demands justice for them Protection against physical abuse, abortion, being taken hostage
    28. 28. Man, created in the image of God, has intrinsic worth, respect and dignity    When we do not respect man, we do not respect the God in whose image he is created! Because Islam and communism do not acknowledge that man is created in the image of God, they have no basis for individual human rights, and do not give them Their idea is rights given to groups, not individuals intrinsically
    29. 29. The right to be wrong   God does not want a religion by compulsion, but from the heart He condemns the false religions around Israel once they are in the land, but does not send them on “holy crusades” to wipe out other religions, but to witness to the living God
    30. 30. God is a trinity, and the God of relationships.     Men have a basic equality although differences exist – as in the trinity The trinity relates to each other Thus rights exist in the context of relationships This includes the right to worship in relationship with others.
    31. 31. God is a trinity, and the God of relationships.   The creation is the basis for equality (for example, man and woman) However, as the trinity is not identical, so also the individuals are not identical
    32. 32. God is a trinity, and the God of relationships.   We also have freedom. We have wills that are freed to chose the right, though often we choose the wrong, especially as sinners
    33. 33. The full expression of religious freedom has been adversely impacted by the fall    We long for unrestricted freedom of worship and propagation of faith This often results in persecution .Religious freedom is a good thing, but in a fallen world, it may indicate that the believer has slacked off in his zeal to reconcile a hostile world
    34. 34. What about our rights?   There is a difference between public rights, which we should fight for, and private rights, which sometimes we should yield We may be called on to give up some of our rights privately
    35. 35. What about our rights?    However, this does not mean that we insist that others give up their rights which we have voluntarily yielded for the sake of Christ We see that Paul sometimes used his rights of Roman citizenship We must see what advances God’s kingdom, and not our own plans
    36. 36. Creation was good, but free will allowed a usurper to rise  Isaiah 14:[12] How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations![13] For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
    37. 37. Creation was good, but free will allowed a usurper to rise   Isaiah 14:[14] I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.[15] Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. Lucifer, the most glorious angel created by God, rises up to attempt to take God’s place in the hearts of man
    38. 38. There is a fight for the loyalty of men  Gen. 3:[1] Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?[2] And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
    39. 39. There is a fight for the loyalty of men  [3] But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.[4] And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:[5] For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
    40. 40. There is a fight for the loyalty of men  [6] And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.[7] And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
    41. 41. Satan lies and lures mankind into rebellion against God   Man rebels against His creator, and follows the advice of the rebel satan The god of this world begins his work with self as the dominant principle not only in his own being, but in the lives of mankind, who now are following him
    42. 42. The fall and suffering   The basic person who created the problems on earth is man, who was not satisfied with being the image bearer but sought equality with God The serpent will be defeated by the seed of the woman, but He will suffer pain in the process
    43. 43. The fall…  The woman will experience   Pain in childbirth Strain in her relationship with her husband, where she seeks to control him instead of allowing him to rule
    44. 44. The fall and suffering  The man was created to be able to work, but now the work will be frustrated    It will be accompanied by pain Ultimately death will cause failure in further work Death is an act of mercy to prevent sin to multiply out of control
    45. 45. The fall and suffering    Death is also spiritual and requires God’s intervention for restoration of fellowship Our pain points us to God and the eternal, where our true fulfillment lies The price of reconciling creation with God is pain and suffering
    46. 46. Adam and Eve separated from Eden
    47. 47. God created man with free will to freely choose or reject His love    Man is capable of real love, which requires freedom of choice God created the universe knowing that man would spoil it but in redemption His glory would be seen. And redemption would mean pain and suffering
    48. 48. The first religious persecution - Cain and Abel    The first between righteousness Abel and unrighteousness - Cain It began at the first recorded formal worship service It began in the context of the home itself
    49. 49. The first religious persecution - Cain and Abel   God’s choice of word “crying out of the ground” refers to the oppressed crying because they have been denied justice and God hears God judges, but His mark on Cain shows that even a murderer is not beyond God’s mercy and protection. The right to life is protected by God, even for those who do not deserve it.
    50. 50. Cain and Abel
    51. 51. We find a principle starting with Cain and Abel   Galatians 4:[28] Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.[29] But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Although this refers to Ishmael and Isaac, it is a general principle that those living in the flesh persecute those living in the Spirit
    52. 52. Noah’s covenant   God delegates mankind the responsibility of being agents of God’s justice and upholders of the right to life This right is in the hands of civil authorities, and not for personal revenge
    53. 53. Noah’s ark
    54. 54. God’s command to Noah  Gen. 9:[5] And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man.[6] Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
    55. 55. Lot persecuted  He was ignored and scoffed at by those in Sodom. They threatened to assault him sexually. Gen 19:9[9] And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door.
    56. 56. Lot… 2 Peter 2  [7] And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:[8] (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)[9] The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished
    57. 57. Lot’s escape from Sodom
    58. 58. Insights from the Pentateuch    Lot rescued from persecution - 2 Peter 2:7-9 Lesson - persecution is not restricted to spiritual giants or mature believers All claiming to follow God will be challenged to take a stand
    59. 59. Persecution of the righteous   2 Tim. 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution This is a promise of God
    60. 60. Insights from the Pentateuch   .Abraham - true faith inevitably suffers, sacrifices & hopes. There were disappointments, pain and tears. One of the times is when Ishmael mocked Isaac and God confirmed Sarah’s request that both Hagar and Ishmael be sent away. Then there was the offer of Isaac
    61. 61. Abraham offering Isaac
    62. 62. Insights from the Pentateuch   Isaac - especially problems with the Philistines. Life may be filled with stress, opposition and hardship. He refuses to retaliate, and eventually has peace. He digs more wells
    63. 63. Joseph suffers for righteousness     He is sold as a slave by his own brothers He is lied about by Potiphar’s wife The cupbearer of Pharaoh forgot him Ultimately he triumphs – he never lost faith in God, and God turns the curses of his enemies into blessings
    64. 64. Joseph sold by his brothers
    65. 65. Joseph tempted by Potiphar’s wife
    66. 66. Insights from the Pentateuch    Egypt & Israel – Israel suffers because they are God’s people. Moses chose a life of hardship to liberate his people, with suffering from both the Egyptians and from the Israelites themselves
    67. 67. Moses – Hebrews 11  [24] By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;[25] Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; [26] Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.
    68. 68. Israelite slaves in Egypt
    69. 69. Insights from the Pentateuch      Every good gift comes from God Many blessings and curses are a result of man’s response to God Some blessings and curses are a result of God’s plans for man – e.g. Joseph Blessings can become curses if we fail to glorify GodIn the long run, the sow-reap principle generally holds, but often not in the short term
    70. 70. Israel saw history as under the control of God   Suffering is part of God’s plan of chastisement and bringing His people to Himself We must trust God, and place ourselves in His hands    .Sin and suffering are not permanent .Suffering may be a fruit of continuing sin Suffering can lead to repentance and the glory of God
    71. 71. God used persecution in the book of Judges – 7 cycles       Blessing luxury Pride Sin Disaster Repentance
    72. 72. God in history  God also uses the enemies of Israel to chastise them and bring them back to Himself in the time of the kings.
    73. 73. Job – a witness to satan and angels as well as man     Job is upright, and the richest man in the East God uses Job as an example of a true worshiper Satan accuses Job of worshiping to get things, not because God is God God permits Satan to test Job
    74. 74. Job as witness      Job loses all but blesses God Satan accuses him that he still has his health Satan allowed to make him very ill Job still does not curse God Job’s three friends are sure that Job is being punished for sin
    75. 75. Job as witness     Job maintains his innocence God shows His power to Job, and Job repents and trusts God Job prays for his friends God restores Job’s blessings
    76. 76. Job is allowed to suffer because of his righteousness.    We can learn from his friends that suffering people need our presence more than our advice. Sometimes we intensify their problems Job’s friends all believe that he is sinning, and when he repents, his fortunes will be restored – But they were wrong There is mystery in suffering - often we will not know why.
    77. 77. Job’s wife testing Job – Curse God and die…
    78. 78. Job is allowed to suffer because of his righteousness.    God answers not “why” but “who” = it is almighty God that permits suffering. Will we trust Him? If God does not show you what to repent of, then probably that is not His goal for your suffering Punishment without conviction is vindictive, as is punishment after confession and repentance
    79. 79. Job is allowed to suffer because of his righteousness.    Advice: Go before God, seeking His face and asking the Holy Spirit to examine your heart and life. If God does not convict you of sin or sincere confession and repentance does not remedy the situation, something else is going on. Then love and trust God, knowing that this response will reveal Satan’s accusations to be lies.
    80. 80. Job is allowed to suffer because of his righteousness.   It is ironic that those friends were called upon to repent, and that they had not suffered, while Job spoke rightly about God, but did suffer. All who are godly shall suffer persecution….
    81. 81. Job is allowed to suffer because of his righteousness.    Job’s suffering was the direct result of his faithfulness to God This is against Word of Faith teachings. If we insist on finding the meaning of every isolated event, we will make mistakes. We cannot see the “big picture” but God does – e.g. Joseph
    82. 82. Persecution in the Psalms The psalms have a great deal to say about persecution The psalms express the emotions of Israel, the people of God who were often oppressed by the wicked around them The psalms also give much information on the messiah, the Suffering servant
    83. 83. The messiah – Psalm 22  [6] But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.[7] All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head saying,[8] He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him
    84. 84. Psalm 22 cont’d  [13] They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.[14] I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.[15] My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
    85. 85. Psalm 22 cont’d   [16] For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.[17] I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.[18] They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture Yet there is victory at the end of the psalm.
    86. 86. Messianic suffering in the Psalms   Psalm 31:[5] Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth Psalm 34:[19] Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. [20] He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.
    87. 87. Messianic suffering in the Psalms   Psalm 41:[9] Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. Psalm 44: 44:[22] Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.
    88. 88. Messianic suffering in the Psalms   Psalm 69:[21] They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. Psalm 118:[22] The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.[23] This is the LORD's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.
    89. 89. Imprecatory Psalms   These can be viewed not as vindictive, but as the persecuted crying for righteousness. They also remind us of our own sins Some see them as the prayers of our sinless High Priest on behalf of the persecuted
    90. 90. Proverbs – sometimes the righteous are persecuted   Proverbs 29:[10] The bloodthirsty hate the upright: but the just seek his soul. Ecclesiastes also shows that on this earth, sometimes righteousness does not prevail.
    91. 91. Proverbs shows our responsibility to the poor   We have a responsibility to help the weak and helpless. Proverbs 29:[7] The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it.
    92. 92. Proverbs and the poor  Proverbs 31:[8] Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.[9] Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.
    93. 93. The Bible has many examples of the righteous suffering      1.Moses threatened with stoning by his own people 2. David threatened by Saul on several occasions 3. 85 priests of Nob killed by Doeg and Saul 4. Many prophets hunted and killed by Jezebel 5. Elijah persecuted by Ahab & Jezebel
    94. 94. Righteous suffering      6. Micaiah imprisoned by King Ahab 7. Elisha threatened by death by the king 8. Hanani imprisoned by King Asa 9. Zachariah stoned at the order of King Joas 10.Jeremiah suffered greatly from both kings and false prophets
    95. 95. Righteous suffering    11. Uriah the prophet is caught and executed 12.Manasse killed much innocent blood - traditionally Isaiah the prophet is one of his victims 13.Daniel, Shadrack, Meshak and Abednego
    96. 96. Jesus castigated the leaders re their treatment of prophets  Luke 11:[47] Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them...[49] Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute:[50] That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;
    97. 97. Isaiah – reasons for suffering   Punishment for sin – like the death of Sennacharib & destruction of the Assyrian army Discipline for training/education – the healing of Hezekiah from his abscess
    98. 98. Isaiah – reasons for suffering   Testing the relationship with God and loyalty, as in the example of Job Restoration of creation through suffering, pain and death as through the Suffering Servant
    99. 99. The coming messiah – Isaiah 50  [5] The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.[6] I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.[7] For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed
    100. 100. Those who follow the messiah shall suffer too   Isaiah 50: [10] Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God They will suffer, but need to trust the Lord
    101. 101. The messiah – Isaiah 52  [13] Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.[14] As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:
    102. 102. The messiah – Isaiah 53  [2] For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.[3] He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
    103. 103. The messiah – Isaiah 53  [4] Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.[5] But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.[6] All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all
    104. 104. The messiah dies  [7] He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.[8] He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
    105. 105. The messiah dies  [9] And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
    106. 106. The messiah is victorious  :[10] Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.[11] He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
    107. 107. The messiah is victorious  [12] Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
    108. 108. Lessons from Isaiah  Purposes of suffering     Punishment for sin .Discipline for training & education .Establishing one’s relationship and living for God .How God accomplishes His purposes in the world
    109. 109. Lessons from Isaiah    God works through the suffering servant who suffers for others sins Those who follow Him will also suffer & self-sacrifice Look to the power of God
    110. 110. Lessons from Jeremiah   Jeremiah - faced lots of persecution. He was rejected by  His village  His family  The false prophets  The religious leaders  The corrupt kings and princes Worse than the physical was the mocking because he was preaching God’s word.
    111. 111. Jeremiah’s mourning Jerusalem’s destruction
    112. 112. Lessons from Jeremiah     Jeremiah knew from the beginning that his message would be rejected .God promised to be with him and not forsake him .He believed that he was preaching the words of God – thus the people were rejecting God and not himself He had an intense love of the people
    113. 113. Lessons from Daniel     God is sovereign in history and will fulfill His purposes God shares His authority with man We must remain faithful to death God will test us God’s ultimate goal is to find men and women to rule with him throughout eternity
    114. 114. Daniel’s testings with his friends    Eating the king’s food – probably offered to idols, and breaking the Jewish food regulations – yet they were healthier The fiery furnace for Daniel’s friends The lion’s den
    115. 115. Lessons from Daniel    This is the kind of people which God will trust to rule over the nations They will obey God and live by His laws despite the cost They will be faithful through trials, persecutions, and threats of death
    116. 116. The fiery furnace and Daniel’s three faithful friends
    117. 117. Daniel in the lion’s den
    118. 118. Lessons from Daniel   They proclaim and honor the sovereign rule of God in everything They are immersed in the task of telling others about God, and leading them to Him. We see that God uses their trials to magnify Himself through their lives
    119. 119. Lessons from Daniel   They have a clear history knowing that loss of temporary goods or life for God’s sake is not a loss but a gain. Their true fulfillment is in eternity
    120. 120. The saints shall rule in eternity  Daniel 7: [26] But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.[27] And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
    121. 121. Testing in Esther   Esther risks her life to save her people – if I perish, I perish Mordecai was persecuted by Haman for failing to bow down – but ultimately victorious
    122. 122. Esther before Ahasueros
    123. 123. Other testing in the time of the kings   David, righteous and anointed by God, is pursued and persecuted by Saul yet saves his life Uriah, honorable and righteous, is slain by David to cover up his sin with Uriah’s wife Bathsheba
    124. 124. David spares Saul’s life
    125. 125. Other testings    Naboth, a righteous man, (and probably his sons) is slain by the wicked king Ahab to get his property Jezebel tried to kill Elijah Asa jailed Hanani when he rebuked him for his alliance with Syria (2 Chron. 16:9)
    126. 126. Elijah rebuking Ahab & Jezebel after murdering Naboth
    127. 127. Other testing   Joash ordered the stoning of the high priest Zachariah who rebuked him for idol worship Manasseh the king killed many innocent, including, according to tradition, the prophet Isaiah
    128. 128. Stoning Zachariah in the temple
    129. 129. Note what Jesus said in Mt. 23  [29] Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,[30] And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.[31] Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets
    130. 130. Note what Jesus said in Mt. 23  [34] Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:[35] That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar
    131. 131. The intertestamental period shows much suffering  Many righteous Jews were horribly tortured by Antiochus Epiphanes when they held onto their Jewish faith. There was a famous mother with seven sons, all of whom were martyred. Another old man, Eleasar, was faithful unto death.
    132. 132. Intertestamental period – concepts   God’s righteousness is seen at the judgment and resurrection of the righteous. The wicked are then punished The righteous have been tested and found worthy of glories and more responsibilities in heaven
    133. 133. God is grieved by sin, which results in death = separation     God was grieved before the flood God was grieved in the wilderness wanderings The Holy Spirit was grieved at the rebellion of Israel Jesus Christ was grieved over Jerusalem and Saul persecuting Christians
    134. 134. Does God suffer? Is He impassive?    God is not unstable emotionally. He cannot be forced to do anything. But He chooses to suffer because He chooses to love God revealed Himself through His Son, the incarnate Jesus Christ, who is the suffering servant
    135. 135. Jesus Christ – the suffering servant    God is able to relate to those who suffer. Bonhoeffer in prison: Only the suffering God can help This is shown through Jesus Christ, who came into a suffering world. He entered into our sorrows and suffering. Hunger, thirst, weariness.
    136. 136. Jesus Christ – the suffering servant   Jesus went to the cross simply because it was the Father’s will, not His own idea Heb. 5:[7] Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;[8] Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
    137. 137. God suffers…     The cross is central in revealing the nature of God. In the incarnation, God suffers. Even in the Old Testament God suffers in His interactions with man God suffers with us - sharing our pain
    138. 138. God suffers and gives   The trinity - giving and receiving from each other, depending upon each other, and offering themselves to each other. His plans are not achieved by force or power but by love and by selfgiving - the cross.
    139. 139. God suffers and gives    The self-giving God persuades and invites - not forces Jesus came as an offering, a sacrifice - which reveals the nature of God. This shows how God’s people should live as well. - Phil 2:3-8
    140. 140. Have this mind in you…  Phil 2:[3] Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.[4] Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.[5] Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:[6] Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
    141. 141. Have this mind in you…  Phil. 2:[7] But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:[8] And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
    142. 142. Ways we present the gospel incorrectly  Our motives are unworthy –   Our methods are unworthy –   our glory rather than God’s coercion by physical means, moral constraint or psychological pressure Our message is unworthy  Misrepresentation
    143. 143. Jesus and discipleship – Sermon on the mount  Those who the world pities are really the fortunate        Poor in spirit Mourn Meek Hunger and thirst for righteousness Merciful Pure in heart Peacemakers
    144. 144. Jesus and the beatitudes    God’s people do not suffer for their faith; they suffer for HIM - for the fulfillment of His purposes in the world They are in the line of the prophets They are not only to be Stoic, but to rejoice, and to love those who persecute them.
    145. 145. Joy in testings and persecution  Mt. 5:[10] Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.[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.
    146. 146. Jesus and the beatitudes   Like God gives light and rain to those who curse Him, so we are to bless those who persecute us. We are in service to those who cause us the suffering.
    147. 147. Jesus – Sermon on the mount  Mt. 5:[43] Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.[44] But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
    148. 148. Jesus – Sermon on the Mount  Mt. 5:[45] That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
    149. 149. Jesus and the beatitudes    There are great promises to hold - we are the possessors of the kingdom of heaven. Suffering for the kingdom is expected from all God’s messengers. This is a sign that God is present in the ministry Persecution is inevitable - sometimes not only silencing the message of the gospel, but the messenger too.
    150. 150. Sheep in the midst of wolves  Mt. 10[16] Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.[17] But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;[18] And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.
    151. 151. Jesus – Mt. 10    Mission and persecution go together. There is always the shadow of the cross. He Himself has sent us as defenseless sheep into the midst of wolves. Thus survival is not the key issue - He too was like a sheep brought to the slaughter
    152. 152. Jesus – Mt. 10  Dangers can be in two directions:    Fear and compromise Deliberately provoke authorities and attract persecution We need wisdom (wise as serpents and innocent as doves)
    153. 153. Jesus on persecution    Mt:10-19-20 God promises to give us wisdom how to speak Mt. 10:21-22 Even the family may turn against us. The family is not the most important institution on earth - it is the church, which is God’s primary agent of change in the world. We become sons and daughters of Him. In Mk. 3:31-35, Jesus shows that the Spiritual family of obedience is more important than the biological family.
    154. 154. Jesus on persecution Mt. 10  [19] But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. [20] For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. Wisdom for speaking
    155. 155. Jesus on persecution Mt. 10   [21] And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.[22] And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. Betrayal by family
    156. 156. Spiritual family priority  Mk. 3:[31] There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. [32] And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.[33] And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren?
    157. 157. Spiritual family priority  Mk. 3:[34] And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! [35] For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother
    158. 158. Jesus on persecution   Persecution cannot separate the disciples from the care of God. Lk. 21:[16] And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.[17] And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake.[18] But there shall not an hair of your head perish.[19] In your patience possess ye your souls
    159. 159. Jesus on persecution    Luke 21:17-19 They suffer, but are not ultimately destroyed. Hold fast to the end. Persecution will expose faith that is only mental assent.
    160. 160. Biblical responses to Persecution    Flight. But not just to avoid suffering. The priority is on the mission of the kingdom of God above all else. .Mt. 10:23 Go to other cities to spread the world [23] But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.
    161. 161. Jesus response on some occasions   Jn. 8:[59] Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. Mt. 12:[14] Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.[15] But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all;
    162. 162. Jesus walked away sometimes  Lk 4:[29] And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.[30] But he passing through the midst of them went his way
    163. 163. Sometimes Paul escaped   Act 9:[25] Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket. Acts 14:[5] And when there was an assault made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them,[6] They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about
    164. 164. Biblical responses to Persecution    Acts 9:25; 2 Cor. 11:23-24 Flight to fulfill the mission of Christ. Martyrdom can provide witness, but it can be better to stay alive to proclaim it: Acts 14:5-6 Jesus hid himself: Jn. 8:59; Mt. 12:1415. His time had not yet come. But do not run when obedience to God’s command would be jeopardized.
    165. 165. Biblical responses to Persecution   Fortitute: Stand firm unto death Fight - occasionally for legal rights.   Paul did so several times, unless this hinders the furtherance of the kingdom of God. He used Roman citizenship to avoid flogging and also to preserve the church at Philippi Sometimes civil disobedience within guidelines is an option.
    166. 166. Jesus – Mt. 10  Speak openly for Christ. Mt. 10:2627 [26] Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.[27] What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops
    167. 167. Jesus – Mt. 10   Christ’s witnesses do not have survival as the main concern; They cannot be silent. They can only be silenced.
    168. 168. Jesus – Mt. 10   Mt. 10:28-32 Bonhoeffer: The danger lies not in the judgment of man, but the judgment of God; not in the death of the body, but the eternal destruction of body and soul. Those who are afraid of men have no fear of God, and those who have fear of God have no fear of man.
    169. 169. Jesus & Mt. 10  [28] And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. [29] Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. [30] But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. [31] Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
    170. 170. Jesus – Mt. 10    The power of killers is limited to the body. Since God will bring the body back to life, the power of the persecutors is temporary at best. Jn. 21:18 The real threat in persecution is that we may not be all that God expects of us. Mt. 10:29-31
    171. 171. Mt. 10:33-42 Four dangers for the believer in persecution     Denying Christ 33 Loving family more than Christ 34-37 Loving one’s own life more than Christ 38-39 Refusing to receive those who are wanted by authorities or mobs because of their witness for Christ 4042
    172. 172. Danger #1 – Denying Christ  Mt. 10:[32] Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.[33] But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
    173. 173. Danger #2 – Loving family more than Christ  Mt. 10:[34] Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.[35] For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.[36] And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
    174. 174. Danger #2 – Loving family more than Christ  Mt. 10:[37] He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me
    175. 175. Danger #3 – Loving one’s own life more than Christ  Mt. 10:[38] And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.[39] He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
    176. 176. Danger #4 – Not helping persecuted brethren  Mt. 10:[40] He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.[41] He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.
    177. 177. Danger #4 – Not helping persecuted brethren  Mt. 10:[42] And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
    178. 178. Mt. 16:21-28  [21] From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. [22] Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
    179. 179. Peter’s reaction is satanic   [23] But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Peter’s reaction – save yourself and don’t suffer. This was the satanic test in the wilderness
    180. 180. Mt 16:24 ff   [24] Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.[25] For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Will you save it by losing it for Jesus sake, or lose it trying to save it?
    181. 181. Mt 16:24 ff   [26] For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?[27] For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. First the cross, then the crown
    182. 182. Jesus – Mt. 16:21-28    They must be prepared also to face possible death following their master Crucifixion was a terrible punishment Crucifixion was a state punishment - for the worst sort of criminals
    183. 183. Jesus – Mt. 16:21-28   As Christ’s death was the foundation of the church, our deaths are necessary to build His church. Jozef Ton: Christ’s cross was for propitiation. Ours is for propagation
    184. 184. Jesus – Mt. 16:21-28    There are great rewards in terms of faithfulness to Him. Rewards are to those who will receive His grace and serve for His sake. It is not just to renounce the world for the reward’s sake.
    185. 185. Jesus – Mt. 16:21-28     Martyrdom happens to you - not a suicide bomber. There are great rewards in terms of faithfulness to Him. We need this training for the tasks we will have in eternity. God’s grace is saving and enabling grace.
    186. 186. The right attitude   Rewards are to those who will receive His grace and serve for His sake. It is not just to renounce the world for the reward’s sake.
    187. 187. The right attitude     Let’s avoid an error: That we earn God’s favor through our own efforts or living sacrificially to gain reward Or that we gain favor with God through the pursuit of introspective self-scrutiny and self-discipline. The focus must be on Him and His goals for us
    188. 188. The right focus   The focus is on Christ and His purposes. The true disciple often thinks that he is only doing his duty (Lk. 17:10) and is thankful for God’s grace
    189. 189. Luke 17:7-10  [7] But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? [8] And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?
    190. 190. Luke 17:7-10   [9] Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.[10] So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do A very convicting parable re attitudes
    191. 191. The cross and the glory   Like the cross is the only way for Jesus glory, so the cross is the path for the glory of His disciples. They do not seek ambition or power, but to serve, especially those in misery & need.
    192. 192. The response to persecution    Some believe Some are afraid and say nothing Some leave Christian fellowship completely
    193. 193. We need to identify with Christian brothers in need  Mt. 25:[34] Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:[35] For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
    194. 194. We need to identify with Christian brothers in need  [36] Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.[37] Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? [38] When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
    195. 195. We need to identify with Christian brothers in need  [39] Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? [40] And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
    196. 196. Luke - theology of persecution    Persecution is the rejection of God’s agents- so they are treated by the supposed people of God. It is the false prophets who are well spoken of. Lk. 6:[26] Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. The persecuted stand in continuity with the OT prophets.
    197. 197. Luke - theology of persecution  Persecution is part of the plan of God - beginning with Simeon in Lk. 2:34 [34] And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;
    198. 198. Luke - theology of persecution    Lk. 2:[35] (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. The scriptures said so The servant-messiah must die
    199. 199. Persecution in the gospel of Luke    Daily renounce your old life There will be intense persecution: Lk. 12:4-12; 21:12-19 .Persecution is the occasion of divine triumph: Lk. 10:19; 21:1718;
    200. 200. Persecution in the gospel of Luke    Persecution is an integral consequence of following Jesus: Hated because of the Son of man You will be hated by all for my name’s sake
    201. 201. Persecution in the gospel of Luke   Persecution is the occasion for Christian perseverance: It is a time for testing. Lk. 10:19. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall by any means hurt you; 20: Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you, but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
    202. 202. Persecution in the gospel of Luke   Persecution is the occasion of divine triumph: Lk. 21:17-18 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. 18: But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
    203. 203. John: Jesus demands that He is the only source of life; He must be central  Hatred for Jesus       His own family rejects him He is threatened with arrest He is threatened with stoning His reputation was spoiled He is slandered He is arrested and killed
    204. 204. John 12    Jesus laid down His life for us; His disciples will do the same in sharing the gospel The world did not come to Jesus through signs and wonders, but when He was lifted up: Jn. 12:32[32] And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
    205. 205. John 12: Fruitfulness comes through dying  Jn. 12:23-26 is the call to martyrdom: 23. And Jesus answered them, saying: The hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified. 24: Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
    206. 206. Jesus warned His disciples before His death  Jn. 15:[18] If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.[19] If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
    207. 207. Jesus warning to His disciples   John 16:[2] They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.[3] And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. Excellent example – Saul of Tarsus
    208. 208. The new promise: Acts 1:8   [8] But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. See the following implications
    209. 209. Acts – Persecution of the church    The Holy Spirit would empower them They are not alone in the battle It is God’s initiative, His action and His concern
    210. 210. Acts – Persecution of the church    They are ambassadors with His power and authority Everything they achieve will be His achievement by His Holy Spirit The Holy Spirit is the comforter in persecution
    211. 211. The church explodes  Despite 2 martyrdoms, the death of Ananias & Saphira, and persecution from Jewish and Roman authorities, the church grew explosively, especially following the death of Stephen
    212. 212. Persecution in Acts      Persecution offers more opportunities to witness When the disciples fled, they did not go underground - witnessing was public Opposition inevitably followed the preaching of the gospel. Church growth and spread of the gospel tends to cause persecution Persecution came from a variety of sources and ways
    213. 213. Reasons for persecution      Religious - threat to existing systems Political - Christians primary loyalty is to Christ, not the nation Social - sometimes breaks societal and familial norms Economic - interferes with particular businesses Emotional - jealousy by religious leaders
    214. 214. Theology of Persecution in Acts    Persecution is part of the plan of God: .When they killed Stephen, they thought that they served God .Paul speaks before kings expecting persecution
    215. 215. Stephan, the first martyr
    216. 216. Stoning of Stephen
    217. 217. Theology of Persecution in Acts    Persecution is the rejection of God’s agents - especially by religious leaders See Stephen’s preaching and the result - what happened to the prophets too... Persecuted stand in line with God’s prophets
    218. 218. Theology of Persecution in Acts   Persecution is an integral consequence of following Jesus proclaiming the risen Lord Persecution is the occasion of divine triumph
    219. 219. Theology of Persecution in Acts   God’s victory is His ability to deepen the disciples in the midst of affliction with rejoicing and for them to remain obedient even when the situation does not change.
    220. 220. Why were the disciples ready to suffer and die?    They knew the sovereignty of God: Their work was just to witness boldly in the power of the Holy Spirit They prayed for boldness to preach and signs and wonders to lift up the name of Jesus
    221. 221. Why were the disciples ready to suffer and die?    They viewed suffering for Christ as a privilege and honor - 5:41; 16:25ff They had a clear perception of the glory of martyrdom. Stephen was the aggressor, witnessing, forgiving, testifying and entrusting his spirit to God
    222. 222. The honor of being persecuted for Christ   Peter and John before the Sanhedrin Acts 5:[40] And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.[41] And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
    223. 223. Stephen sees Jesus Christ before his martyrdom     If Jesus was truly standing there, the Sanhedrin was wrong. They would not accept that, and killed him The vision encouraged Stephen His prayer showed forgiveness that only God can give His witness was empowered by the Holy Spirit
    224. 224. Peter persecuted and jailed   James the brother of John was killed by Herod Atipas. He jailed Peter, and planned to execute him as well. The church prayed earnestly, and God sent an angel who released him.
    225. 225. Peter freed from prison by an angel
    226. 226. Paul and suffering  The message about Paul to Ananias: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake: Acts 9:16
    227. 227. Paul’s conversion & blindness
    228. 228. Paul and Silas praise God in prison  Acts 16:[22] And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.[23] And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:
    229. 229. Paul and Silas praise God in prison  Acts 16:[24]Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.[25] And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them
    230. 230. Paul and Silas freed
    231. 231. Some of Paul’s suffering in 2 Corinthians 11:22-31  [23] Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.[24] Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.[25] Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
    232. 232. Some of Paul’s suffering in 2 Corinthians 11:22-31  [26] In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;[27] In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
    233. 233. Some of Paul’s suffering in 2 Corinthians 11:22-31  [28] Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.[29] Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?[30] If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities. [31] The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.
    234. 234. Paul arrested
    235. 235. Paul shipwrecked
    236. 236. Paul’s execution
    237. 237. 1 Thessalonians: standing fast in persecution  1:[5] For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.[6] And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:[7] So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.
    238. 238. 2 Thessalonians – patience in suffering  1:[4] So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:[5] Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer
    239. 239. 2 Thessalonians   Our suffering may persist throughout life, but will eventually stop, and God will repay in eternity It is not if or why we suffer, but HOW we suffer.
    240. 240. 2 Thessalonians   Will we allow suffering to prepare us for eternity, or will we insist on the rewards of eternity now, and get nothing then? We must have prayer - so that it is His work and we are simply manifestations of His life in the world 3:[1] Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:
    241. 241. 1 Corinthians     Mission of any messenger of Christ .Incarnation - rather than selfserving .The cross - rather than selfpreservation .Weakness and dependency on God rather than stability and strength
    242. 242. I Corinthians 1:23 ff  [23] But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;[24] But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.[25] Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
    243. 243. I Corinthians 1:23 ff  [26] For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:[27] But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
    244. 244. I Corinthians 1:23 ff  [28] And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:[29] That no flesh should glory in his presence.[30] But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:[31] That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
    245. 245. Paul answers those teachers preaching in power and strength   Paul ministers in weakness and foolishness deliberately - in the Spirit’s power To move beyond the cross is really to abandon Christ. The message of the cross will be rejected except by the work of the Holy Spirit
    246. 246. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5  [1] And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.[2] For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.[3] And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
    247. 247. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5  [4] And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:[5] That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
    248. 248. Paul answers those teachers preaching in power and strength    Preaching will fail without the demonstration of the Spirit’s working in the messenger’s life and reliance on the Spirit to move in the hearts of the hearers. The danger is trusting yourself as a communicator. The difference is seen in both the message and the messengers.
    249. 249. How the world views Christians  I Cor. 4:[9] For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.[10] We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.
    250. 250. How the world views Christians  I Cor. 4:[11] Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace;[12] And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:[13] Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.
    251. 251. God rewards with quality  I Corinthians 3:[10] According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.[11] For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
    252. 252. God rewards with quality  I Corinthians 3:[12] Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;[13] Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
    253. 253. God rewards with quality  I Corinthians 3:[14] If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.[15] If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
    254. 254. Those who do not live for Christ lose their inheritance  I Corinthians 6:[9] Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,[10] Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God
    255. 255. 2 Corinthians - The cross of the Christian   We are linked with Christ in suffering 1:5-11 He never leaves us in our sufferings The gospel without selfsacrifice, without a cross, without suffering is another gospel with another Jesus 11:1-4 Paul shows his sacrifice for the gospel
    256. 256. 2 Corinthians - The cross of the Christian  We are linked with Christ in suffering 1:3-10 He never leaves us in our sufferings[3] Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;[4] Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. ;
    257. 257. 2 Corinthians - The cross of the Christian  [5] For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.[6] And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.
    258. 258. 2 Corinthians - The cross of the Christian  [7] And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.[8] For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:
    259. 259. 2 Corinthians - The cross of the Christian  [9] But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:[10] Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;
    260. 260. 2 Corinthians - The cross of the Christian  Paul’s sufferings are seen differently by the world and the people of God 2:14-17 [14] Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.[15] For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:
    261. 261. 2 Corinthians - The cross of the Christian  [16] To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?[17] For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.
    262. 262. 2 Corinthians - The cross of the Christian   The church can never be “seeker-sensitive” if it is faithful to his calling. The Holy Spirit opens the eyes of the unbeliever to the truth of the gospel when His people demonstrate Christlike character.
    263. 263. 2 Corinthians - The cross of the Christian    Paul’s sufferings are necessary to manifest Christ: 4:5-15 It is the gospel that is glorious, and not the messenger, who is a clay pot (See Isaiah 53:2) The word “dying” refers to the process of dying, not the state of death
    264. 264. Paul’s ministry of suffering  4:[6] For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.[7] But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
    265. 265. Paul’s ministry of suffering  4:[8] We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;[9] Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;[10] Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
    266. 266. The cross of the Christian     Paul’s suffering brings an eternal perspective: 4:16-5:10 Paul’s suffering gives creditability to his ministry: 6:1-13 - He lives what he preaches Paul’s sufferings prove that He is God’s messenger 11:23-12:10 God’s grace in weakness is sufficient.
    267. 267. Paul’s eternal perspective  4:[16] For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.[17] For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;[18] While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are
    268. 268. Paul’s eternal perspective  4:[16] For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.[17] For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
    269. 269. Paul’s eternal perspective  4: [18] While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
    270. 270. Paul’s perspective  5:[1] For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.[2] For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:[3] If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.
    271. 271. Paul’s perspective  5:[7] (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)[8] We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.[9] Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him
    272. 272. The proof of Paul’s ministry – 2 Corinthians 6  [4] But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,[5] In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;[6] By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,
    273. 273. The proof of Paul’s ministry – 2 Corinthians 6  [7] By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,[8] By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true;[9] As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;[10] As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
    274. 274. His strength through our weakness: 2 Cor. 12:7-10  [7] And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.[8] For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
    275. 275. His strength through our weakness: 2 Cor. 12:7-10  [9] And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.[10] Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
    276. 276. Romans 5   Persecution prepares us for the responsibilities we will inherit so that we will not be put to shame Romans 5:[3] And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;[4] And patience, experience; and experience, hope:[5] And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us
    277. 277. Romans 5 & 8   Christ was appointed to suffer to be glorified: Lk. 24:26 [26] Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? I Pet. 1:11 [11] Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
    278. 278. Romans 8  .8:16-39 Life in the Spirit - v. 17 – 18 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us
    279. 279. Romans 8    Our inheritance is contingent on our suffering with Him. We don’t share in His glory if we don’t share in His sufferings. His heirs will share with that suffering, and demonstrates our worthiness to partner with Him in eternity.
    280. 280. Romans 8    Our rewards are being put in positions of authority in heaven, and this we do not earn. They are given by His grace. He uses our trials to shape us into His image. We must align our method of ministry with His of the cross.
    281. 281. Romans 8    We groan for release from suffering along with all creation. The Holy Spirit helps us pray. But God uses this for our good. God’s plan is never hindered by persecution. He uses it to make us like Himself; the result is certain
    282. 282. Romans 8:31-39 Nothing separates us incl. persecution  [31] What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?[32] He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?[33] Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
    283. 283. Romans 8:31-39 Nothing separates us incl. persecution  [34] Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.[35] Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?[36] As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
    284. 284. Romans 8:31-39 Nothing separates us incl. persecution  [37] Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.[38] For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come [39] Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord
    285. 285. How do we react to persecution? Rom. 12:14-21  [14] Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.[15] Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.[16] Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
    286. 286. How do we react to persecution? Rom. 12:14-21  [17] Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.[18] If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.[19] Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
    287. 287. How do we react to persecution? Rom. 12:14-21  [20] Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.[21] Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good
    288. 288. Galatians   6:12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised: only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me, and I unto the world.
    289. 289. Ephesians    He is a prisoner of Christ, not Rome. He knows the mystery of the unity of Jew and gentile and is in prison for preaching that. His suffering is their glory. He prayed that nothing would uproot their love in Christ.
    290. 290. Ephesians 1:15-23   Paul wanted us to know our position in victory over Satan and his evil spirits He also wanted us to know our incredible inheritance in Christ.
    291. 291. Ephesians 1:17-18  [17] That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:[18] The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.
    292. 292. Ephesians 1:19-21  [19] And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,[20] Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,[21] Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
    293. 293. Gentiles are fellow heirs  Eph. 3:[5] Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;[6] That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
    294. 294. The right spirit for Christians  Ephesians 4:[1] I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,[2] With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;[3] Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
    295. 295. Ephesians 6:10-20   Be strong in the Lord, despite what meets you. The real battle is against satan. God has given enough resources to stand - take them. STAND.
    296. 296. Ephesians 6:10-20   Truth, doing right, live out peace, depend on God for everything, and take salvation and the Word; dependence in prayer are the weapons of our warfare. Paul is an ambassador in chains and he must deliver the message of the KING.
    297. 297. Who is the real enemy in persecution?  Ephesians 6:10. And finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11. Put on the whole armor of God, that you might be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
    298. 298. Who is the real enemy in persecution?  Ephesians 6:12. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
    299. 299. Philippians 1    You have received the gift (grace) of being able to suffer for Christ. Grace transforms us as sufferers to be sacrificial givers of the gospel to others. 1:29 [29] For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; They received this as participants in spreading the gospel
    300. 300. Philippians 1:12-25  His imprisonment did 3 things    The non-Christians knew why he was imprisoned The Christians took heart as they saw his response to imprisonment His priorities: he accepts whatever the Lord finds best
    301. 301. Suffering is a gift given to us  Phil. 1:[27] Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel:
    302. 302. Suffering is a gift given to us  Phil. 1:[28] And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.[29] For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.
    303. 303. Philippians 1  Joy is not dependent on one’s circumstances; it is dependent on one’s priorities!
    304. 304. Exalted via suffering: Philippians 2:5-11  [5] Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:[6] Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:[7] But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:[8] And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
    305. 305. Exalted via suffering: Philippians 2:5-11  [9] Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:[10] That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;[11] And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
    306. 306. It is God’s work  Philippians 2:[12] Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.[13] For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
    307. 307. Philippians 3:10      We must know Christ - but how? By the power of his resurrection And the sharing of His sufferings Being made like Him in His death [10] That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
    308. 308. Philippians 3    That I may attain the resurrection from the dead. This is a special word, and may refer to a special type of reward This is in contrast to those who are enemies of the cross - setting their mind on earthly things. [18] (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
    309. 309. Philippians 3  [19] Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)[20] For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:[21] Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
    310. 310. Colossians: 1:21-29 Paul’s work is Christ’s work.    Christ works through those who will make His goals their goals. It demands labor and agony. [23] If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
    311. 311. Colossians: 1:21-29 Paul’s work is Christ’s work.   [24] Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church: The gospel cannot be preached and the people of God cannot be gathered in to congregations within the nations without individuals here and there completing what is lacking in Christ’s affliction in order to accomplish this task.
    312. 312. Colossians: 1:21-29 Paul’s work is Christ’s work.    Such afflictions confront all who deliberately involve themselves in active service for Christ, especially when they bear public witness to the gospel. Each generation must be willing to endure sufferings... The power that raised Christ from the dead is assured to those who fulfill Christ’s sufferings.
    313. 313. 2 Timothy      God will give power greater than the suffering to be endured Love is offered to those who do not deserve it - mostly with self-sacrifice. We must seek the best for those who seek to harm us (Lk. 6:27-36; Mt. 5:4348, Rom. 12:14-21) The greatest example of Christ .Self-control – not a spirit of fear
    314. 314. 2 Timothy 1   Don’t be ashamed of my suffering, but join in it. It is no shame 1:12 [12] For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
    315. 315. 2 Timothy 1   The persecuted church is not a church of victims! IF faithful to scripture, they go forth in the power of God, believing that suffering is not the worst thing that can happen to them
    316. 316. 2 Timothy 2-3    Be faithful; the reward comes at the end If we die with Him, we will live with Him. 12-13 Be faithful, but if you fail, come back; He will not fail you
    317. 317. 2 Timothy 2:11-13  [11] It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:[12] If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:[13] If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself
    318. 318. 2 Timothy 3:10-13  [10] But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,[11] Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
    319. 319. 2 Timothy 3:10-13  [12] Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. [13] But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived
    320. 320. 2 Timothy 2-3   Ch. 3 10-13 All who live Godly will be persecuted, but (13) false teachers will get worse and worse and avoid persecution. False teachers refashion their message and life to avoid paying the cost of following Christ.
    321. 321. 2 Timothy 4   Paul was the drink-offering given in thankfulness for the forgiveness of sins. It was the last part of the worship after the burned offering and meal offering.
    322. 322. 2 Timothy 4   Paul points out that this was done by the Lord, His work and He deserved the praise. Paul gets the crown of righteousness, not by his work but by his total dependence on the work of Christ
    323. 323. 2 Timothy 4:5-8  [5] But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.[6] For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.[7] I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
    324. 324. 2 Timothy 4:5-8 The crown of righteousness  [8] Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
    325. 325. God’s plan for mankind is restored through Jesus Christ  Heb. 2:Heb. 2:[4] God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?[5] For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.[6] But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?
    326. 326. God’s plan for mankind is restored through Jesus Christ  Heb. 2:Heb. 2:[7] Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:[8] Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.
    327. 327. God’s plan for mankind is restored through Jesus Christ  Heb. 2:Heb. 2:[9] But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.[10] For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
    328. 328. Hebrews     We are worthy for His kingdom only through Christ. Persecution, suffering and martyrdom show that we are in Christ’s school (He also learned obedience) to gain His image of holiness and righteousness. It is a testing ground to mature faith. We need to identify with Christ’s sufferings
    329. 329. Jesus learned obedience through suffering  Hebrews 5:7. When the days of his flesh, when it offered up prayers and supplication with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; 8. Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;