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Standing For Truth by Pastor Fee Soliven Matthew 5:8-12 Sunday Morning February 1, 2015
Matthew 5:8-12 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Christianity has Proven itself Unstoppable
Romans 7:15 "For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do."
1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Luke 24:47 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Matthew 5:10-12 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Why does Christianity Portrays such a Negative Reaction?
Matthew 5:10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
2 Timothy 3:12-13 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
3. The Holy Ghost
The Purpose of Persecution
1. Allows Us to Share in the Sufferings of Christ
1 Peter 4:12-13 12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
5. John The Revelator
2. Tests Our Loyalty
2 Corinthians 4:7-9 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed...
3. Furthers the Gospel
Philippians 1:12 "But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel"
4. Enables Us to Encourage others Undergoing Persecution
2 Corinthians 9:8-9 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 9 As it is written: "He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever."
5. Demonstrates our Loyalty to Christ
Colossians 1:24-26 24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God,
26 the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints.
6. Demonstrates our Faith in God’s Word
Psalm 119:160 "The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever"
John 17:16-19 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.
7. Encourages us to Anticipate a Reward
Matthew 5:11-12 11 "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
The Proper Response to Persecution
2 Corinthians 11:24-28 24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness-- 28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.
Matthew 10:22-23 22 And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. 23 When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
Romans 8:35-39 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 Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who 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 created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1. Standing Strong
Ephesians 6:10 "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might."
2. Enduring Opposition
1 Thessalonians 3:7-8 7 therefore, brethren, in all our affliction and distress we were comforted concerning you by your faith. 8 For now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord.
3. Loving and Praying for our Enemies
Matthew 5:44 "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you"...
God’s Promise to the Persecuted
Matthew 5:12 "Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
1. How would recognizing God’s purposes in your times of mistreatment change your thoughts, feelings, and responses toward others?
2. How does rejoicing in the faithfulness of the Lord change your perspective on persecution?
3. Have you ever loved and prayed for someone who mistreated you? What effect did it have on you, on that person, and on your situation?
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