Christians will face persecution in this world, but God will help us overcome!
Today’s believers are in no way different from early day Christians that were severely persecuted by their opponents.
Early believers survived their trial moments; they also had effective evangelism.
Many new souls were added to the faith on daily basis when early Christians were severely persecuted.
A young lawyer called Saul spearheaded the persecution of early Christians.
He was obsessed of his Judaism (religion) and persecuted Christianity.
He persecuted Christians from door to door, and from town to town.
Eventually, Saul met with the Lord and became saved.
(Saul converted to Christianity and changed his name to Paul).
Jesus Christ saved Paul and turned him to his fisherman – an evangelist! (Acts 9).
The conversion of Paul from Judaism to Christianity infuriated the Pharisees who considered him as their effective agent.
They attempted to kill Paul, however God protected him.
God exposed the anti-gospel individuals that wanted to kill Saul as the scripture reported,
“… So he (Saul) was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out. And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists, but they attempted to kill him. When the brethren found out, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him out to Tarsus” (Acts 9:28-30).
Important Lessons on Persecution of Saints
1. Persecution of saints is inevitable
People who have professed their faith in Jesus Christ will suffer persecution in this world, but Jesus will help us prevail.
The persecution of saints would come in different forms, and make believers experience pain.
However, believers ought to maintain focus and serve God effectively.
2. Resolute faith will help Christians overcome persecutions
Christians must maintain confidence in God and hold on to our profession of faith in Jesus Christ.
“For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (1 cor 15:9-10).
Christians must be courageous to find motivation in our persecutions.
As we endure in faith, we must allow the Holy Spirit of God to rule us.
We must let God’s light shine through us to make Satan ashamed.
God will utilize our irresistible faith to conquer Satan.
That is, believers should proclaim the faithfulness of God while we are being persecuted.
The evil wall of the enemy will crack and ultimately collapse as we affirm the faithfulness of God.
Satan cannot withstand God’s light; he will cave in and yield to God’s light to shine as we maintain irresistible faith in God.
3. Christians to preach gospel while under persecution
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 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. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you” (2 Corinthians 4:7-12 KJV).
A Christian who suffers persecution should endeavor to live a pious lifestyle like Apostle Paul.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 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” (Romans 8:35-39).
Despite repeated persecutions that Paul suffered from his opponents during his time, he was determined to remain an active Christian.
He traveled far and wide to preach gospel.
Paul traveled beyond the border of his country and visited various remote countries to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.
He reached out to many gentile nations and led many unbelievers to Christ.
Perhaps the greatest achievement of Apostle Paul is that he wrote many inspiring letters to early Christian churches that were sparsely located around the globe.
Paul’s letter edified early Christians worldwide!
Those letters of Paul eventually became part of the manuscripts that were canonized into the bible.
Today, Christians throughout the world continue to find motivation and inspiration from the letters that Paul wrote to early Christian churches!
Christians to Pray for Power to Endure Persecution
Christians to pray for God’s strength to endure persecution; we need to ask God for strength to turn our adversity into a motivating factor to preach effective gospel of Jesus Christ.
Dear Jesus Christ, I appreciate your word that states, “In this world you will be of much tribulation, but be of good shares, I have overcome the world” (Acts 16:32-33).
Please give me strength to find motivation in any persecution that I suffer.
Help me to stand firm in faith and preach your gospel under whatever circumstance!
Endow me with strength to maintain stable faith in you always!
Please subdue the power of my enemies, and let your Holy Spirit energize me to remain faithful to you, so that I can reign with you in heaven.
Please God help me! For the in the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.
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James Taiwo is the author of [Bible Application] [Christian Principle] [Book of Prayer] Available at www.BibleLifeLesson.com