This Week's Sermon: ( 8-25-15 )
“ But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
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.
Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. “ 2 Timothy 3:10-12
Not all world religions, but some, delight in and get self satisfaction from persecuting anyone who is not one of them.
This is one of the many things that makes Jesus different from religion.
Jesus never taught His followers to persecute and murder anyone who is not a follower of Him.
Jesus never taught any of His followers to force people to follow Him.
Jesus leaves it up to people to choose whether to follow Him or follow a religion.
The choice is ours.
There are believers and followers of Jesus in many parts of the world who are suffering persecution today, just as the early followers of Jesus did 2000 years ago.
I pray for them as all of us who follow Jesus should be doing here in America.
Here in America, born again believers in Jesus have been fortunate not to have to suffer for our faith.
However, with the threat from people who have no conscience left in them since they burned it willfully and who are so full of evil intent and hatred, would like to come here to America and kill us all off.
This worry in the minds of evangelicals here in America is the reason I hear so much talk with excitement about Jesus returning soon. I have not seen such enthusiasm in many years, even decades, about the return of Jesus, as I do now.
Whatever it takes to get followers of Jesus to let go of this world and the love of the money in it, is worth it in the light of eternity.
Persecution throughout history has been known to separate the ones who are truly committed to Jesus from those who aren't.
This is why the writer of Hebrews said:
“ Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; “ Hebrews 3:12-14
If it wasn't possible to leave “ the faith “ then Jesus, Paul and the writer of Hebrews would not have warned the early followers of Jesus about it.
My friend, if persecution does come here to America, keep your faith in “ the faith “ to the end.
Just as coming to Jesus is a choice we make, so leaving Jesus is also a choice.
This is why the writer of Hebrews said;
“ if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; “
Don't ever give up.
Keep talking to the Lord Jesus and read His word daily.