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50 Days to a Blessed Life

How to Handle Being Persecuted for Your Faith

February 25-26, 2017
  1. Introduction

    1. Matthew 5:10-12 (NAS) 10“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
      1. Matthew 5:11 (NAS) “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.”
    2. Two points to note:
      1. “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you.”
      2. “Because of Me.”
  2. How to Handle Being Persecuted for Your Faith

    1. Recognize the true source.
      1. Ephesians 6:12 (NAS) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
      2. John 10:10a (NAS) “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.”
    2. Refuse to retaliate.
      1. Romans 12:17a, 19 (NAS) 17aNever pay back evil for evil to anyone. 19Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord.
      2. Matthew 5:11 (NAS) “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.”
      3. The world loves to find fault with Christians!
    3. Respond in a positive way.
      1. Romans 12:21 (NAS) Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
      2. Matthew 5:44 (NAS) “But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” 3. When people put you down, you build them up!
      3. You have control of your reactions!
    4. Choose to rejoice over it!
      1. Matthew 5:12 (NAS) “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
      2. Why should I rejoice when I’m persecuted for my faith?
        1. It means God’s Spirit can be seen in my life!
          1. I Peter 4:14 (NAS) If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
        2. It means God can trust me!
          1. Acts 5:41 (NAS) So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.
        3. The persecution is only temporary.
          1. II Corinthians 4:17 (NAS) For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.
    5. Remember my reward.
      1. Matthew 5:12a (NAS) “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great.”
    6. Remain faithful no matter what.
      1. I Peter 4:19 (NAS) Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.
  3. Seven Important Questions to Ask Yourself

    1. What is my faith costing me?
    2. What could cause me to be unfaithful to Jesus?
    3. How many people know I am a follower of Jesus?
      1. The number one reason people don’t share Christ with others: Fear of rejection.
    4. How am I using my life?
    5. Have I totally committed my life to Christ?
    6. Have I been water baptized?
    7. Have I joined, and am I involved in, a local church?
  4. Conclusion