Persecuted for Righteousness Sake
Posted by truthoughts on May 29, 2010
I know that many who stand for the Truth of God’s Words get persecuted for the sake of righteousness, being the Word. So, I just wanted to encourage all of you who experience this by reminding you of what our Lord says in the Word.
1 Peter 3:14-16 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, niether be troubled; But sanctify the LORD God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
Matthew 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Now, I know that at times we may get flustered when defending the Word of God but remember that in the end it is the Lord’s battle, not ours.
2 Corinthians 2:10:3-6 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
We must understand that the sin in man without Christ is very strong and works day and night to distort Truth in them. Jesus talks about seed in this manner in Matthew 13, Mark 4 and Luke 8. Lets take a closer look at those chapters to see what He has to say about it.
Lets begin with Matthew 13 beginning in verse 3.
And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
Now lets look at Matthew 13 beginning in verse 7.
And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
And also Matthew 13 verse 8.
But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
So, we see the parable as related in Matthew. Lets see what the Lord has to say next.
Matthew 13:10-15 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
Wow, did you catch all of that? Jesus spoke in parables so that those in attendance would NOT understand. However, to His disciples He says this…
Matthew 13:16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
Check that out! We know that God has blinded the Jews, for a time, so that the Gentiles could be brought into the fold…
Romans 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.
but… what about others?
So many may come to churches and even profess to be believers but it is possible that they are still blind. The problem is that too many people rely solely upon the words and traditions of men to lead them and not the Word of God.
Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.
1 Timothy 4:1-2 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron
We see here in Hosea, the importance of knowing and accepting the Word of God.
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee…
Ok, so far, we have not yet examined the meaning behind the parable. We will do that beginning in verse 18.
Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
Notice how some, after they have heard the Word… yet when persecution comes because of the Word… he becomes offended. Why would he be offended? He is offended because he has no root. Well, what does it mean to have a root? Our root must be based in the Lord who is the Word of God.
John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
So many these days are offended by the Word of the Lord. Many who call themselves Christians get very irate if you correct them with the Word of God because they are offended… not rooted in Christ.
Now, regarding those who let the cares of this world choke the Word and become unfruitful. The best example of this I believe would be the Laodicean church which is existing today. If you turn on your television to one of the many “christian” tv stations… you can find a lot of these “believers” who get caught up in the cares of this life and therefore produce no REAL fruit.
Many are told if they give money here or there… or if they do this or that, then God will hear them and give them whatever they want… A new car, a large home, the ability to loose 150 pounds in 5 minutes, gold teeth… whatever. It is all the same. They believe they are acting on Biblical faith to produce a fruitful gain, but in actuality, they are dead in their sins because no one is telling them to repent and get rooted in the vine, Christ.
As Jesus says in Matthew 7:22-23 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Jesus continues from Matthew 13 verse 24 trying to explain it from a different perspective… We can see this parable in its fullness today.
Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
The Lord has warned His church that we should be on guard because there are ravenous wolves waiting to tear into the flock.The Word also warns of men creeping in unaware to the sleeping church, just like the wheat and the tares for the purpose of driving them away after themselves.
Acts 20:29-30 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
Jude 1:4-5 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
For we know that the Lord has created vessels of honor (His elect/chosen) and vessels of dishonor (the enemy’s camp). 2 Timothy 2:19-21 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, [and] prepared unto every good work.
Notice how it states that the Lord knows who are His. Not all who call on Him will be saved… not all who profess believe are His.
Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Ok, so lets take a closer look at the parable of the tares and the wheat.
Lets begin with the tares in Matthew 13:36
Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
But guess what!? In verse 43, we see His plan for His righteous.
Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
I suggest you continue reading the parables beginning in Mark 4:8 and Luke 8:8 because sometimes the different books will add a word or two that sheds more light on the topic.
Remember that we have the Word of God for our direction and our mirror. Daily, we should be aligning ourselves with the Word of God to be pleasing to Him and obedient in our love for Him. When you are persecuted for the Word’s sake, remember this verse:
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
And… remember that not all who profess Christ are His. We must judge them by their fruits.
Philippians 4:7-9 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.