“SUFFERING”–THE MARKS OF GOD’S APPROVAL

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“Should we expect suffering?
“We are fools for Christ’s sake” – 1 Cor. 4:10
“Why do you expect to be accepted?”

— Leonard Ravenhill

IT IS A PART OF THE CROSS!

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Let it be a settled principle in our minds, that the true Christian must always enter the kingdom of God “through much tribulation” (Acts 14:22). If we are faithful and decided servants of Christ — the world will certainly hate us, as it hated our Master. In one way or another, true grace will always be persecuted. No consistency of conduct, however faultless; no kindness and amiability of character, however striking — will exempt a believer from the world’s dislike, so long as he lives. It is foolish to be surprised at this. It is mere waste of time to murmur at it. It is a part of the cross, and we must bear it patiently. The children of Cain will hate the children of Abel, as long as the earth continues.

“Marvel not, my brethren,” says John, “if the world hates you.” “If you were of the world,” says our Lord, “the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world — therefore the world hates you!” (1 John 3:13; John 15:18-19)
This world is not our home!
Our best things are yet to come!

— J C Ryle

 

 

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE WORLD: TRIBULATION AND PERSECUTION

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“Believers in Jesus have not been given the mandate to transform society or to change the world. On the contrary, we are told that we can expect nothing from the world except tribulation and persecution. All attempts by “the Church” to rule the world have been disastrous: Roman Catholicism brought the world the Dark Ages; millions of Jews and non-Catholic Christians were slaughtered in order to force them to conform to the dictates of the papacy. The Church of England persecuted those who refused to bend to its rulership. Calvin in Geneva, Luther in Germany—every attempt to bring society into conformity to one version of the faith or another has succumbed to satanic manipulation. This is because, by the will of the Father, the world (including the realm of religion) is Satan’s domain until Jesus returns.”

— Al Dager

TRIBULATION AND PERSECUTION FROM THE WORLD

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“Believers in Jesus have not been given the mandate to transform society or to change the world. On the contrary, we are told that we can expect nothing from the world except tribulation and persecution. All attempts by “the Church” to rule the world have been disastrous: Roman Catholicism brought the world the Dark Ages; millions of Jews and non-Catholic Christians were slaughtered in order to force them to conform to the dictates of the papacy. The Church of England persecuted those who refused to bend to its rulership. Calvin in Geneva, Luther in Germany—every attempt to bring society into conformity to one version of the faith or another has succumbed to satanic manipulation. This is because, by the will of the Father, the world (including the realm of religion) is Satan’s domain until Jesus returns.”

— Al Dager

AFFLICTIONS OF THE RIGHTEOUS

Psalms 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

Psalms 132:1 A Song of degrees. LORD, remember David, and all his afflictions:

Acts 7:10 And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.

Acts 20:23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.

2 Corinthians 6:4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,

Colossians 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

1 Thessalonians 3:3 That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.

2 Timothy 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

2 Timothy 3:11 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.

2 Timothy 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

Hebrews 10:32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;

Hebrews 10:33 Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.

1 Peter 5:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

SUFFER PERSECUTION

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“There are promises in the word of God that don’t seem much like promises to some folks. For instance, this one: “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” That means all whose purpose of heart it is to live godly lives in this present world shall (certainly) suffer persecution, as did their Lord. Maybe we contemplate such verses and think they should say something different: perhaps something like, “And all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall be appreciated for their goodness and rewarded with approval, good health and fortune.” There is Paul’s statement to the Philippians that declares, “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.” Perhaps we would be more comfortable if that were to read, “For unto you it is given…not only to believe on him, but also to be blessed with health, wealth and prosperity.” But it doesn’t say that; it says what it says.” (Emphasis added)

 

— Dick York

WHAT DO YOU TAKE PLEASURE IN?

2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

2 Timothy 3:12-13 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

1 Thessalonians 3:3-4 That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.

Philippians 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

Acts 5:41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

1 Peter 4:12-16 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.