Dr. Frank W.R. Benoit
Grace Community Church Apr. 17, 2016 Frank W.R. Benoit
Introduction – The world is seeing more persecution of Christians. From barbaric beheadings that ISIS does to murder Christians in Syria, Iraq and Egypt, to church burnings, beatings and murders of Christians by Hindu extremists in India, to kidnappings and murders that Boko Haran has done in Nigeria, to imprisonment and hard labor for Christians in North Korea, or suicide bombings perpetrated on Christians in Pakistan, the world is increasingly more dangerous for believers in Christ. But even in “Christian” western society, opposition and persecution of Christians has increased through legal channels. New laws criminalize saying what the Bible says about moral issues. Standing for what the Bible says is seen as intolerant or a hate crime.
- The Fact of Persecution. The question isn’t whether it will come, but when.
A. John 15:18 – Jesus said it would be a reality for His followers
B. 2 Tim. 3:12 – Paul said it would happen to those who want to live for Christ.
C. 1 Peter 3:13-17, 4:12-15 – Peter said that it would come for doing what is right and for following Christ.
D. Hebrews 10:32-33 – The author of Hebrews said it would be publicly done
- The Reason for Persecution. It doesn’t happen in a vacuum, but for specific reasons that Jesus taught about beforehand.
A. John 15:18 – because the world hates Jesus
B. John 15:19 – because Christians are not of the world.
C. John 15:20 – because the world persecuted Christ.
D. John 15:21 – because the world doesn’t know God
E. John 15:22 – because the world stays in their sin.
F. John 15:23-25 – because the world hates God and Jesus.
- The Sources of Persecution. It doesn’t come from just one, but from many.
A. Matt. 10:17-20 – the society we live in.
B. John 16:2 – the religions and zealots who don’t know Christ.
C. Luke 12:51-53 – one’s own family who rejects Christ.
D. Eph. 6:11-12 & 1 Pet. 5:8-9 – the spiritual forces who battle against Christ.
- The Solution for Persecution. Is based on being ready.
A. 1 Pet. 4:12-19 – don’t be surprised when it comes, rejoice that we are sharing the sufferings of Christ, glorify God in Christ’s name, entrust yourself to
God and keep doing what is right.
Conclusion – We have to prepare for the increase in persecution that will be coming and remember to pray for persecuted Christians around the world.