Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Why We Need Persecution

If there is one Biblical concept that we simply cannot identify with, it is persecution. We have virtually no experience with any violent or even hostile reaction to our faith. So we just don't understand what would cause devoted a follower like Simon Peter to deny even knowing Jesus or how the disciples could remain in hiding, even after learning first hand of Christ's resurrection. The repeated warnings of persecution from Paul, Peter, and Christ Himself simply do not resonate with us. Why?

Face it, we Christians in the U.S. have it easy. Too easy. While believers in other parts of the world must worship in secret for fear of violent persecution at the hands of governments, sectarian, and tribal groups hostile to the Christian faith, we live in a nation where we can worship our God, anytime, and almost any way we see fit. Even further, we live under the supposed legacy of God-fearing founders and the myth of a Christian nation. It is no surprise then that a relatively effortless pursuit of our religion of choice would result in a rather weak, compromised, and unfocused life of faith in the majority of present day believers.

As Christians we live in our houses rather than hide in them, we can walk the streets and openly share the Gospel (though most of us don't), we're even granted preferential treatment in constructing ornate buildings for the sole purpose of worship. Even then, most professing Christians can't make it out of their comfortable homes, into their luxury cars, and into a climate controlled building with padded seats once a week without thinking they deserve a pat on the back for their "faithfulness".

So what is religious persecution? It is persistent, often systematic, harassment and oppression because of one's beliefs. It may result in personal violence, being ostracized from society, and/or denied basic rights.

It is NOT failing to get along with other people, not getting what you want or think you deserve, or experiencing negative consequences for your own actions.

So why do we need persecution?
  • It builds our faith. (Acts 14:12-22)
  • It binds believers together. (Acts 2:44-47; 4:32-35) This wasn't just Christian love at work, but also necessary for their survival.
  • It connects us with Christ. (John 15:18-20)
  • It assures us a greater reward in heaven. (Matthew 5:10-12)
  • It affirms Christ's love for us. (Romans 8:35-39)
One thing is sure. This "easy ride" will not last forever, but the Bible brings assurance that God will use us, even in hardship to bring glory and honor to His Name.

elder todd


  1. It is no surprise then that a relatively effortless pursuit of our
    religion of choice would result in a rather weak, compromised, and unfocused life
    of faith in the majority of present day believers.

    Elder Todd:

    The above statement resonates with me. What is more we seem to have evidence of your conclusions even among the members of this forum. What does it read? The just shall live by faith. Faith is the evidence ofthings not seen... So if we are amply provisioned how is that many are "living by

    There are churches----do we attend them?

    There are many Bibles----do we read and study them?

    There are many opportunities for fellowship----do we interact in them?

    There are many highways and byways-----yet we stay in our seats in our sanctified walls.

    In the book: "From Jerusalem to Rome", it was persecution which scattered the early church abroad and caused the Christian witness to spread. To Samaria and theuttermost parts of the earth.

    Pastor Dennis N. Crofts

  2. most of our Christians today have what we call measured faith[they only seek and believe what they can see] and they are loners, much like the mask man who does his good deeds while trying to hide his or her identity.Sure most want to be wholeheartedly in being Faithful,why? Because it bulids character, strength ,love and so many other wonderful things we have as Christians..but to be persecuted because of is far beyond their imagination.Some honestly find worshiping God a mere game of exspectation...ok this is what you exspect me to do so I'll do it.They just don't understand how important it is to actually go and spread the Gospel. My question to all of this even though I haven't been saved that long is...when will people stop taking God for a joke and realize that He is REAL. It's time out for I once said to a friend when the HORN sounds Be Ready.

  3. absoulutely gentelman.
    i even like the HORN comment.
    i guess it makes solid sense that christ followers seldom resemble theONE.

    i don't enjoy persecution, but i see your point. without it, we are prone and even conditioned to do as little as possible.
    in short the throne in our heart(which belongs to JESUS alone... has become our laz-y-boy.