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Do Not Expect an Easy Path
Tribulation Must Be Expected
This past Lord’s Day I listened to a sermon on tribulation and specifically *The Great Tribulation* as stated in Revelation 7:13-17 from the viewpoint of Covenant Theology.
This sermon got me thinking about life as a Christian man. How we will face hardships for no other reason than being Christian? The New Testament reminds us often that, for the follower of Christ, tribulation is unavoidable.
“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
(2 Timothy 3:12)
“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.”
“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.”
(1 Peter 3:17)
Let’s take the word persecution and see what it means.
The Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines *persecute* as:
“In a general sense, to pursue in a manner to injure, vex or afflict; to harass with unjust punishment or penalties for supposed offenses; to inflict pain from hatred or malignity.”
There is also a second definition which states:
“Appropriately, to afflict, harass, or destroy for adherence to a particular creed or system of religious principles, or to a mode of worship.”
Persecution is harassment for following Christ.
That harassment sounds like it can vary in intensity.Tri
Which makes sense given that not all Christians have landed in jail or martyred.
This is true, even though 2 Timothy 3:12 tells us “all that live Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
So persecution is any level of harassment for our faith in Jesus Christ, our King.
Bravery, resolve, and courage are typical traits of men.
It’s our duty to embrace the path before us. No matter how hard it gets, remember that it’s the path Christ set. Even if it isn't pleasant at the moment, it's good in the end.
Men are to be fearless. Proper fear of the Lord will remove all fears of this life. The courage of the Christian lies here.
We must focus on God’s word, read and think about what the Bible says to gain the proper fear of our Lord. The apostles and martyrs had the proper fear of God.
Without a proper fear of the Lord, they would have backed down. They would have given in and ran away from the executions they received.
If you follow Christ and do not conform to the pagan world, you will be punished.
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what *is* that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
(Romans 12:2 KJV)
Persecution is a wide spectrum. It can be anything from getting a hate filled comment online to physical death as many have faced. It’s all part of the tribulation that is inevitable on the Christian path.
It's a fact of our life, but be of good courage. Every promise of the Bible applies to all who follow Christ. Be comforted by God’s word and the promises He tells us will come.
There is not a promise, not a word in the Bible, that is not ours. In the depths of tribulation, it will comfort distress, it will cheer. When sorrows surround, it will be our helper. - Charles Spurgeon
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