Persecuted for Christ
Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.Matthew 5:11-12
Satan’s goal is to turn the world against Christians, because he is angry at God. He can do nothing to God except to deceive people and keep them from God. As the world approaches end times, more countries and people will be deceived and will persecute Christians.
They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. (John 16:2) Today there are groups that persecute and kill Christians thinking they are serving God. Governments are turning against Christians, and some countries are persecuting Christians while other countries are slowly turning against Christians.
Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. (Thessalonians 2:3-4) Satan is deceiving the world, in preparation of having the man of lawlessness rule the world. Then Satan will establish the unholy trinity; the dragon (Satan), Beast (man of lawlessness), and the False Prophet. The Beast will rule the world with a goal of persecuting Christians.
In some parts of the world Christians are persecuted and killed, while in other parts persecution is emerging slowly. Whatever situation we find ourselves in, we may find ourselves as outcasts, with people and governments against us. The apostles faced persecution and they were killed because they preached Christ and established Churches. All through time Christians have been persecuted and killed for their faith in Christ. So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name. (Acts 5:41) The apostles rejoiced that had been considered worthy of suffering for Christ.
I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, (Philippians 3:10) The apostle Paul knew that suffering for Christ brought him much closer to the Lord, which is the blessing of suffering while living in this world. We live for eternity because when we are persecuted for Christ, great is our reward in Heaven.
Today as you reflect Christ and find opposition to speak about Christ, remember great is your reward.
Prayer: Lord give me the courage to reflect Christ and to endure any persecution, knowing I will be closer to You and great is my reward in Heaven. In Jesus name, Amen