Christian Sermon: Blessed Are Those Who Are Persecuted for Righteousness’ Sake
The last days’ gospel of Almighty God is spreading in Mainland China like rolling thunders and surging waves. It has shaken the whole religious community and has at the same time been condemned and rejected by all denominations of the religious community and persecuted by the kings of the world. Many people with ulterior motives disregard the truth. They fabricate rumors as they desire and spread slander against Almighty God to obstruct the spread of the last days’ gospel of Almighty God. Some brothers and sisters who do not know the truth think that since it is the true way it should not be persecuted. Here I will talk about my understanding of the viewpoint “If it is the true way it cannot be persecuted.” I would also like to get guidance from the brothers and sisters from all denominations.
We must talk about this issue from the Lord Jesus first.
We all know that the Lord Jesus has taken the bloody road of all kinds of persecution in order to fulfill God the Father’s commission and save people from their sins. From Jesus’ birth, He was hunted down by Herod the King and forced to flee to Egypt. Herod the Great was consumed with hatred for the arrival of God and laid murderous hands on Jesus. In order to keep his throne he had baby boys killed who were under two years of age in Bethlehem and its vicinity…. The Lord Jesus said: “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” (Mat 5:10-12). From this passage of the words of the Lord Jesus, we can see that suffering abuse or persecution because of our faith in God is a blessing. If other people concoct all kinds of bad words to slander us, we should not be distressed or doubt God’s way and work because we are persecuted. Instead we should rejoice in being slandered and persecuted because we are blessed and God’s reward is great. Our persecution proves even more so that we believe in the true God and that what we uphold is the true way. Almighty God says: “Among you, there is not one man who receives the protection of the law; rather, you are penalized by the law, and the greater difficulty is that no man understands you, be it your relatives, your parents, your friends, or your colleagues. None understand you. When God rejects you, there is no way for you to continue living on earth. However, even so, people cannot bear to leave God; this is the significance of God’s conquest of people, and this is God’s glory.” “This is just as in the stage of Jesus’ work; He could only be glorified among those Pharisees who persecuted Him. If not for such persecution and the betrayal of Judas, Jesus would not have been ridiculed or slandered, much less crucified, and thus could never have gained glory” (“Is the Work of God So Simple as Man Imagines?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s work and words tells us that God’s wisdom is exercised based on Satan’s plots. In people’s eyes, the Lord Jesus suffered all kinds of persecution and adversity and finally He was crucified on the cross. Seemingly, the work failed. But it is through the Lord Jesus’ crucifixion that God’s work of redeeming mankind was accomplished and we sinners were redeemed. Today, God’s work of conquering the whole of mankind in the last days has similarly been rejected and persecuted, but in the same way, God will gain a group of people who obey His work, will cleanse a group of people who have been deeply corrupted by Satan and will accomplish His final stage of work of separating the sheep from goats, wheat from weeds through the rejection of the religious community and the persecution of the kings of the world.
Think back to those foreign missionaries who came to China to preach the gospel in the past. Who welcomed them? Who supported them? In the same way, they also sowed the seeds of the gospel in China with their own blood and even their own lives. The missionaries suffered persecution in the same way. Can we say that what they preached was not the true way? There are many examples recorded in the Bible of the persecution of the true way: The Pharaoh of Egypt hindered Moses from leading Israelites out of Egypt. The Pharisees persecuted the Lord Jesus. These few incidents are enough to prove that the persecution of the true way is something that has existed since time immemorial. Therefore, it is not so strange or incredible that today God is rejected and persecuted again by corrupt mankind when He comes into flesh the second time in the last days to completely save mankind. We have no reason to reject the appearance and work of Almighty God and even reject the true way because it has been persecuted. The first time God became flesh, He was born as Jesus in Judea, a nation of faith in God. However, as soon as Jesus was born, He was hunted by Herod the Great and in the end betrayed by Judas and crucified by the Jewish Pharisees. Today, God has become flesh again in China—a country where God is hated as an enemy; how can it allow God to exist? The Chinese Communist Party has also resorted to the same unscrupulous measures to persecute and hunt Christ for its dictatorship. The priests and elders of the religious community, because they hate the truth, have resorted to even more unscrupulous measures to resist and persecute, wantonly abuse and blaspheme God and have beaten and cursed brothers and sisters who are spreading the gospel of the kingdom and even sent them to the local authorities in order to safeguard their status and jobs. What is the difference between them and those priests, scribes and the Pharisees who persecuted the Lord Jesus and His disciples? From the persecution and adversity that God has suffered during His two incarnations, we see that God’s work, the true way, must suffer persecution. Jesus said: “If the world hate you, you know that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love his own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also” (Jhn 15:18-20). God’s work of the last days is to completely save corrupt mankind from Satan’s grasp. Satan is unwilling to admit itself outdone, so it frenziedly resists, condemns and blasphemes God and persecutes those who follow God, with the objective being to suppress God’s last days’ work and stop people returning to God, so that mankind will always be controlled by its hands, letting it corrupt and devour them. So the spiritual battle in the last days is fiercer than God’s battle with Satan the first time He became flesh, because God wants to completely defeat Satan and finish His work of saving mankind. Is this kind of spiritual battle something that we created beings can see clearly just by a glance?
Dear brothers and sisters, we can see from the words of Almighty God above and the facts of God’s work that wherever there is God’s work, there is Satan’s obstruction and persecution. Almighty God is Jehovah of the Age of Law and also the Lord Jesus of the Age of Grace and even more so the gateway by which people of the last days can enter the kingdom of heaven and the bearer of God’s work of the last days. God is calling upon every one of us who longs for Him to appear and can accept the truth to enter His kingdom because His intention is to save people to the utmost extent. As people who live in the times when the new age is replacing the old, we should keep in mind the teaching of the Lord Jesus, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake” and not jump to a conclusion about God’s new work of the last days. Look to God and seek God with a humble and God-fearing heart. I believe that God will certainly enlighten and illuminate us and let us know His work and follow His footsteps to attain His salvation of the last days!
Baiyu, Tieling City, Liaoning Province
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