I should expect to be persecuted. Jesus said it. it is normal for a disciple.
Why? Because following Jesus and living in His righteousness threatens so many. Want to find out how threatening it is? Proclaim the truth to the “new atheists” and see what happens. Live in a socialist or communist country and follow Jesus.
God’s people have always faced persecution. The prophets were reviled, tortured, and killed. History records that ten of Jesus’ disciples were executed for preaching the Messiah. Tradition states that Peter insisted on being crucified upside down because he counted himself unworthy to die in the same manner as his Master. Yet he wrote,
“If you are reviled for the name of the Messiah, you are happy, because the Spirit of God and of glory rests on you” (1 Peter 4:14).
We have gotten comfortable in the U. S. Persecution is coming.
“Happy are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Happy 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 5:10–12
The apostle Paul was jailed, beaten, shipwrecked, and stoned numerous times for preaching the Messiah, but he considered suffering not even worth mentioning compared to the reward he knew awaited in paradise.
- 2 Timothy 3:12 —Indeed, all who desire to live godly in the Messiah Jesus will be persecuted.
- Matthew 13:21 —Yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.
- Mark 10:29–30 —Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the sake of the good news, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.
- 1 Thessalonians 3:4 —For indeed when we were with you, we kept telling you in advance that we were going to suffer affliction; and so it came to pass, as you know.