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  • Sam Matthews. K

303. Persecuted for Christ.

"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you BECAUSE OF ME." - (Matthew 5:11) The world is becoming increasingly Anti-Jewish and Anti- Christian, as predicted by Jesus: "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first." - (John 15:18) These words proved true first for the Jewish believers and then for the Gentile believers, in keeping with the principle in Scripture: 'First the Jew, then the Gentile.' - (Romans 2:10) But why were the disciples hated? Because they were chosen by God! "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have CHOSEN YOU out of the world. That is why the world hates you." - (John 15:18-19) Not only are you persecuted because of the righteousness you have by faith in Christ Jesus but also because of His Name you bear. "They will treat you this way BECAUSE OF MY NAME ..." - (Vs 21) What is it that the world has against that Name? Nothing! "But this is to fulfill what is written: 'They hated me without reason.'" - (Vs 25)

Both Israel as well as the Church were chosen by God and share a common destiny though they are distinct! Therefore the devil hates these two entities (a thing with distinct and independent existence) because they both are the handiworks of God. Its through them God is working out his will on earth. Therefore the devil seeks to annihilate them completely but hasn't been successful. Those who hate this righteouness by faith and the Name, will side with the devil and persecute the righteous all the more, as the end draws near. You shouldn't be surprised by this statement of Jesus: "All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes." - (Matthew 10:22-23) "Infact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God ... I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you. " - (John 16:2-4) This is time we are now living in and these words have become shockingly true, first for the Jew and then for the Christian! "Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven ..." ( Matthew 5:12)

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