Blessed are the Persecuted. Jesus said, "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." For many, these verses are a stark reality today. Day after day, they live with the constant threat of recrimination--even death. Why? They are persecuted because they are Christians.
0 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Matthew 5:10-12, NKJV
22 Blessed are you when men hate you,
And when they exclude you,
And revile you, and cast out your name as evil,
For the Son of Man’s sake.
23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!
For indeed your reward is great in heaven,
For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.
Luke 6:22-23, NKJV
For many, these verses are a stark reality today. Day after day, they live with the constant threat of recrimination--even death. Why? They are persecuted because they are Christians.
For others, these words seem to be far removed from the realities of life. Each day seems to flow seamlessly into the next, with no fear of reprisals because of one's faith. Yet, we live in a world which is increasingly anti-God. The words of God's commandments seem to ring hollow in the ears of most, as they are increasingly ignored by the general population of our countries.
We should not be surprised by this development. Does not history show a continual unrest, with persecution of believers not all that uncommon? Christ warned us in Luke 12 that He did not come to bring peace, but rather He came to bring division.
51 Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. 52 For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. 53 Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”
Luke 12:51-53, NKJV
These things should not disturb us--rather they should have the opposite effect. Jesus said that we are being blessed when we are being persecuted! Rather than being distressed, we should rejoice and be glad. Why? We should be glad because we understand that we are not of this world. Jesus said, "Theirs is the kingdom of heaven." In other words, this world is not our home; our true home is in heaven. We rejoice because we understand that our heavenly reward will surpass anything that this world could ever offer.
Let us then, as children of God, set our faces toward heaven. Let us, by God's grace live for our heavenly Father. The things of this world are only transient; in the blink of an eye, they will all pass away, but great is our reward in heaven!
Blessed are the Persecuted! Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!
"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."