Have You Been Punished? Are you being Persecuted?
Christians, If you answered no to either of these questions there is something seriously wrong! The Bible guarantees us that God punishes everyone that he chooses as his child. There is another similar promise, that everyone who wants to live a Godly life will be persecuted. I know that these verses are not popular, but we have to remember “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training…”
‘God’s Discipline Proves His Love’
NLT Heb 12;11 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people;then you won’t become weary and give up. 4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin. 5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the LORD’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. 6 For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” 7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? 10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. ‘
When God disciplines us we should be rejoicing, not rebelling, not disparing! Lets take a look at the verse on persecution.
Godlessness in the Last Days
NIV 2 Tim 3; 1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. 6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth – men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.
‘Paul’s Charge to Timothy’
10 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 persecutions, sufferings – what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
If we are not being persecuted, this verse tells us that we are not really trying to live a Godly life. Perhaps we haven’t been able to find the narrow path. Perhaps we are still trying to please men rather than being dedicated to pleasing God[Lukewarm Churches]. We might even still be spiritually blind, and lacking any heavenly treasure[Seeing Straight, Seeing With Spiritual Eyes]. Perhaps we are still among those “lovers of themselves” (in 2 Time 3;1-13), always learning but never understanding, having a form of Godliness but denying its power.[Those ‘Whom God Knows Not’] The Gift – A More Biblical Perspective
Please turn us from these evil impostors, turn us back your true church assemblies and help us to claim your promise to reveal the folly of these men to everyone! In Jesus Mighty Name We Pray, Amen.
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- March 13, 2009 / 7:09 pm
- God's Word - The Final Frontier