Persecution is a topic that comes up frequently in my personal life. It is obvious from my time on the internet that many people believe that persecution against Christians is non-existent. Christians who follow the Bible will face persecution. I have lost multiple strong friendships because they said they were Christians but when I presented them with their sin, they weren’t interested in changing. Being nice to the people who hate you is not an easy task, and the Bible never said it would be. Sometimes when people were mean to me because of my faith I would ask myself If God loves me, why am I persecuted? That is a great question. Let’s talk about it.
I hope that these questions help you understand God better. We would love for you to watch the sermon in the link that goes over the stoning of Stephen because he was a Christian, you can watch that sermon by clicking here. If you have any questions, need prayer, or just someone to talk to I would love to help. If you need a Bible we can help! Just click here.
Top 5 Questions about Persecution
1. How do I Deal with Persecution?
Persecution is normal for the Christian according to the Bible (John 15:18-27). God calls his people to separate themselves from the people around them in certain ways. Christians are called to live a life of peace with the people around them and to radically love others. This does not mean that Christians are called to ignore sin; when asked they should call sin what it is. This also does not mean that all Christians should allow their fellow Christians to commit sins.
The Bible calls us to call out our fellow Christians if they are living in unrepentant sin (Matt. 18:15-20). However, we should not expect non-Christians to live or believe like Christians because they lack the Holy Spirit. When Christians live in this way they will be hated because people will not always accept the biblical worldview. Living a radically loving life will also open the Christian to being used and often serving and loving people who will not reciprocate. So, in dealing with this persecution, we should remember what the Bible encourages us to be strengthened by God. If you are wondering if you are saved please visit here.
God says the way to deal with the persecution that is faced is to pray and know that the Holy Spirit will help you in these things. He can handle all we throw at Him and He will be faithful in strengthening you. He has also given us other people who are Christians who will strengthen you. The Lord calls His people to live in a community with other believers to worship, pray, and strengthen each other.
2. Why does God Say to Love Your Enemies?
Christians are told by Jesus to love their enemies and even to pray for the people who persecute you for your faith (Matt. 5:43-45). If you are being persecuted because you are living a biblical life, God promises that you will gain treasure in heaven. We should love our enemies because God loves them. We are not fighting against these people but rather we are fighting a real spiritual enemy, Satan (Eph. 6:12). The people who are your enemies are enemies because they are misled by Satan.
Our goal as Christians should not be to condemn these people but to love them as best, we can. This does not mean we must put ourselves in situations where abuse can happen; sometimes the best way to love someone is to separate ourselves from them. God does not command we like people, but He does command that we care about their souls and do all we can to show them the love that God has shown us.
3. Should I Forgive my Persecutor?
We should forgive our enemies because ultimately, they hate us because they hate God and His word. The people that hate you are still children of God and God wants desperately for them to come into a personal relationship with Himself. Why should you be given special treatment or reward if you forgive only people who do the same to you, don’t the unbelievers do that already? Furthermore, you have been forgiven by God. God has made you the hands and feet of His church, what an amazing blessing we have been given by becoming children of God. If you do not forgive those who persecute you, neither will you be forgiven (Matt. 6:14-15).
4. How Can a Community Help me?
In American culture the individual is what is most important and growing up I always read the Bible through my American eyes. When I realized that the Christian community is the main way that God works on His people, I realized that unless I engaged in the church, I would never be able to live up to the full potential of life that God has for me. All humans are meant to be in a community, this is how God created us. Without engaging in a community of local believers I can almost guarantee that your potential will be squandered.
Communion with other believers is extremely important in the Bible. This is a form of worship to God that by definition must be done with others. Community singing worship to God helps believers bot acknowledge God and the relationship we have with Him. Other believers will point out things in our life that leads us away from God. You will also find that you will be able to help others with their issues, which in turn will strengthen you in God. With the community that God has given us, we would be at such a disadvantage.
5. How can I Have Peace in this Situation?
The Bible says that God always knows the situation you are in. Please, pray to Him. Right now if you need to. God desperately loves you and He promises to strengthen you when you face persecution. God has given you the Holy Spirit to help you in these situations to give you peace and He has given you the church. The church needs you to participate in it. The church is the living body of Christ and without all of the Christians participating in the body, all Christians suffer for it. Not only can the church help you in these situations by affirming you, but you can help the church but using the God-given talents that you possess.
The Christian life is not meant to be easy; you are promised to face persecution for being a Christian. We face persecution because God has given free will to humans to reject or accept God. You can have peace in knowing that if you are living life according to the Bible that God’s will is being done through you. Because you are following His will, Christians around you will be strengthened and non-believers will see the love of God displayed.
God loves you deeply and I would love to help you with any questions you have about Christianity. SteepleLess Church would love to be a place for you to hear about God too. You can connect with me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. God bless.