Intro: In Scripture, you will frequently find the word persecution and it is alway associated with pressure, harassment, mistreatment, betrayal or intimidation for the purpose of entrapment or even going so far as killing people. In the Old Testament, persecution came against the Jews as intense pressure to cause them to renounce their faith in God. In the New Testament, Jesus was harassed, mistreated, betrayed and entrapped. Jesus told his disciples they could expect the same, because the world is evil and hates God’s Word or authority (John 15:20).
Over the past few weeks in our LIFE Lessons Bible Study, we have been exploring the Words of Christ about the end times and how we can discern where we are on God’s calendar regarding Christ’s return. Night before last, we looked at the persecution Jesus said would affect his disciples in the last days. An escalation of persecution is one of the signs that we are approaching the time of Christ’s return. Holding onto our faith is wisdom; choosing to trust Christ and patiently endure in the midst of any persecution we may face as His followers will cause our faith to grow. It is through faith that we trust what Christ has done for us in the past for salvation; it is also through faith that we trust Christ for what he will do today, as well as what he will do for our future. Live by faith! Have a wonderful weekend.
Hebrews 10:32-39 NLT
32 Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ. Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering. 33 Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things. 34 You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail, and when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever.
35 So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! 36 Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.
“For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay.
And my righteous ones will live by faith. But I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away.”
39 But we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction. We are the faithful ones, whose souls will be saved.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for preparing your disciples with the truth about the persecution all your disciples face. Help us patiently endure as we live for your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.