2/11/14: Persecution Platform
If you had the opportunity to sit down face-to-face with Jesus and ask Him a question, what would you ask? Peter, James, John, and Andrew took advantage of that opportunity and asked, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?” Mark 13:4 (NKJ). Jesus’ answer is like reading today’s news:
“Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many. But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows” Mark 13:5-8 (NKJ).
Aren’t all these things true? Indeed, all we need to do is pick up any newspaper and we’ll read exactly what Jesus just said in this passage. Now we can sit around and brood about this, or we can continue to listen to what Jesus tells us to do because of these inevitabilities.
“But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them. And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations. But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all men for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved” Mark 13:9-13 (NKJ).
Okay, so here’s the deal. There will be wars, earthquakes, and famines. The culture will turn on us Christians. They’ll beat us up (I believe both physically and emotionally) even in our own places of worship, and bring us before rulers and kings because of our stand for Jesus Christ. But look at the purpose for it all: “the gospel must first be preached to all the nations.” The persecution will be our platform. Take Paul’s advice to Timothy as your own when these situations arise (and they will): “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage– with great patience and careful instruction” 2 Timothy 4:2 (NIV). And remember Jesus’ ultimate promise, because this is what it’s all about: “he who endures to the end shall be saved.” Worship the Spirit who gives us the words to speak.
©2010, 2014 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
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Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children
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Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame
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