Monday, September 9, 2013

Persecution


 21And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
 22And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
 23But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. 

Persecution

As a teen, are there things in your life that are so important to you that you are willing to die for them? We probably do not often think about such things, but for the Christian, we must always understand that this world hates Christ, and thus it hates us. Though we may not suffer persecution now, we certainly may in the near future!

The very word sends chills down our backs, does it not? Jesus said, "Ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake." At this very moment, there are those in this world who are experiencing this very thing--right now! However, for many of us, the words seem somewhat foreign. It is true that it is not necessarily popular to be a Christian, but unpopularity is a long way from the type of persecution spoken of by the Lord Jesus.

As Christian teens, each of us needs to ask the question, "Would I die for my faith?" Is my belief in the Lord Jesus Christ just a preference, or is it life itself?

We all like to be liked, but persecution goes far beyond the matter of whether we are liked. We are not only not liked, we are hated, and we are hated to such an extent that our live is not considered to be worth living any more by our enemies.

God has given to each of us a natural sense of self-preservation, and we understand that as believers, we are here to do a work for the Lord. However, no matter how wonderful our life may be, and no matter how valuable we may determine our work for the Lord is--nothing is worth trading our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ! Truly, Christ is all!

Matthew 16:26 poses the question, "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"

By God's grace, as Christian teens, let us lift our eyes to the Lord Jesus Christ, and look beyond the things of this world. This world is not our home, for our true home is in heaven with the Lord Jesus Christ. By His grace we will soon pass through this vale of tears and enter into His joy forever!

Let us, then, not fear what may come to pass while we walk upon this earth. Though many unpleasant things will undoubtedly occur, let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.

Jim Reeves wrote a wonder hymn about this very thing:

This world is not my home I'm just a passing through
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
The angels beckon me from heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore
Oh Lord you know I have no friend like you
If heaven's not my home then Lord what will I do
The angels beckon me from heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore

I have a loving mother just over in Gloryland
And I don't expect to stop until I shake her hand
She's waiting now for me in heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore
Oh Lord you know I have no friend like you
If heaven's not my home then Lord what will I do
The angels beckon me from heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore

Just over in Gloryland we'll live eternally 
The saints on every hand are shouting victory
Their songs of sweetest praise drift back from heaven's shore
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore
Oh Lord you know I have no friend like you
If heaven's not my home then Lord what will I do
The angels beckon me from heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore

God Bless You,
Linda

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