Sermons on Persecution
In Philippians 1:12-18 Paul begins to explain his own circumstances. Paul wrote the letter to the Philippians from prison, and in this passage Paul explains how his suffering has led to the advancement of the gospel. His suffering is an example of the way in which we are to suffer in this life.
Psalm 2 predicts the coming of Christ as the one who will rule over all the nations. Though the nations oppose His rule, He will rule over them with a rod of iron. Therefore, God laughs at the attempts of His enemies to oppose Him. Christians, therefore, ought to take comfort knowing that Christ will always conquer all of His enemies.
In 1 Samuel 18:17-30 Saul attempts to persecute David subtly through his daughters. Like Laban with Jacob, he refuses to honor his promise to give David his daughter in marriage. Ultimately, however, God uses these subtle attempts to persecute David to exalt him further. We learn that God is always able to overturn persecution and to use it to advance His kingdom.
In 1 Samuel 18:1-16, there are two very different responses to David. On the one hand Jonathan’s soul is knit to David’s in love. On the other, Saul greatly opposes him. Though Jonathan and Saul are from the same family and have so much in common, there is a more fundamental reality that divides them. Jonathan is part of the seed of the woman and naturally loves those who fear God. Saul, on the other hand, is part of the…
In Matthew 14:1-12 Matthew recounts John’s arrest and execution. Christ will say in chapter 16 that anyone who follows Him must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Him. The Christian life is one of suffering and it is important to be ready, especially as persecution is likely to increase in our country.
In 1 Samuel 1:1-20 the birth of Samuel is recounted. This birth was miraculously given to Hannah after she cries out to God in the face of the opposition she faced from Peninnah. The opposition of Peninnah is a type of the opposition that the godly face from the ungodly. Hannah’s cry for deliverance is a model of how to face such opposition in faith. God granted her deliverance through childbirth. Such deliverance has been granted to us through the…
Though many in the Old Testament conquered their enemies by faith, many were also persecuted and put to death. The author to the Hebrews makes it clear in 11:32-40 that faith holds fast and endures. Every Christian is required to pick up his cross and follow Christ.
In Hebrews 11:23-31 the author explains the faith of Moses and others at the time of the exodus. During this time the people of God were greatly persecuted and yet Moses was willing to suffer with them though he grew up as Egyptian royalty. He did not fear Pharaoh and was willing to suffer with the people of God because he understood the hope of the gospel. By faith he conquered all opposition. By faith God’s people always conquer. Such…
Abel was killed by Cain. Enoch was taken so as not to see death. Noah was delivered from death by building the ark. What do they have in common? The author shows in Hebrews 11:4-7 that faith delivers from death and triumphs over it. Abel’s blood still speaks. Enoch never saw death. Noah was delivered from the flood. As they triumphed through faith so will you.
In Hebrews 4:14-16 the author, summarizing his exhortations to this point, calls up on Christians to hold fast to their confession of faith and to approach the throne of grace with confidence. All of this in light of the glory of our great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus Christ, who is able to sympathize with us in our weaknesses.
In Matthew 10:34-42 Christ says that he has not come to bring peace but a sword. How can this be? Though there are many ways in which Christ does come to bring peace, one of the effects of his coming is that people come divided against each other. This is because Christ demands absolute devotion and obedience. There is to be nothing in life that challenges this, even one’s family. This is the cost of following Christ. In the end,…
In Matthew 10:24-33 Christ continues to warn the disciples of coming persecution. One of the great challenges in persecution is fear. How can a Christian face persecution without fear? Christ tells the disciples not to fear men, rather fear God. His judgments are worse than anything man can do. He is sovereign. And he cares for you.