One of the signs given in End Times prophecy is persecution of the Church. There is no way you can be a genuine Christian and be exempt from persecution.
Blessed Are the Persecuted
Christ Jesus said,
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10).
Here are three things you—and your children—must know about persecution.
Expect Religious Persecution
Why are Christians persecuted?
Reason #1: “For Righteousness’ Sake”
The word righteousness comes from a Greek word which means “to divide, to be different.”
Christians are the salt of the earth. (Matthew 5:13.) Salt flavors, but if you rub salt in a wound, it stings. We are also light: “Everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed” (John 3:20). We are different, and the world does not like the difference.
Reason #2: False Accusations
How did Jesus manage to get crucified? Because of false witnesses. (Read Matthew 26:59-60, Mark 14:56-58.) They will lie about you, too. Do not believe everything you hear about any Christian.
Reason #3: Christ is Our Lord
Satan is trying to get at Jesus by getting at you because you are Jesus’ representative. This world hates Jesus because He came to destroy the works of the devil. (See 1 John 3:8.) Jesus said, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you” (John 15:18).
Prepare for Persecution
You will be made the butt of jokes. Reviling Christians is big business.
More people lost their lives in the 20th century by standing up for Jesus than in all of the 19 centuries before it. Jesus elaborated: “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” (Mark 13:9).
This is part of being a Christian. Nothing has gone wrong. (Read 1 Peter 4:12-13.)
Christian Suffering for God’s Glory
We can use our persecution to glorify God.
Pray for Those Who Persecute You
“Blessed are those who are persecuted…for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10; emphasis added).
“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). This is tough, but we must believe it, because it is in God’s word.
If people persecute you, do not get even. Why? You are reigning with the Lord.
Rejoice in the Lord
Our Lord said, “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:12).
You must earn persecution. You will not get it if you do not walk with God. All who live godly will suffer persecution. (See 2 Timothy 3:12.) If you are experiencing persecution, say, “Hallelujah! They see Jesus in me.” (See Acts 5:41.)
Keep Showing God’s Love
As Stephen was being stoned, “he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not charge them with this sin’” (Acts 7:60b). The Bible says his face was like an angel’s. (See Acts 6:15.)
There was a man watching this whose name was Saul. Later, when Jesus appeared to him, He said, “It is hard for you to kick against the goads” (Acts 9:5b). What was goading Saul? The sight of a bloody face, shining like an angel’s—a man who showed supernatural love under persecution.