Rejoice, and Be Exceeding Glad!
The Bible says to rejoice and be exceeding glad!
• Our instinct is to shirk, fear, dread
• The Bible says to be exceeding glad
• Exceeding means: going beyond, surpassing, excelling, outdoing, to a great degree!
• The first time “EXCEEDING” appears in the Bible:
• Genesis 15:1 says: “I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.”
• 2 Corinthians 4:17: For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
• We should be exceeding glad, because the reward is exceeding great.
• Persecution from unbelievers is also a sign that you are effective in preaching the Gospel.
18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
And so what I want to preach about today is persecution in America …
& And I know what you’re thinking … WHAT PERSECUTION?
Right now, let’s be honest, there’s not a lot of persecution, here in America, but repression, censorship, bullying … and mostly through our civic rights.
And where I do see persecution beginning in America is within our Laws … for now, that’s the real battleground …
the incremental limits placed on our freedoms within the legal system … which will then lead to persecution.
• PEKING ORDER VIOLATED: THE LAW ITSELF;
• PUBLIC SCHOOLS
• And so we have to stand up and fight for our rights as citizens of an autonomous free nation.
• I’m not talking about lawlessness.
• I’m talking about lawful, peaceable adherence to the Ten Commandments.
• PATIENT FOR JUDICIAL PROCESS UNDER NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES.
• IF BIBLE WAS ILLEGAL. IF PREACHING WAS ILLEGAL
• A perfect example of this is Acts 4. BOOKMARK
• The apostles Peter and John were preaching in the temple, and had just healed a man who was lame from birth …
• Verses 1-7
• Verses 15-18
• Verses 19-20
• So don’t tell me the Bible teaches us to obey the government no matter what. That’s a lie!
• CHRISTIANS ROMANS 13 / ROMANS 13 / ROMAND 13 / says to obey the “HIGHER POWERS” – who is the HIGHER POWER? It’s GOD FIRST!
• Verses 26-30 Pray for boldness …
• Arrested and released OVER AND OVER AGAIN, once w/ the intercession of God and His holy angel.
• Chapter 5, 41-42.
II Timothy 3:12
Yea, and all that will LIVE godly in Christ Jesus SHALL suffer persecution.
• TWO KEYWORDS: LIVE & SHALL
If you’re not being persecuted, if no one hates you …
It’s because you’re not preaching the Gospel hard enough!
* Matthew 21:22 says that “ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake”.
• When you go against the tide, against the flow and shifting sands of this world …
• We’re not being persecuted in America, because very few are preaching hard against sin …
• We’re getting a watered-down Gospel from the pulpits, and that’s why it makes me sick to go to most churches.
Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey:
A Prey is a creature that is hunted.
You become a target for the wicked … For speaking out against wickedness.
Think about John the Baptist …
He was beheaded … not only for preaching the Gospel …
But for calling out Herod’s sin!
17 For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife: for he had married her.
18 For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife.
19 Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him …
It was personal …
30 The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.
32 The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.
Proverbs 29:10, 27
The bloodthirsty hate the upright: but the just seek his soul …
An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked.
• The more righteous you become, the more you’re going to be hated.
• If you’re not hated by somebody, you’re not doing something right!
• It’s going to get much worse as we approach the Last Days …
• Right now, we’re at a precipice in America.
• The CHIP … in media …. Speculation ….
• US MILITARY
The Bible tells us that we’ll be persecuted so that we won’t be offended when it happens.
So that when tribulation comes we won’t think God abandoned us.
John 16:1-4 says:
1 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.
2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.
4 But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them …
1 Peter 4:12-13
12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
Listen to what the Apostle Paul had to say about persecution.
Aside from Jesus, Paul was the most qualified on the topic.
[LOTS OF VERSES, LET THE BIBLE SPEAK]
1 Corinthians 4:9-13
9 For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.
10 We [are] fools for Christ’s sake, but ye [are] wise in Christ; we [are] weak, but ye [are] strong; ye [are] honourable, but we [are] despised.
11 Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace;
12 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:
13 Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, [and are] the offscouring of all things unto this day.
2 Corinthians 4:8-11
8 [We are] troubled on every side, yet not distressed; [we are] perplexed, but not in despair;
9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh
2 Corinthians 11:23-27
23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I [am] more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
24 Of the Jews five times received I forty [stripes] save one.
25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
26 [In] journeyings often, [in] perils of waters, [in] perils of robbers, [in] perils by [mine own] countrymen, [in] perils by the heathen, [in] perils in the city, [in] perils in the wilderness, [in] perils in the sea, [in] perils among false brethren;
27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
2 Corinthians 12:10
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
Speaking of the past patriarchs and prophets and also women of God:
33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
36 And others had trial of [cruel] mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and [in] mountains, and [in] dens and caves of the earth.
Catholic / Protestant / Baptists …
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.