Matthew 5:10. “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven”.
What does it mean to be persecuted? In the biblical context, to be persecuted is to endure suffering for Christ; to be mocked, ridiculed, criticized, ostracized, to be treated with hostility; to be martyred. There are three kinds of persecution mentioned by Christ in this passage:
- Being reviled: verbally abuses, insulted, scolded, mocked (cruel mockings. Hebrews 11:36
- Persecuted: hurt, ostracized, attacked, tortured, martyred, and treated with hostility.
- Having all manner of evil spoken against: slandered, cursed, and lied about, hard speeches that is harsh, defiant works
Who in the body of Christ are subject to be persecuted? Any person who lives and speaks for righteousness and is reacted against. The person who lives and speaks for Christ and is reviled, persecuted, and spoken against.
Persecution is a paradox. It reveals that the true nature of the world is evil. Think about it: the person who lives and speaks for righteousness is opposed and persecuted. The person who cares and works for the true love, justice, and salvation of the world is actually fought against. Believers are forewarned, they shall suffer persecution. Believers shall suffer persecution because they are not of this world. They are CALLED OUT of the world. They are in the world, but they are not of the world. They are separated from the world. Therefore, the world reacts against them. Notice what John 15:19 says, “If you 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.”
They shall suffer persecution because believers strip away the world’s CLOAK OF SIN. They live and demonstrate a life of righteousness. They do not compromise with the world and its sinful behavior. They live pure and godly lives having nothing to do with the sinful pleasures of a corruptible world. Notice what John 15:20 says, “Remember the word that I said unto you. The servant is no greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you, if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also”.
What is to be the believer’s attitude toward persecution? It is not to be retaliation, pride, spiritual superiority. It is to be joy and gladness – and the reward of the Kingdom of Heaven. The believer is given a very special closeness, a glow of the Lord’s presence. Remember, if you live godly in Christ, you shall suffer persecution. Live righteously – because “you are the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ our Lord”.
Because He Is – I am