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  • “When Christ Causes Conflict”

    Matthew 5:10-12 (ESV)


    10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


    Matthew 5:10 (The Message)

    “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.


    1. What is persecution, anyway?

    2 Timothy 3:12 

    “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”


    1. Why are we persecuted?

    Hebrews 11:24-25 

    “By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 


    John Stott:

    “Persecution is simply the clash between two irreconcilable value-systems.”


    1. How and why should we rejoice?

    1 Peter 4:16

    “Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.”


    • Persecution demonstrates our union with Christ.
    • Persecution refocuses our sights on the real reward.
    • Persecution sharpens our spiritual awareness.


    Romans 8:16-17: “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”


    Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

    “With every beatitude, the gulf is widened between the disciples and the people, and their call to come forth from the people becomes increasingly manifest.”