“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
God’s Word informs the believer that he is to ‘count it all joy’ EVERY TIME he is persecuted; EVERY TIME he is tried; EVERY TIME he is tested (tempations) by the world because he is a follower of Jesus Christ.
“For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake”
The early disciples of Jesus KNEW and followed this advice.
As Jesus Himself told the those present for His sermon on the mount (Matthew 5).
“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
And so, the apostles and disciples of Jesus did not let physical discomfort discourage them from spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Whenever they suffered persecution because they were followers of Jesus, they CELEBRATED!
“And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.”
One bit of advice which was liberally handed out to believers in the early church was IF they were truly followers of Jesus Christ, then all would not be sweetness and light: they would suffer persecution for His sake–and they would reap benefits from that persecution.
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 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. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.”
“Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin”
Early followers most definitely had to “put their money where their mouth was.”
Persecution for being a follower of Jesus Christ is PROMISED in God’s Word.
“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
The early followers of Jesus not only KNEW and expected persecution for the name of Jesus, they EXPECTED IT!
They were to count it all joy.
Contrast that with the attitude of many who populate the churches today: claiming they are Christians BUT secretly terrified they might have to experience some disadvantage because of those claims.
The words of a young church-goer from YEARS ago still are both vivid and germane.
“Get my head cut off? I didn’t sign up for that. If that happens, I’m so outta here!”
As the true followers of Jesus have ALWAYS been FEW, one suspects that there will be as many in the last days who ‘count it all joy’ as there were, say, a thousand years ago.
Though we live in a time and place where MANY have joined the Sunday organizations we call “the churches,” MANY will be ‘outta here’ when the persecution for the name of Jesus begins to grow worse.
HOWEVER, there will still be a FEW who will count it all joy.
HOW does the reader treat the slings and arrows of the world during this life?
It is not YET too late: there is still time to change direction (repent), place your faith (hope) for the future entirely on Jesus Christ and enter the kingdom of heaven.
DOES the reader believe he is saved?
DOES the reader believe he is NOT saved?
- Gospel of Jesus Christ: Making a Choice
- The Gospel of Jesus Christ
- Gospel of Jesus Christ: The Power of God Unto Salvation
- Gospel of Jesus Christ: The End Times Power of God Unleashed
THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. ”
–1 Corinthians 15:1-8
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
[Portions of this piece appeared originally in End Times Prophecy Headlines: January 13 2021.]
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- God is in Control
- The Nature of Spiritual Deception
- Tender Mercies of the Lord: Will Not Always Be Available
- Eternal Salvation Through Jesus Christ: Salvation Messages from End Times Prophecy Report
- Do You Know if You are Going to Heaven? Be Sure!
- END TIMES PREPARATION: 15 Ways to Prepare for the End Times
- Deceitful Workers are Victims of Deception Themselves
- End Times Survival, End Times Preparation
- 35 Most Important ETPR Articles
- DISOBEDIENCE and REBELLION: The Wisdom of Man OR the Word of God?
- Apostate Church: Breaking Every Chain
- Persecution, Tribulation, Troubles, Trials: What the Bible says to Christians
by Jeremiah Jameson
–with Mondo Frazier
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