MI 361 Lesson 2 Persecution Lesson 2

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Persecution at the time of Daniel, during the gospels and Acts

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Persecution in the Church:

Persecution in the Church Dr. Robert Patton Missionary to Suriname, South America

Lessons from Daniel:

Lessons from Daniel This is the kind of people which God will trust to rule over the nations They will obey God and live by His laws despite the cost They will be faithful through trials, persecutions, and threats of death

The fiery furnace and Daniel’s three faithful friends:

The fiery furnace and Daniel’s three faithful friends

Daniel in the lion’s den:

Daniel in the lion’s den

Lessons from Daniel:

Lessons from Daniel They proclaim and honor God in everything They tell others about God God uses their trials to magnify Himself through their lives

Lessons from Daniel:

Lessons from Daniel L oss of temporary goods or life for God’s sake is not a loss but a gain. Their true fulfillment is in eternity

Testing in Esther:

Testing in Esther Esther risks her life to save her people – if I perish, I perish Mordecai was persecuted by Haman for failing to bow down – but ultimately victorious

Esther before Ahasueros:

Esther before Ahasueros

David spares Saul’s life:

David spares Saul’s life

Elijah rebuking Ahab & Jezebel after murdering Naboth:

Elijah rebuking Ahab & Jezebel after murdering Naboth

Stoning Zachariah in the temple:

Stoning Zachariah in the temple

Does God suffer? Is He impassive?:

Does God suffer? Is He impassive? God chooses to suffer because He chooses to love God revealed Himself through His Son who is the suffering servant

Jesus Christ – the suffering servant:

Jesus Christ – the suffering servant God is able to relate to those who suffer. Bonhoeffer in prison: Only the suffering God can help Jesus Christ entered into our sorrows and suffering.

God suffers…:

God suffers… The cross is reveals the nature of God. In the incarnation, God suffers . God suffers with us - sharing our pain

God suffers and gives:

God suffers and gives His plans are not achieved by force or power but by love and by self-giving - the cross.

God suffers and gives:

God suffers and gives The self-giving God persuades and invites - not forces Jesus came as an offering , a sacrifice - which reveals the nature of God. This shows how God’s people should live as well. - Phil 2:3-8

Ways we present the gospel incorrectly:

Ways we present the gospel incorrectly Our motives are unworthy – our glory rather than God’s Our methods are unworthy – coercion by physical means, moral constraint or psychological pressure Our message is unworthy Misrepresentation

Jesus and the beatitudes:

Jesus and the beatitudes God’s people do not suffer for their faith; they suffer for HIM - for the fulfillment of His purposes in the world They are in the line of the prophets They are to rejoice , and to love those who persecute them .

Joy in testings and persecution:

Joy in testings and persecution Mt. 5:[10 ] Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven .[ 11] Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake .[ 12] Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Jesus and the beatitudes:

Jesus and the beatitudes Like God gives light and rain to those who curse Him, so we are to bless those who persecute us . We are in service to those who cause us the suffering.

Jesus – Sermon on the mount:

Jesus – Sermon on the mount Mt. 5:[44] But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Jesus – Sermon on the Mount:

Jesus – Sermon on the Mount Mt. 5:[ 45] That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Jesus and the beatitudes:

Jesus and the beatitudes We are the possessors of the kingdom of heaven. Suffering for the kingdom is expected from all God’s messengers. This is a sign that God is present in the ministry Persecution is inevitable - sometimes not only silencing the message of the gospel, but the messenger too.

Sheep in the midst of wolves:

Sheep in the midst of wolves Mt. 10[ 16 ] Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves .[ 17 ] But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues ;[ 18 ] And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.

Jesus – Mt. 10:

Jesus – Mt. 10 Mission and persecution go together. There is always the shadow of the cross. He Himself has sent us as defenseless sheep into the midst of wolves. Thus survival is not the key issue - He too was like a sheep brought to the slaughter

Jesus – Mt. 10:

Jesus – Mt. 10 Dangers can be in two directions: Fear and compromise Deliberately provoke authorities and attract persecution We need wisdom (wise as serpents and innocent as doves)

Jesus on persecution:

Jesus on persecution Persecution cannot separate the disciples from the care of God. They suffer , but are not ultimately destroyed. Hold fast to the end. Persecution will expose faith that is only mental assent.

Biblical responses to Persecution:

Biblical responses to Persecution Flight . But not just to avoid suffering. The priority is on the mission of the kingdom of God above all else. .Sometimes Jesus went away Sometimes Paul fled

Biblical responses to Persecution:

Biblical responses to Persecution Fortitute : Stand firm unto death Fight - occasionally for legal rights. Paul did so several times, He used Roman citizenship to avoid flogging and also to preserve the church at Philippi Sometimes civil disobedience within guidelines is an option.

Jesus – Mt. 10:

Jesus – Mt. 10 Christ’s witnesses do not have survival as the main concern; They cannot be silent. They can only be silenced .

Jesus – Mt. 10:

Jesus – Mt. 10 Mt. 10:28-32 Bonhoeffer : The danger lies not in the judgment of man, but the judgment of God ; not in the death of the body, but the eternal destruction of body and soul . Those who are afraid of men have no fear of God, and those who have fear of God have no fear of man.

Jesus – Mt. 10:

Jesus – Mt. 10 Christ’s witnesses do not have survival as the main concern; They cannot be silent. They can only be silenced .

Jesus – Mt. 10:

Jesus – Mt. 10 The power of killers is limited to the body. Since God will bring the body back to life, the power of the persecutors is temporary at best. Jn. 21:18 The real threat in persecution is that we may not be all that God expects of us. Mt. 10:29-31

Mt. 10:33-42 Four dangers for the believer in persecution:

Mt. 10:33-42 Four dangers for the believer in persecution Denying Christ 33 Loving family more than Christ 34-37 Loving one’s own life more than Christ 38-39 Refusing to receive those who are wanted by authorities or mobs because of their witness for Christ 40-42

Peter used by Satan:

Peter used by Satan [21] From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. [22] Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee .

Peter’s reaction is satanic:

Peter’s reaction is satanic [23] But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Peter’s reaction – save yourself and don’t suffer. This was the satanic test in the wilderness

Self must die:

Self must die Mt. 16:[24 ] Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me .[ 25] For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it . Will you save it by losing it for Jesus sake, or lose it trying to save it?

Mt 16:24 ff:

Mt 16:24 ff [ 26] For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul ?[ 27] For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works . First the cross, then the crown

The blood of the martyrs as the seed of the church :

The blood of the martyrs as the seed of the church As Christ’s death was the foundation of the church, our deaths are necessary to build His church. Jozef Ton: Christ’s cross was for propitiation . Ours is for propagation

Jesus – Mt. 16:21-28 :

Jesus – Mt. 16:21-28 There are great rewards in terms of faithfulness to Him. Rewards are to those who will receive His grace and serve for His sake . It is not just to renounce the world for the reward’s sake.

Jesus – Mt. 16:21-28 :

Jesus – Mt. 16:21-28 Martyrdom happens to you - not a suicide bomber. There are great rewards in terms of faithfulness to Him. We need this training for the tasks we will have in eternity.

The right attitude :

The right attitude Rewards are to those who will receive His grace and serve for His sake. It is not just to renounce the world for the reward’s sake. God’s grace is saving and enabling grace.

The cross and the glory:

The cross and the glory Like the cross is the only way for Jesus glory, so the cross is the path for the glory of His disciples. They do not seek ambition or power, but to serve , especially those in misery & need.

The response to persecution:

The response to persecution Some believe Some are afraid and say nothing Some leave Christian fellowship completely

Luke - theology of persecution:

Luke - theology of persecution Persecution is the rejection of God’s agents- so they are treated by the supposed people of God. It is the false prophets who are well spoken of. Lk . 6: [ 26 ] Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets . The persecuted stand in continuity with the OT prophets.

Persecution in the gospel of Luke:

Persecution in the gospel of Luke Persecution is an integral consequence of following Jesus: Hated because of the Son of man You will be hated by all for my name’s sake

John 12: Fruitfulness comes through dying:

John 12: Fruitfulness comes through dying Jn. 12:23-26 is the call to martyr- dom : 24: Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit .

Jesus warned His disciples before His death:

Jesus warned His disciples before His death Jn. 15:[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 .

Jesus warning to His disciples:

Jesus warning to His disciples John 16:[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 . Excellent example – Saul of Tarsus

Acts – Persecution of the church:

Acts – Persecution of the church The Holy Spirit would empower them They are not alone in the battle It is God’s initiative , His action and His concern

Acts – Persecution of the church:

Acts – Persecution of the church They are ambassadors with His power and authority Everything they achieve will be His achievement by His Holy Spirit The Holy Spirit is the comforter in persecution

Persecution in Acts:

Persecution in Acts Persecution offers more opportunities to witness Opposition inevitably followed the preaching of the gospel. Church growth and spread of the gospel tends to cause persecution

Reasons for persecution:

Reasons for persecution Religious - threat to existing systems Political - Christians primary loyalty is to Christ, not the nation Social - sometimes breaks societal and familial norms Economic - interferes with particular businesses Emotional - jealousy by religious leaders

Theology of Persecution in Acts:

Theology of Persecution in Acts Persecution is part of the plan of God : .When they killed Stephen, they thought that they served God .Paul speaks before kings expecting persecution

Stephan, the first martyr:

Stephan, the first martyr

Stoning of Stephen:

Stoning of Stephen

Theology of Persecution in Acts:

Theology of Persecution in Acts Persecution is an integral consequence of following Jesus - proclaiming the risen Lord Persecution is the occasion of divine triumph

Why were the disciples ready to suffer and die?:

Why were the disciples ready to suffer and die? They knew the sovereignty of God: Their work was just to witness boldly in the power of the Holy Spirit They prayed for boldness to preach and signs and wonders to lift up the name of Jesus

Why were the disciples ready to suffer and die?:

Why were the disciples ready to suffer and die? They viewed suffering for Christ as a privilege and honor - 5:41; 16:25ff They had a clear perception of the glory of martyrdom . Stephen was the aggressor , witness- ing , forgiving, testifying and entrust- ing his spirit to God

Peter persecuted and jailed:

Peter persecuted and jailed James the brother of John was killed by Herod Atipas . He jailed Peter, and planned to execute him as well. The church prayed earnestly, and God sent an angel who released him.

Peter freed from prison by an angel:

Peter freed from prison by an angel