Do you wish to live a godly life in Christ? As believers we would all respond with a resounding “yes!” to this. And if you did say yes you will be persecuted, not might be, will be. It is stated as a fact in 2 Timothy 3:12a: “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted”.
Not sure I signed up for this, but this is scripture. Similar definitive statements are made in Matt 10:22, Mk 13:3, John 15:18-21, John 16:2 and 17:4, 2 Cor 4:8-12, Phil 1:29, Rev 2:10 just to name a few. And there are others.
Now what that means is different for each person. For some persecution is being made fun of just by saying you went to church this past Sunday, for others it is the ultimate in giving their very lives for the sake of the gospel.
One area I cringe at is people, me included, who just don’t want to be inconvenienced by ministry. It has to be easy, fit into my schedule, at no financial cost, and safe. I don’t see this in the scriptures at all, in fact it is quite the opposite.
Someone once told me “ministry is inconvenient”. I think this is true. In fact it is rather the minimum, it is this – and much more.
I’ve seen so many people who are sold out to Jesus and their lives are subsequently not easy. I do not see scripture saying we should purposefully seek to be put out, or persecuted. However, I do believe the scriptures indicate that we should not expect ministry to be solely on our terms and convenient and at no cost or risk, to us.
I think we (talking to myself here) in the church in the US have gotten a little soft, I mean we complain when parking our car is inconvenient. Let’s look at scripture and see what “persecution” means to us individually and boldly and fearlessly live out the gospel. Christ is stating that being persecuted is a fact for his followers, and he isn’t asking us to face anything he has not already done himself.