When Persecution Arises

Regular Christians: The Importance of Each Member in the Body of Christ

Often when persecution arises against the church, it will be the “leaders” who are targeted – elders, preachers, or others who are seen as strong and influential members of the church. This is designed to stop the “followers” in the church. This may work in man-made organizations and groups (cf. Acts 5:36-38); but in the Lord’s church, we are not following men – we follow Christ. Jesus taught that all who follow Him – regardless of whether they were official or unofficial “leaders” in the church – must be willing to endure persecution: “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great” (Matthew 5:11-12). When we are persecuted, we “share the sufferings of Christ” (1 Peter 4:13) as we follow Him.

Antipas lost his life when he refused to deny the faith. The promise stated to the church at Smyrna would have applied to him as well: “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). That promise also applies to us today. Death is a certainty for each one of us (Hebrews 9:27), yet we do not know when that time may be. It is possible that it could be hastened by persecution. If that is the case, let us follow the example of Antipas, the Lord’s “faithful one,” and remain faithful no matter what the cost.

The above post is an excerpt from the book, Regular Christians: The Importance of Each Member in the Body of Christ by Andy Sochor. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!

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