Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. (2 Timothy 3:12)
One thing is for certain, if you intend to follow Christ, expect to be hated and suffer for it! Persecution is not something that a Christian might suffer (if they are unlucky), it is a sign that a person is living a godly life.
In the Philippines Christians know this all too well. In 2017 seven Christians were shot to death by Islamists in Marawi City, capital of Lanao del Sur Province on the island of Mindanao, where a kidnapped priest appeared in a propaganda video pleading for his life.
In Nigeria nine Christians were shot dead by suspected Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria’s central Plateau State on Nov. 7, 2017, as they returned from a weekly village market.
Attacks against the Christians have been frequent in Pakistan. In December 2017, a week before Christmas, two suicide bombers had stormed into a packed church in Quetta and killed 10 and wounded at least 44, in an attack claimed by the Islamic state.
In the UK there have been numerous arrests of Christian preachers.
Many in today’s churches view street preachers with as much, if not more, disdain than unbelievers do. They believe that the preachers probably deserve to be arrested because of the method that they use and the message they use.
They forget what happened to preachers in the New Testament, or preachers throughout history.
Perhaps if Stephen had been a bit more tactful in his preaching, had simply focussed on preaching about love and been less offensive in his message then he might not have angered the crowd so much and he wouldn’t have been killed.
Perhaps if John the Baptiser had not have challenged Herod and Herodias about their relationship, and told them about how much God loved them, then he might not have been incarcerated and lost his head.
Perhaps if Paul had been more tactful with the Jews and the idolaters, and preached love he might not have been arrested so often and, ultimately, might not have ended up being executed as a criminal.
And what about Jesus? Why, if he’d’ve worked with the ecclesiastical authorities and the civil authorities he might have had more success in winning people over. Imagine what he could have accomplished with the Sanhedrin’s and Pilate’s help. He might have gained more financial support and good publicity! Imagine if he’d worked with the religious system, he might have persuaded the Temple authorities to deal with the money changers and animal sellers, instead of taking the radical and extreme action that he did. I mean, it wasn’t very loving of him or very Seeker Sensitive, now was it? In fact it didn’t seem very Christian of him!
So many modern Christians want to make the world a better place and get the world to love Jesus when, in fact, Jesus said that this was a waste of time…..
So Jesus said to them (his unbelieving family), “My time is not yet here, but your time is always opportune. The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil.” (John 7:6-7)
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.”
“If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” (John 15:19)