Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Then they will hand you over for persecution, and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of My name.
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first
I Never Promised You A Rose Garden
The gospel of Christ gave the saints hope and reason to live in their society, and they had a strong desire to live a peaceful life within their own culture and often were very productive and hard working when performing tasks for their employer. They were considered harmless, inoffensive to the culture they dwelled in, loyal, friendly, hardworking, pious, and respected within their community.
Yet, the Christian spiritual journey has its thorns and thistles. Perhaps a song by, “I never promised you a rose garden along with the sunshine there’s gotta be a little rain.” Sung by Lynn Anderson and written by Joe South, Would describe the Christian walk to the persecuted saints. Because, there’re dark force at work who sole purpose was to exterminate them from civilization. Due to their strong commitment to Christ, and to the scriptures. In which it breathes peace and love only portraying the darker colours, and the deep and universal depravity of the human heart. So they can be set free from the dark forces. Despite all what Jesus has done for them they had strong desire to wipe His follower out once and for all.
Even thou they were outwardly religious in their practice; however, inwardly their hearts were far from God. As scripture declares, “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.’ Their sole motive was greed, and feeding their flesh, and no regards for others. Fox Book Of Martyrs wrote this account concerning priest. “The priest was rich, and possessed great authority; he was reprobate, and, like the priesthood, he abstained from marriage, to enjoy the more a debauched and licentious life. The Sunday after the death of queen Mary, he was revelling with one of his concubines, before vespers; he then went to church, administered baptism, and in his return to his lascivious pastime.”
The worst were the Jewish leader who was responsible crucifying their leader Jesus Christ. As Apostle Peter declared, “You used lawless people to nail Him to a cross and kill. Him.” John Fox wrote these words,“ Pure and unsophisticated morality is equally applicable to the Jewish doctors, in their treatment of our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Where they crucified Him in hope ending His reign here on earth.” Yet, it was the beginning op the Christian moment. In which Jesus Christ foretold that they would be persecuted in His Name; however, those endure will be rewarded as scripture declares ,” but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
Yet, the Christian movement kept growing. Faninus uttered these words about the persecuted saints, “ Christ sustained all manner of pangs and conflicts, with hell and death, on our accounts; and thus, by his sufferings, freed those who really believe in him from the fear of them.” Calvin penned these words concerning the wicked, “ We are not to reflect on the wickedness of men, but look to the image of God in them, an image which, covering and obliterating their faults, should by its beauty and dignity allure us to love and embrace them.” In short, they’re image bearer of God and have souls.” According to The Fox Book Of Martyrs describes the martyr saints had endured, “ But, though persecuting malice raged, yet the gospel shined with resplendent brightness; and, firm as an impregnable rock, withstood the attacks of its boisterous enemies with success.”
On Christ resurrection, He gave His follower a new hope and a new direction to all followed him. Reinforcing Jesus great commission, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,” Their hearts were renewed, and, after the mission of the Holy Spirit, imparted new confidence to their minds to preached the atoning work of Jesus on the cross. They were reminded by Jesus Himself that they will experience hardship and persecuted in His name. If they stand firm, until the end will be delivered.
For example, some men were tortured, not accepting release, so that they might gain a better resurrection, and others experienced smockings and scourging, as well as bonds and imprisonment. Were sawed in two, they died by the sword, they wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, destitute, afflicted, and mistreated. The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and on mountains, hiding in caves, and holes in the ground.
For example, Apostle John was cast into a cauldron of boiling oil. He escaped by miracle, without injury. Afterwards banished him to the Isle of Patmos, where he wrote the Book of Revelation. He was the only apostle that died of natural death even thou he was horribly disfigure, and bore scars throughout body for sake of the gospel. While the rest of the apostle were executed either By stoning, crucified, or beheaded
Some of the martyrs were obliged to pass, with their already wounded feet, over thorns, nails, sharp shells, upon their points, others were scourged till their sinews and veins lay bare, and after suffering the most excruciating tortures that could be devised, they were destroyed by the most terrible deaths.
Perhaps the word by the Apostle Peter was source comfort, and gave them the courage to continue preached the gospel where he uttered these words, Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you as if something unusual were happening to you. Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of the Messiah, so that you may also rejoice with great joy at the revelation of His glory. If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. But, if anyone suffers as a “Christian,” he should not be ashamed but should glorify God in having that name. For the time has come for judgment to begin with God’s household, and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who disobey the gospel of God? Or the Apostle Paul encouraging words, “For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory.”
John Foxe wrote these words, ” But, though persecuting malice raged, yet the Gospel shone with resplendent brightness; and, firm as an impregnable rock, withstood the attacks of its boisterous enemies with success.”