Trials: Part 4

God’s Word tells us that His children will experience trials and tribulations in this world, because we are not of the world.   As His children, we are filled with His Holy Spirit and we make our stand upon the Word of God, rejecting the false religious systems which lead the lost astray, even if those systems masquerade as the “church” teaching perversions of the truth of Christ.

18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.  19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own.  Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.  20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’  If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.  If they kept My Word, they will keep yours also.  21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.  22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.  23 He who hates Me hates My Father also.  24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did , they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father.  25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’  26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.  27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.”  John 15:18-27

 Jesus Christ warned His apostles that just as the Jews had hated and persecuted Him, they would also hate and persecute them.  Jesus Christ said the Jews were of the world and hated Him because they did not know the Father.  Jesus Christ, sent by the Father, exposed the Jews as sinners and their false religious system built upon the doctrines of men.   They rejected His word and rather than receive Him as their promised Savior and Messiah, they hated Him and therefore, hated His Father.  His apostles, filled with His Spirit, would proclaim His Word to the world, testifying that Jesus Christ is the Savior of mankind.

Those who belong to Jesus Christ through faith in Him will experience this same persecution and hatred from the religious world system which replaces the truth about Jesus Christ, Who He is and what He has done for us, with multitudinous lies and damnable demonic doctrines.  Those who are called of Christ will persevere despite this flagrant suppression of the Word of God and promotion of the vain babblings of godless wicked workers.

7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens.”  8 “I know your works.  See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.  9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.  10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.  11 Behold, I am coming quickly!  Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.  12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more.  I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God.  And I will write on him My new name.  13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’  Revelation 3:7-13

 As His children, forgiven through faith in Jesus Christ and redeemed by His precious blood, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as Sovereign over all, leads us and equips us to serve Him valiantly while we await His imminent return.  Jesus Christ is in control and rules over all, not the wicked one or his legions of evil doers.  We keep His word, the Bible, which alone reveals the gospel of our salvation, the doctrine regarding God’s Son Jesus Christ and His wonderful work of salvation wrought on our behalf when He suffered and died upon the cross, becoming a curse for us, that we could become the blessed of God the Father through belief in the truth and faith in the Son of God.  The persecution and hatred aimed at us by the unbelieving religious world will be ended when we are raptured to meet Christ in the air and then are forever with Him.   He has promised to keep His beloved believers from the wrath of God that will be poured out upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.  While we look forward to the return of Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior, we must work with the strength that He gives us and do the work that He has prepared for us.  As we strive to serve Him, we must avoid any and all who twist the Scriptures and teach doctrine contrary to the rightly divided Word of God.  If we fail to do so our crown will be stolen from us.

14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him has written, to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.  17 You, therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory both now and forever.  Amen.  2 Peter 3:14-18

Being forewarned about the heresy of apostates, let us focus our efforts on growing the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  For those who overcome the wiles of the enemy, rejecting his lies and his liars, we are promised eternity with God our Father and Jesus Christ our God and King.  We have our home in the New Jerusalem and are promised that we will live forever with our holy God who alone is true.

We are promised in the Scriptures that we will endure trials while we await our beloved Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  How can we expect to escape what He Himself endured if we faithfully follow Him?  We are also promised that we will escape God’s judgment poured out upon an unbelieving world through the reign of the Antichrist, and God’s ultimate judgment upon him and all those who have followed and worshipped him.  While we await the return of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, let us remember that our afflictions are momentary and light, not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed in us in eternity.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart.  Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.  17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.  For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.  2 Corinthians 4:16-18

11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.  15 Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority.  Let no one despise you.  Titus 2:11-15

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