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Are You and Your Church Facing Opposition & Persecution from the World?

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Published on: January 29, 2015

“Opposition! It is a bad sign for the Christianity of this day that it provokes so little opposition. If there were no other evidence of it being wrong, I should know from that. When the Church and the world can jog along together comfortably, you may be sure there is something wrong. The world has not altered. Its spirit is exactly the same as it ever was, and if Christians were equally faithful and devoted to the Lord, and separated from the world, living so that their lives were a reproof to all ungodliness, the world would hate them as much as it ever did. It is the Church that has altered, not the world.” -Catherine Booth

What a great point! Catherine Booth is my favorite woman in the faith. Her husband William and she were the founders of The Salvation Army. Catherine makes such an interesting and valid point here that most “Christians” fail to see.  In the church of America today, when there is a little opposition or persecution for righteousness sake, people tend to think that something is right rather than to think that something is wrong.  

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The Bible says in Luke 6:26, “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets.”

Matthew 5:11-12 says, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in Heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

If the church is not receiving opposition from the world, as Catherine Booth rightfully said, then something is wrong with the church, not with the world.

I remember my husband telling the story of a man of God named Dr. D. James Kennedy. Bradlee met with him before he passed away and he told him this story.  Dr. Kennedy was having a conference of some sort that pastors were attending. His church just happened to be protested by sodomites that very day.  One of the pastors made a comment to Dr. Kennedy about his church being protested (as if it was a bad thing) and Dr. D James Kennedy, in his wisdom, turned this man’s logic back on his head. He said, “You mean your church isn’t being protested?”

This pastor thought something was wrong because Dr. Kennedy’s church was receiving a little opposition from the world. However, Dr. Kennedy knew better. His words reproved this pastor by causing him to him to stop and think. Isn’t the job of the church to reprove darkness, and in so doing, opposition and persecution is promised to follow? This pastor’s view was completely upside down while Dr. Kennedy’s response turned him right side up. So is the mentality of many Christians today.

Our job as Christians is not to go with the current, but to go against it.  If you are not receiving any opposition or persecution for your stance as a believer in Christ, then I would question whether or not you are truly a genuine Christian.

Think about it this way. When soldiers are in a battle, they do not concentrate their efforts on an enemy that sits around and does nothing.  They are not going to bother with a platoon that is not in the fight. No, they spend their time opposing the platoon that is doing something and engaged in the battle! So it is that if you’re not receiving opposition of some kind, then you are probably not even in the war against sin (I John 3:4).  

William Booth said, “If you want to change the future, you’re going to have to trouble the present.”  Are you troubling the present for righteousness sake?  Remember, it doesn’t take much to do so. If you are simply following the precepts found in the Word of God, you are going to receive opposition.  Not that you look for it, it just naturally will happen. Why? Because light just naturally reproves the darkness.

2 Timothy 3:12 says, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”  But through it all remember this, the Lord promised to never leave you nor for sake you (Hebrews 13:5).  

I met a man once who said, “If you haven’t upset anyone, you haven’t really been preaching.”  Are you preaching?  Is your life an example and reproof to all darkness? Are you a reflection of Jesus Christ? Do you receive persecution from those who love the darkness rather than the light?  If not, then I would scarcely call myself a Christian and neither should you.

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