Blessed Are Those Who Are Persecuted For Righteousness Sake
“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” That is, they possess the kingdom already here on earth, and rejoice in the knowledge that they are serving the Lord, and rejoices also in the hope of eternal life, when they may rest from their labors; believing the promise of the Lord: “Amen, amen I say unto you, that he who heareth my word, and believeth him that sent me, hath life everlasting; and cometh not into condemnation, but is (present tense) passed from death to life.” (John 5:24). In this passage Christ declares that he has eternal life now. How is it that he has eternal life while living on this earth as a mortal man who must sooner or later die? He has eternal life in hope and by faith in the promise; for the One who made it cannot tell a lie.
Now, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake.” Notice! He says, for righteousness sake; not unrighteousness sake. Saint Peter testifies to this when he says: “If, when ye be buffeted for your faults, you endure? But if doing well you suffer patiently; this is thankworthy before God. For unto this are you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving you an example that you should follow his steps.” (I Peter 2:20-21).
Now, it is surely our desire to be peacemakers. But of whom, for many of us, are we suffering persecution for our righteousness sake in this day and age? Again, for many of us, we are living in a time when the dear Lord in His infinite wisdom does not tolerate that many of us true believers, His children, to be persecuted unto death by the sword, fire and water, as they were for many centuries. In this however, the teaching of the Gospel is as true today as it was when Paul wrote : “And all that will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution.” (II Timothy 3:12). Our circumstance today are much more as Paul wrote in Galatians 4:29: “But as then ( in the time of Ishmael and Isaac) he, that was born according to the flesh, persecuted him that was after the spirit; so also it is now.” By this he is saying that those who are born of the Spirit, even so are persecuted by those who are born of the flesh. Yes, persecuted for their consecrated lives, laughed to scorn, ridiculed and mocked by those who know nothing of an experience of the spiritual life in Christ Jesus.
Jesus is not teaching us vainly when He said, “If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated me before you. If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember my word that I said to you: The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you: if they have kept my word, they will keep yours also.” (John 15:18-20).
At the end of the horrible persecutions of former times, in which many true Christians were martyred by fire and sword, first by the Jews and heathen then later by so called Christians, the body of Christ began to flirt with the world, and true brotherly was lost and they began to quarrel among themselves, and division was piled on top of more division; oh God when will this thing stop? Let us be guarded steadfastly in the truth, and be united in the same mind and in the same judgment.
Satan is not having the saints martyred by terrible persecution, to rob them of their precious pearls, as in time past; but he is now coming much more as an angel of light, and his servants pose as preachers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works (II Corinthians 11:14). Because we know now that such deceiving workers are to be expected, and are among us at the present time, let us be firmly established on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, of whom Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone.