Bible Study Lessons .. Matthew 10:17-42
In Matthew, the disciples prepare for Christian persecution.
Many people don’t know this but there are cases of Christian persecution throughout the world – and even in subtle ways throughout the USA.
Jesus warns and prepares the disciples of the hardships they will face when He sends them out and about turning these difficulties into opportunities for sharing Christ with others.
Jesus Foretells Persecution of Christians
But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues; and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.
But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say.
For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.
“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.
You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.
“But whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes. – Matthew 10:17-42 NASB
Jesus Gets His Disciples Ready For The Coming Persecution
Persecution of a Pastor in Iran
You may remember the Christian pastor in Iran who was sentenced to 8 years in prison because of his faith.
The Muslim radicals would like nothing better than to do away with all the Christians in the world.
I don’t want to start a political debate but this kind of treatment, even up to death, is becoming more commonplace throughout the world.
The news channels like NBC, CBS, CNN, or ABC seldom cover these events but they are still happening.
Even our President and State Department sweep these things under the rug. They attend to more “important” matters such as global warming, gun control, health care and deciding who is going to be chosen in the next election.
In verse 18 Jesus predicted the arrest and kangaroo court hearing of Pastor Saeed Abedini just as He predicted the Roman persecutions, including His own death on the cross.
Other Documented Persecution Cases
Within the past couple of years, we have had several visitors come and speak about Christian persecution in different parts of the world including Viet Nam, China and Africa.
And, this is just a short list of countries you will seldom see in the news.
Freedom of Religion in the USA
Even in America, Christians seem to be more and more abused in the press, in government offices, in schools, even to the point of removing crosses from the graves of American soldiers for the sake of not offending other faiths.
The word “God” is now an unmentionable in most settings except in a church.
Christian symbols, and even prayer being shut down by atheist groups while at the same time we are asked to renounce our faith in the name of tolerance.
We are deemed as “intolerant” because we believe in the Holy Bible and that Christ is the way to salvation.
Complaining is Futile
I am not here to just complain. Jesus plainly said this was coming. I just want to make you aware that persecution of Christians is a reality.
Many countries will not even allow a Bible to be brought across their borders.
Here are a few examples of Christian persecution…
A young woman from China in her early 20’s published a Christian newsletter and was forced to walk a stone floor barefoot all night until her feet were bleeding and leaving tracks on the floor.
Then, after she was finally released from jail, she was put to work making Christmas decorations to be sold in America.
Ironic, don’t you think? Even so, we are still helping China to become the largest economic power in the world by buying their goods. Why? Because it’s cheaper to do so.
A group of men from Viet Nam visited our church recently.
They told of how their Bible study group had to be held in secrecy.
They also shared the story of how one of the men was taken out and beaten by police when he was discovered. All because he was Christian.
This visitor from a small country in Africa has to remain nameless because his family is still living in this African nation. They could be in grave danger if his identity is revealed.
He told the story of how he was arrested after his country was taken over by Muslims.
Refusing to convert to Islam, he was hung from the ceiling upside down and boiling hot oil was poured on the bottom of his feet.
He kept firm in his belief but had to flee to the United States because he feared for his life.
These are just some of the Christian people I am personally aware of but there are millions of persecuted Christians around the world suffering as we speak.
Jesus Prepares His Disciples For Persecution
The things Jesus proclaimed about Christian persecution in verses 17 and 18 came to pass just as he predicted.
The disciples depended upon Christ to see them through these times of hardship from religious leaders, governments and even friends and family.
The diciples used this persecution as an opportunity to tell more people about Jesus Christ and the salvation he offers.
Jesus said in verse 22 – NASB;
“You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.”
The disciples lived through this initial persecution but were saved by the grace Christ offered. He offers us this same salvation but He never promised that the road will always be easy.
What about China, Viet Nam and Africa?
If we desire to install a cross in a public place or, as in the more recent case of families not allowed to even pray in Jesus’ name at military funerals of Christians – then we’re “insensitive” or “intolerant” to other religions, or to the atheists.
No matter what you now see and hear on the news programs about other countries and religions being tolerant to religious beliefs, Christian persecution is happening on a daily basis.
We need to “remain watchful” just as Christ warned many times.
[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”0446565962″ locale=”US” src=”http://www.makingchristknown.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/51Ns0R0fSjL.SL160.jpg” tag=”bobpardphot-20″ width=”103″]So, the question is; “What will I do as I understand that, according to Jesus, Christian persecution will continue?
It might even be directed toward me one day. Will I keep my faith and tell others about Jesus?”.
Love In Christ
If you would like to discover how to receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please read the verse: John 3:16 for more information.