Peter Promises Persecution

It is hard to understand how the televangelists of the day get by with preaching that if you become a Christian then your troubles in this life are over.  The Bible just doesn’t uphold that doctrine.  God has never promised a life of painless, bliss with riches and ease.  He does promise peace in the midst of persecutions (Philippians 4:7).

Notice carefully that Peter’s first letter deals with persecution on every page. He tells us plainly the following precepts:

  • It is God’s will that we suffer persecution “Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good” (1 Peter 4:19)
  • We should follow in the steps of Jesus in our persecution “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps” (1 Peter 2:21).
  • We should expect suffering “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you” (1 Peter 4:12).
  • We should not be troubled by it “But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled” (1 Peter 3:14).
  • We must bear persecution patiently “Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing” (1 Peter 3:9; 2:23).
  • We should even rejoice in suffering “But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4:13).
  • There is blessing and value to persecution “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith–more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1Peter 1:6-7).
  • He warns us not to suffer as an evildoer.  Suffering for your own sins is a natural consequence.  Persecution on Christ’s account brings the joy of heaven to the one suffering (Matthew 5:12).

Do we long for persecution? Certainly not! We should be ready for it so that when it comes we don’t lose our faith (Mark 4:17).  Please be aware of the preacher promising you life here without struggles and rewards of money and fortune on this earth.  He is most likely going to ask you for a big donation before that life can be yours to have.


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