Paul reminds us that all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2Tim 3:12). Jesus tells us that persecution is a sign of God’s blessing. He even exhorts us to rejoice when persecution arrives at our doorstep (Matt. 5:10-12). However, if you are like me, despite these clear warnings and exhortations, you are still surprised when persecution comes knocking. Why? You love the gospel. It seems reasonable. You have forgotten the offense of the gospel.
However, Charles Spurgeon reminds us, “When the gospel was preached, instead of being accepted and admired, one universal hiss went up to heaven; men could not bear it; its first preacher they dragged to the brow of the hill, and would have sent him down headlong; yea, they did more—they nailed him to the cross, and there they let him languish out his dying life in agony such as no man has borne since. All his chosen ministers have been hated and abhorred by worldlings; instead of being listened to they have been scoffed at; treated as if they were the off scouring of all things, and the very scum of mankind.” (Sermon 7,8 pg 50, The New Park Street Pulpit, Volume 1)
We have been given the joy and privelege of following a crucified Savior. “If they persecuted me” Jesus said, “they will persecute you” (Jn. 15:20).