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Sermon: How to Respond to Persecution and Suffering?

Introduction

So many books have been written, sermons have been preached and studies have been conducted on the doctrine of Christian suffering and persecution of believers. Yet nobody knows it better than those who have actually tasted it.

As you are aware by now, last Sunday evening 21 of our Coptic brothers found out what it is like to suffer and be persecuted for Christ, when they were executed by members of the extremist Jihadist group known as ISIS. Reportedly some of them were whispering the words “My Lord Jesus Christ” even while their perpetrators cut their heads off while others appeared to be praying silently. These brave men who experienced the highest form of suffering and persecution, have a very special message for us tonight. Here’s that message.

1. We must not lose hope

I. Because of the assurance of resurrection, (John 6:40)

II. Because of the assurance of eternal glory, (2 Corinthians  4:17).

III. Because of the assurance that we will be avenged, (Revelation 6:10-11)

2. We must expect to suffer

I. Because Jesus warned us of persecution, (John 15:21)

II. Because righteous shall suffer and will experience persecution, (2 Timothy 3:12)

III. Because God wants us to be ready to face persecution, (1 Peter 4:12)

3. We must accept suffering 

I. Because it is God’s will for his children to suffer and face persecution, (Philippians 1:29)

II. Because to suffer and face persecution is the key to the Kingdom of God, (Matthew 5:11)

III. Because we will be blessed when we accept suffering and face persecution with joy, (Matthew 5:11)

Conclusion

The executors of our brethren released a gruesome video entitled “A Message in Blood to the Nation of the Cross.” Little do they know that to us death is not just the end, but the beginning of everything glorious we hoped for while we were still alive.


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