Sunday Message Summary, 2 May 2021
Satan is in the world and he has come to steal, kill, and destroy the sheep (John 10:10). He is angry and his time is very short, so he has one thing and only one thing in mind – to destroy humanity. This is his one, singular purpose. Persecutions are the devil’s modus operandi, the way the devil operates, so as long as there is the devil, there will be persecution. The devil steals, kills and destroys the souls of man, destroying anything that is good. He is the perverter and corruptor of all goodness. We are the light of the world, we are the light in darkness, and the only thing that shines in this entire world. As a result, all forces of evil congregate together against light (John 1:5). The world does not know nor understand a true child of GOD, as a result the world responds with persecution.
GOD is not the one causing destruction because He does not and cannot do evil. GOD instead has come to give us prosperity. These are some of the aspects of believers and the church that attract persecutions:
i. Preaching the true, Biblical Gospel and witnessing to Jesus (2 Corinthians 4:5, 8-11) – The devil knows when we are doing the right thing, and the very persecutions are attracted by the light that is in us. We don’t invite persecutions; they are attracted by our light.
ii. The new birth (Hebrews 10:32-33 NIV) – We should not consider it strange when we are insulted for no good reason. Insults, name-calling, backstabbing, and betrayal are a part of the package after that we are born again.
iii. The true Word of God (Matthew 13:21) – The Word of power attracts persecution. After we have heard the Word, we must therefore be vigilant and sober lest the devil comes and steals the Word because the persecutions are after the Word.
iv. Spiritual growth (2 Thessalonians 1:3-4) – The Word of God when it grows, produces the character of GOD in a child of GOD. To grow in the spirit is to grow in faith and in love, however there is no glory without persecutions, and no crown without thorns.
v. Blessings (Mark 10:29-30) – The LORD will bless us, but the devil will persecute us because of the blessings. The LORD sometimes delays blessing us to protect us from persecutions that come with blessings, for we might not be able to withstand them. There is a spiritual age that has age-appropriate blessings for it. God is a Father, and He is not careless with our lives, for it is better not to have a thing, than to have it and lose it.
vi. Anointing (Acts 6:8-14) – The light of GOD in us attracts undesirable elements. If we stand, the devil will go as far as turning people against us.
vii. Church growth (Acts 5:14-18) – Nothing happens to a dead believer or church, but a true church of Jesus that is growing attracts persecutions. What we do as led by the Holy Spirit, makes the devil angry. Therefore, humiliation and attempts to silence us are a part of the package.
Persecution is not something to fill the children of GOD with terror, instead we should resist the devil, steadfast in the faith (1 Peter 5:8-9) because we have been given the keys, and we are not dis-empowered. The LORD has given us the grace not to allow the devil to destroy us, therefore the devil cannot defeat a child of GOD. The greater the glory, the greater the darkness that will pursue us. When things get harder, it is therefore time for us to rejoice because now we are shining.
There is no glory without persecutions, and no crown without thorns.