“If you suffer
as a Christian, do not
be ashamed, but
praise God that you bear that name.”
harass a specific group of people.
Christians are under attack throughout the world.
In some countries, they are not permitted to practice
. In other
countries, Christians are actively persecuted or tortured
because of their beliefs, even to the point of death.
Many Christians are surprised or dismayed at the persecution
. However, God’s
Word tells us that Christians should not expect to live trouble
free lives and that they should view persecution as a blessing
for those who believe in Jesus Christ and who suffer
for their faith
Modern day persecution of Christians has its origins in the
suffering endured by the earliest followers of Christ.
Jesus’ disciples were hated, rejected, falsely accused,
and insulted because of their belief in Him and because they
followed His teachings. Christ was sensitive to their pain
and took time to comfort
them. He told His
followers to be glad and rejoice that they were suffering in His
name.1 He called
them “blessed” when they were hated, insulted,
Blessed are you when people insult
you, persecute you
and falsely say all kinds of evil
because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
because great is your reward in heaven
and rejected for His sake.2
He promised them that after they had suffered a little while
on this earth, they would be rewarded greatly in heaven
Jesus was familiar with persecution because He Himself suffered at
the hands of others throughout His ministry.4
Because He was hated by many of His contemporaries, He knew
that His followers would also be hated.5,6 In the end,
Jesus endured the ultimate persecution when He was unjustly
crucified on the cross.7-9
Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult
you and reject your name as
, because of the Son of Man.
All men will hate you because of me,
but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows,
and familiar with suffering.
is greater than his master.
If they persecuted me they will persecute you also.
If the world hates you,
keep in mind that it hated me first.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for
our iniquities…and by his wounds we are healed.
From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that
he must go to Jerusalem and suffer
many things at the
hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law,
and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then
twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head.
They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him
and mocked him. “Hail,
king of the Jews!” they said.
After His crucifixion, Christ’s followers and all of the original
disciples (except Judas) continued to be persecuted for their faith
as they spread the word
about Jesus throughout the world.10,11
Many of the disciples wrote about their suffering and pointed
to the “positive” aspects of persecution.
If you suffer
because you are a Christian,
do not to be ashamed.12
If you suffer
because you are doing good,
this is commendable in the sight of God.13 Commit
yourself to God’s work
, and keep doing good.14,15
It was about this time that Kind Herod arrested some
who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them.
He had James, the brother of John, put to death with
the sword. When he saw
that this pleased the Jews,
he proceeded to seize Peter also.
They [the Jews] stirred up persecution against Paul and
Barnabas, and expelled them from the region.
If you suffer
as a Christian, do not be
but praise God that you bear that name.
(1 Peter 4:16)12
If you suffer
for doing good and you
this is commendable before God.
(1 Peter 2:2)13
So then, those who suffer
according to God’s will
should commit themselves to the faithful Creator
and continue to do good.
(1 Peter 4:19)14
It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer
for doing good
than for doing evil
(1 Peter 3:17)15
If you have been insulted because you are a Christian, consider
You should never fear the fact that men “put you down” or
you because of your beliefs.17
If you are a Christian, you should not be surprised that you are
If you are living a Godly life in Christ Jesus, you should
expect to be persecuted.20 Remember that Christ was
persecuted and suffered for us and left us an example that we should
If you are insulted because of the name of Christ,
you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory
and of God rests on you.
(1 Peter 4:14)16
Do not fear the reproach of men
or be terrified by their insults.
Do not be surprised, my brothers,
if the world hates you.
(1 John 3:13)18
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial
you are suffering, as though something strange
were happening to you.
(1 Peter 4:12-13)19
In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ
Jesus will be persecuted, while evil
men and imposters
will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
(2 Timothy 3:12-13)20
Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example,
that you should follow in his steps.
(1 Peter 2:21)21
For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ
not only to believe on him, but also to suffer
Finally, despite the fact that Christians are often persecuted for
, take comfort in the fact that the Holy Scriptures promise us that
nothing (including persecution) will ever separate us from the love
of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.23
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall trouble or hardship
or persecution or famine or
nakedness or danger or sword?
As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through
him who loved us. For I
am convinced that neither death nor
life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the
future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything
else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of
God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.