These are heavy topics, and my least favorite – the topics of persecution and oppression. The Bible has some very uncomfortable verses, and at times they can pull me into thinking that is not of God. Humans, at times have taught me that all sustenance and joys should be given up, often in circumstances to benefit random people. In these cases, there has been no glorification of God, and it has driven me far away from God. During my short number of years in returning to church, I have repeatedly witnessed the poor and even pagans who have been greatly oppressed in life, being pushed to serve the needs of the church while many are living very comfortable lives. At the same time, they are not being taught many truths in the Bible. This is corruption to the level of the Pharisees and I do not believe Jesus will be more forgiving to Christians than to the Pharisees.
My hope for this post is that you spend time with God over time and have a conversation with Him about what the Bible really says and means about persecution and oppression. That through your faith journey with Him, you be led to live in a way that both glorifies Him and does not oppress others.
Bible Verses and Concepts
Bible Verses: 2 Timothy 3:12-13
Concept: All godly followers of Jesus will be persecuted; The path to Jesus is not easy
Bible Verses: Revelation 6:9-11
Concept: The saints are waiting for the full number of God’s elect to serve Him before the resurrection
Bible Verse: Matthew 10:14
Concept: Move on if unbelievers don’t hear God’s voice
Bible Verse: Matthew 5:20
Concept: A Christian’s righteousness must surpass the Pharisees
Prosperity gospel teaches that if something is dangerous, a person shouldn’t go there. That the path will affect the person’s livelihood, retirement, etc. Other church teachings suggest it is holy to give up all life sustenance in hopes of gaining believers.
With God being a loving father, it is wise to submit to Him to learn and follow His ways and His commands.
Questions to Consider:
- When people are persecuted in the Bible, how does God use the experience for His good? What is their reward? What instruction did God give that the people followed, that they knew they must persevere? When did they know it was time to leave a situation?
- Were only people in the Bible meant to be persecuted? What is God’s intent for life in current times?
- When it is appropriate to be in harm’s way? How does the situation glorify God?
- When is it appropriate to walk away from harm? What are some instances where harm does not glorify God?
- What are some scriptural examples of people following the enemy and being harmed?
- Are humans responsible for salvation or is God?
- How has God saved you from trouble in the past?
- If you are persecuted, how will you persevere? Where will you find your strength?
- How can you prepare in your daily life for times of abandonment, hurt, and when resources are lacking?
Lord Jesus, please help me turn to you when there are difficult decisions about how I use my time and resources. I want to glorify you in how I live, and be obedient to Your commands, not human teachings. Help me turn from human teachings that serve to oppress others, or oppress me, my family, and other believers in ways that You never asked. Prepare me for difficult times when You are calling me to live differently. When these times come, show me the path to continue following You. Teach me how to trust you through faith that all will be made right. Teach me what true faith really is. Show me where other believers are that live by your ways. If I am ever in a body of false believers, show me the way out. Amen.