Encouragement for the Persecuted Church
The Persecuted Church, we read the biblical accounts of the saints long gone, and we hear the horrifying news about our Christian brethren being tortured today. But do we truly understand what it means to be a member of the Persecuted Church? Jesus does. He can identify with the fear of being tortured for His faith, and knows what it takes to be faithful until the end. He holds His persecuted bride in high esteem; He loves her and has a message of encouragement for her.
In Revelation 2: 8-11 we read the following message, ““And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, ‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life:“I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”’”
He also says in Matthew 5:10-12 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. ″Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. ″Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
The ability to remain faithful in the face of persecution starts with a pure heart, one that is sold out for Jesus, and makes the decision that no-matter-what I will not recant my faith. A believer with such deep devotion to Christ does not intermingle with the backslidden, worldly, unrepentant, spiritually dead or lukewarm Church of today. But gives high honor to the redemptive blood of Jesus Christ, and surrenders his or her will to the Father’s will.
And through their deep devotion to God they can say, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.” ( See 2 Corinthians 4: 8-11.)
And “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (See 2 Corinthians 12:10.)
And in the end The Shepherd remains faithful to them as they pass through the revelation of Psalm 23:4, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”
Dear Persecuted Church,
What an honor it is to intercede for you. I pray that you will find the spiritual strength to remain faithful ’til the end. And I hope that the effects of my prayers will find their way to you, and that you would be encouraged while under extreme circumstances to fight the good fight of faith, to finish your race, to keep your faith, and to forgive those who persecute you.
Love in Jesus,
A Fellow Believer