“Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
“-{2 Tim 3:12}

“God has  given us everything pertaining to life and godliness…”-{2 Peter 1:3}

God has not only given His children everything to live Godly He also provides a desire to do so. And with the desire to do so comes a promise. That all, without exception who have this desire to live Godly,to live honoring God, they need not be surprised as though some strange thing is happening to them when they are met with resistance from the ungodly and encounter  persecution!

Billy Graham put it…

It is unnatural for Christianity to be popular.

Persecuted  (dioko [word study]) means literally to be hunted, and then to be followed or pressed hard after, pursued with earnestness and diligence with repeated acts of enmity (See J C Ryle’s sermon esp part III Formalism). The picture of the verb dioko is of a fox being chased and hunted by the bloodhounds.

Samuel Rutherford in fact wrote that…

If you were not strangers here the hounds of the world would not bark at you.” -{preceptaustin commentaries}

God has said this is what will happen, and why are we so surprised when it happens? Light versus darkness and the darkness pushing back. Those without God pushing back against those who belong to Christ? It is something God has forewarned us about and yet we seem shocked, surprised, even offended when it does happen! Why is this? For some it is because we falsely believe that when we give our lives to Christ and are doing His “work’ that He is obligated to keep us from harm, hurt and opposition! It’s delusional and un-Biblical

Consider some passages to show otherwise.

If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.  But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.   “-{John 15:18-21}.

” Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.“-{Mat 5;10-12}

By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen. By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that he who destroyed the firstborn would not touch them. By faith they passed through the Red Sea as though they were passing through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned.“- {Heb 11;23-29}

“… received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated  (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.

And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, -” -{Hebrews 11:35-39}.

The sufferings they encountered did not quench their faith but revealed their faith In Him was greater than the evil opposition suffering they encountered!


John Wesley whom the LORD used mightily reveals some opposition he encountered for preaching Christ.

Wesley’s diary entries…

Sunday, A.M., May 5 Preached in St. Anne’s. Was asked not to come back anymore.

Sunday, P.M., May 5 Preached in St. John’s. Deacons said “Get out and stay out.”

Sunday, A.M., May 12 Preached in St. Jude’s. Can’t go back there, either.

Sunday, A.M., May 19 Preached in St. Somebody Else’s. Deacons called special meeting and said I couldn’t return.

Sunday, P.M., May 19 Preached on street. Kicked off street.

Sunday, A.M., May 26 Preached in meadow. Chased out of meadow as bull was turned loose during service.

Sunday, A.M., June 2 Preached out at the edge of town. Kicked off the highway.

Sunday, P.M., June 2 Afternoon, preached in a pasture. Ten thousand people came out to hear me.

MacArthur adds that “Self-centered Christians who serve the Lord halfheartedly seldom have to pay a price for their faith. They are of little threat to Satan’s work because they are of little benefit to Christ’s.”

Gill writes that persecution of the godly, “is the will of God, and the appointment of heaven; Christ has foretold it, that so it shall be; and He the head has suffered it Himself, and it is necessary that His members should, that they may be conformed unto Him; it is the way Christ Himself went to glory, and through many tribulations His people must enter the kingdom; and this is the common lot and certain case of all the saints, in one shape or another; for though all do not suffer confiscation of goods, beating, scourging, imprisonment, or a violent death yet all are more or less afflicted and distressed by wicked men, and are subject to their reproaches and reviling, which are a branch of persecution; and that for professing Christ, and living a godly life in Him and under His influence: and since such suffer as Christians, and not as evildoers; and this is the common condition of the people of God, in this world, it should not be thought strange, but be cheerfully endured; to encourage to which is the apostle’s view in this passage.”

Indeed the ABOVE verses show that His people did suffer and they do suffer today. PEOPLE still are persecuted in different parts of the world for being followers of Christ. Violence committed against them. Others do not get job promotion, ridiculed in school, or on the job in neighborhoods due to their allegiance to Christ. And to those who have a desire, which comes from God {Read Phil 2:13}, they have this promise- will suffer persecution!

It’s a promise we in the western world seem to be shocked, surprised at when it comes  even offended that God would allow it to happen to us! It’s The Promise that often Shocks us when it happens to us. It’s not a promise you hear people claim and are upset with The LORD if it doesn’t happen for them? It’s a promise few claim, but God bestows on those who live for His fame in the circumstances they find themselves in!

When Jesus  teaches us “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.“-{Mat 5;10-12}  Paul was incarcerated along with Silas for the faith and chose to sing songs of praise, and when  the earthquake came and shook the prison and the jailer was about to commit suicide their response was not one of vengeance but one of concern and love to reach out and tell him to do no harm and it ended with the jailer asking the most important question ever “what must I do to be saved” He and his household were saved that night, -{Read Acts 16;25-40}.

Paul in prison says ” Brothers and sisters I want you to know my circumstances have worked out for the furtherance of the Gospel.”-{Phil 1:12} and in v 13 he was evangelizing, v 14 “… most of the brethren were encouraged to speak the Word of God without fear” and he says why “Because of my imprisonment!” His presence was an encouragement to them! God may have you in a place to encourage others to speak up and share not the political solution but the ultimate solution of a person’s soul- the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

In Ephesians 3:1  Paul again in prison writes, “For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— ” He was Christ’s prisoner not Rome’s! He was there for the benefit of others!

For some of us, if Paul had been around today and was constantly in prison, we would wonder,”what’s God trying to say to him, God must be displeased and trying to teach him a lesson as he keeps ending back in prison!” Because we truly in our heart of hearts believe CHRISTIAN’S SHOULD NOT SUFFER. Maybe overseas in some third world country but not in our “sophisticates” well educated land!  We are above that. Our mind needs to be renewed and see what God says! “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you;  but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.  If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you “-{1 Peter 4:12-14} “Do not be surprised” means STOP an an action or REACTION that is already happening. It’s a Command! Suffering, persecution is part of the Christian life!

How do you reconcile John 15;18-21;Matthew 5:10-12; Hebrews 11:23-25,35-39,and 2 Timothy 3;12; Phil 1:29; Rev 1:9-11; 1 Peter 4:12-14. with what you believe?

Do you believe if you are doing “right,” that God will exempt you from suffering? What happens when others malign you for your faith in Christ? DO you compromise to win their approval as Peter did while denying His Lord sitting by the fire? Or do you accept this is a part of His plan and you are blessed and are to rejoice and be glad for the privilege, though painful, to suffer for His NAME SAKE?

Paul points out that faithfulness to the LORD Jesus leads to persecution, suffering on account of Him. Your loyalty to Christ will encounter opposition! Why do we not teach young believers this truth? Indeed why do we not teach all believers this fact!

The intensity, type of suffering may differ from person to person but all who desire to live Godly can count on it they “will suffer persecution”- harassment, for their loyalty to the LORD Jesus!

 It’s not natural to say, I want to suffer but it is un- natural as a Follower of Christ to think you will not suffer for His Name in this life!

To seek to be loyal above all other loyalties is a threat to a worldly system opposed to Jesus Christ.

For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,“- {Phil 1:29}. The word ‘granted’ means  ‘A Gift of Grace, gifted’

Where much of today’s “Gospel” teaches health, wealth, prosperity, the “easy life,” where GOD exists for one purpose and primarily to “Bless” you and give you everything you want including a trouble free life and all the material wealth you lust after! It’s a lie! Suffering can be viewed as been out of  God’s favor and the more you get the more you are walking with God. It’s the ‘Gospel” of Give me, give me, give me! It’s like God is a slot machine! But what do you do with Paul’s life. {Read 2 Cor 11}. What do you do with the LORD’S Life on earth? What do you do with John who was banished to the isle of Patmos  for his testimony, loyalty for the sake of Christ .” I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.  “- {Rev 1;9-11}. Patmos means “my killing” was  barren and  he was placed there for his faith in the LORD Jesus. He suffered for his faith.


To have the desire”  is present tense and is ongoing, and culminates in choices been made consistently to pursue godliness.

It is the attitude and aim of one’s life in all circumstances you find yourself in, do not be surprised when you face snide, put down remarks, opposition either verbally, physically in some cases, mistreated, ostracized, it can vary in type but do not be surprised as you live daily for Christ you will at some stage face opposition on account of your allegiance to the LORD Jesus Christ- Count on it!  The word “live is present tense which speaks of a habit, continuous to determine to deny yourself daily, follow Him, to seek His glory.

” GODLY”-{Eusbos} is an attitude of reverence exhibited in one’s actions.

Paul shows us it is possible and expected as the Grace of God teaches, instructs us how to and we have the power to live such. “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,  looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,  who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.  “-{Titus 2:11-14}.


“And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Some devout men buried Stephen, and made loud lamentation over him. But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison.  Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.”-{Acts 8:1-4}

 Persecution, harassment comes in different forms. If you are honest in your work, working hard to the last minute for Jesus sake, you will be opposed. If you won’t cheat for Jesus sake, you will be mocked. If you wish to stay sexually pure for Jesus sake, you will be ridiculed. If you say what Jesus says on different moral issues for Jesus sake, you will be harassed. To dare be different for Jesus sake, will mark you out for the evil one’s attack and he uses people to do his wicked bidding. We live in a world that is intolerant To Jesus Christ and His claims just as it was in Acts 4;18-21 where they were threatened not to speak anymore in the Name of Jesus.

One good thing that can come out of persecution is the preaching, sharing of His Word!

If you want to avoid persecution denounce Christ! Make friends with the world system and you will find they will be your “friend!”


“But to those of you who will listen, I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you,pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone takes your cloak, do not withhold your tunic as well… “-{Luke 6:27-29}

Do we believe, even insist at times God keeps all His promises? What about this one “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”-{2 Tim 3:12}.


And with the ability to suffer well for His testimony you will receive sufficient grace to do so, “And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladlytherefore, I will rather boast about my weaknessesso that the power of Christ may dwell in me. ” – {2 Cor 12:9}


  1. DESIRE –  It begins in the mind. It is an attitude in compliance to His Word-{Read Romans 12:2}
  2.  DOING– A COMMITMENT TO LIVE GODLY AS THE HABIT OF YOUR LIFE. Making choices, one choice at a time to honor the LORD Jesus in every area of your life. Both can be summed up with “DESIRE” and “DOING”
  3.  Meet the Above Criteria  of “DESIRING an DOING,” then the “PROMISE OF PERSECUTION” is yours!

It is better to die being considered a failure by people and honor the LORD Jesus, than to be honored by people and die failing the LORD!

God fulfills All His Promises! And gives grace and instruction how to Respond when suffering, persecuted for His sake! He calls this one “Blessed!”