Title: The Opportunities of Persecution
Speaker: Pastor Darryl J. Stalter
Scripture: Matthew 10:16-25
Whether intentionally or unintentionally we can misrepresent or misunderstand the effects of the gospel on our life in this world. We tell people that once they come to Christ that He will make everything in this life easier or comfortable. We paint a picture that once you come to Christ, you will frolic through meadows, like the opening of “Little House on the Prairie” until Jesus comes. Liking the sound of this, people “come to Christ.” But, when trouble, suffering, hard times, and persecution come, they fall away from the faith. Why? Because they feel as though they were part of some cosmic bait and switch. Yet, what are they actually falling away from? Is it Christ, or is it the false impression of the Christian life we have portrayed in our gospel message? You see, they wanted the benefits of being a Christian, without paying the price.
In Matthew chapter 10, as Jesus is sending His Apostles out into the world for ministry, he warns them that they would face stark persecution in response, but with that would come tremendous opportunities for the Kingdom of God. Likewise, for us, although salvation is free, serving the kingdom of God for which we now live comes with a price of persecution. Yet, God gives us Kingdom opportunities in the midst of that persecution.