Our Reward is Great in Heaven

Matthew 5:10-12 ESV

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Who are those who are being persecuted for righteousness’ sake?

We are the Lord’s sheep (Matthew 10:16-25). And who are his sheep? We are those who listen (adhere) to the words of the Lord Jesus, and he knows us, and we follow him in obedience, and he gives us eternal life, and we will never perish, and no one will snatch us out of God’s hand (John 10:27-28). And those the Lord knows are those who obey him (1 John 2:3-6). So, we belong to God, we are his people, he knows us, we listen to the Lord, and we follow him in obedience, and we no longer walk in sin (1 John 3:4-10).

We are also those who are out in the public sharing the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and of our salvation at a time when a diluted and altered gospel message is permeating the church (and the institutional church), at least here in America. So, we don’t have much support, and we do face opposition, even from others who call themselves Christians but who have bought into a cheapened form of God’s grace which is not his grace at all. And so we are also people who are refuting the lies of Satan, and he does not like that, and neither do those who are propagating the lies.

And what does it mean to be persecuted for righteousness’ sake?

Because we have been crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we have been raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, and so we have forsaken our lives of sin to follow him in obedience (Romans 6:1-23), we will be opposed by our enemy Satan and by many humans who are not following the Lord Jesus. They will hate us (strongly dislike us, not approve of us, want nothing to do with us), lie about us, say hateful things about us and to us, kick us out of their institutional churches, try to discredit us, fight against us, do all manner of evil against us, and/or imprison and kill us.

And a lot of this is because we are actively sharing the truth of the gospel in opposition to the lies of Satan being propagated by wolves in sheep’s clothing, and because we are refuting the lies of our enemies with the truth of God’s holy word and the gospel of our salvation. For we are following after our Lord Jesus Christ and his example he provided for us as to what it means to be a follower of God, and regarding how we should live to please God in doing what he says to do and in following our Lord’s example.

But we are blessed of God, and we have the assurance of salvation from sin and of eternal life with God in the kingdom of heaven. And even though we are being hated, reviled, and persecuted, and people are uttering all kinds of evil against us (collectively) falsely, on account of the name of Jesus Christ, our reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before us. But let this persecution truly be for righteousness’ sake and not because we were operating out of our own flesh.

[Matt 5:10-12; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; Jn 15:18-21; Jn 17:14; Rom 5:3-5; Phil 3:7-11; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 4:12-17; 2 Tim 3:12; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; 2 Co 1:3-11; Heb 12:3-12; 1 Jn 3:13]

Nothing Can Separate Us

An Original Work / March 28, 2013
Based off Romans 8:28-39

Nothing can separate us
From Christ’s love now within us:
Not trouble, hardship, nor famine,
Nor danger, nor sword.
No, in all of these things
We are more than conquerors!

For your sake we face hardship.
We are sheep to be slaughtered.
I am convinced that death,
Nor life, nor anything else
Will separate us from
The love of God now in Christ.

What, then, shall we say to this?
God for us: who against us?
He who did not spare His Son
But gave Him for us all –
How will He not, with Him,
Graciously give us all things?

Who brings a charge against us?
God justifies His chosen.
Who is He that condemns?
Christ Jesus, died, rose again.
He’s at the right hand of God,
Interceding for us.

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