For Which I am Suffering

2 Timothy 1:15; 2 Timothy 2:3,8-10 ESV

“You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes.”

“Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.”

“Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”

Jesus Christ taught us that if we follow him with our lives that we will be hated and persecuted as he was. We will have family members who will turn against us and they will want nothing to do with us, for we may be an embarrassment to them. And some others who profess faith in Jesus Christ will shun us, forsake us, want nothing to do with us, and/or will attack us verbally. Some of them will let us know that we don’t fit with them and so we should go someplace else, or else they will just kick us to the curb.

Usually, at least here in America, this does not happen if you make a casual profession of faith in Jesus Christ but you blend right in with the world in the things that you do and say. This takes place usually when our lives are surrendered to Jesus Christ and when we are walking in his ways and in his truth, and when we are sharing the truth of the gospel with others, and when we are refuting the lies of the enemy, as Jesus did, and as his New Testament apostles did. That is when people turn against you.

For a good soldier of Jesus Christ is not regarded as a soldier in man’s armies, and he does not fight with physical weapons of warfare. He is a spiritual soldier in God’s spiritual army who fights off the attacks of the enemy (Satan) with spiritual weapons of spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:10-20). And Satan does use other humans to fight his battles, too. So, this may involve discussions with other humans where we have to refute the lies and proclaim the truth of God’s word in opposition to the lies of the enemy.

But we are to endure unjust suffering for the sake of Jesus Christ and for his gospel and for the sake of those who need to hear the truth of the Scriptures and who need to be encouraged and strengthened in their walks of faith and in their walks of obedience to the Lord Jesus. And we do so for the sake of the body of Christ to whom we are to minister God’s love and grace, and who we are to mutually exhort and encourage and provoke to walks of obedience to our Lord in faithful surrender to Jesus as Lord of our lives.

And then Paul stated that he endured everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. Why? Because our salvation is a process. We are saved (past), we are being saved (present active), and we will be saved (future) when Jesus returns for his bride, but provided that we walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, and that we not walk in sin, but that we walk in righteousness and in obedience to our Lord.

2 Timothy 2:11-13 ESV

“The saying is trustworthy, for:
If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he also will deny us;
if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself.”

Although not many are teaching this in today’s Christian culture here in America, it is still the truth. For we are not saved from our sins and on our way to heaven merely on the basis of a one-time profession of faith in Jesus Christ. We have to die with Christ to sin, and not just once, but daily (Luke 9:23-26), and then we will live with him for eternity. And we have to endure unjust suffering and continue in our walks of faith in obedience to his commands if we want to reign with him.

For if we deny our Lord by our lifestyles, by our words, and by our actions on a consistent and habitual basis, he will deny us when he returns for his bride and we will not go to be with him for eternity (see Luke 9:23-26; Matthew 10:33; 2 Timothy 2:12; Matthew 7:21-23). And when this says that if we are faithless that he will remain faithful, for he cannot deny himself, we should not take that as assurance that we will have salvation from sin regardless of how we live, for that is not what it is saying. See:

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Hear my Voice

An Original Work / July 9, 2012
Based off Psalm 27

The Lord is my great salvation.
He’s the stronghold of my life.
When my enemies attack me,
My heart will not fear at all.
Though a war break out against me,
Confident in Christ I’ll be.
Of the Lord, I ask that I may
Live with Him eternally.

Hear my voice, Lord, when I call you.
Merciful to me You’ll be.
Though my relatives forsake me,
My Lord God will receive me.
Teach me Your way, O my Jesus.
Lead me in Your righteousness.
I will sacrifice to my Lord.
I will sing with joyfulness.

I am confident that I will
See the goodness of the Lord.
All the richness of His blessings,
My Lord has for me in store.
He asks me to be of courage;
To be strong and to take heart,
Patiently as I wait for Him,
And from Him to ne’er depart.

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