Thursday, November 5, 2015

This is one article in a forth-coming eBook on "Homosexuality: Providing Answers from the Sufficient Word to Many Common Issues"
Homosexuality & Persecution.
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

Let no one ever think that Jesus promised His followers comfort, ease, prosperity, and receptiveness from the world. He did, nonetheless, provide many promises to His people. But He promised that suffering would come, that they would receive hostility from the world, and that just as they treated Christ, so the world would also treat His followers. No believer who is light should expect warmth, acceptance, tolerance, and receptivity from those who are darkness.

1. The Intolerance of Tolerance.
Perhaps no wave of coming persecution in the western world is as widespread and sweeping as the one coming from the homosexual community. Those who live and herald their tolerance of all people, all backgrounds, all races, and all religions just cannot handle one group of people: bible-believing, resolute, devoted Christians committed to proclamation of the Word and the glory of God! Thus, those who champion their tolerance of everyone suddenly become intolerant of Christians. Their ideology drastically, publicly, undeniably breaks down by their own actions.

2. Defining Tolerance.
One might define tolerance as: “the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.” Or, Mirriam-Webster defines tolerance as the “willingness to accept feelings, habits, or beliefs that are different from your own.” Of course, multitudes of people, groups, institutions, charities and political agendas champion the necessary ingredient of ‘tolerance’. But they cannot tolerate true Christ-followers.

3. The Unambiguous Promise from Jesus Christ.
Let all Christians hear and heed the promises from the lips of Christ. He promised that in this world you will have tribulation (John 16:33) and that the Church has tribulation and poverty (Rev 2:9). Indeed, the world hates Christ’s followers (John 15:18-19). The Apostle John writes that believers must not be surprised if the world hates us (1 John 3:13). Paul affirmed that all who desire to live Godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Tim 3:12). These clear, undeniable statements unequivocally affirm that hardship, suffering, and rejection is the divinely given lot for all of His followers.

4. The Growth of the Church in Hostile Times.
All the while, Christians must not fear. Indeed, Christians must rejoice when mistreated and reviled for the name of Christ. When those in the world revile, slander, blaspheme, and mock Christians, surprise must not overtake us! Rather, we must pray for those who persecute us, turn the other cheek, love them intentionality, call them to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ alone, and seek to live godly as pilgrims in this present world while journeying to our heavenly Zion. For the blood of martyrs is the seed of the church. God purifies His church through affliction and He strengthens their faith through opposition. Let believers not cower away in fear but stand strong with Christlike courage, Spirit-given power, and God-exalting joy. This will glorify God!


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