The Word of God tells us that every one of God’s people will be tried, tested, if you will. The righteous man, Job, said, “He knows the way I take, when He has tried me; I shall come forth as gold” Job 23:10.
King David said, “For You, O God, have proved us; You have tried us, as silver is tried” Psalm 66:10.
The Prophet Daniel said, “Many shall be purified and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand” Daniel 12:10.
The Prophet Zechariah said, “And I will bring the third part through the fire and will refine them, as silver is refined, and will try them, as gold is tried; they shall call on My name and I will hear them. I will say, They are My people; and they shall say, The Lord is my God” Zechariah 13:9.
The Apostle James said, “Blessed is the man that endures temptation, for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love Him” James 1:12.
Jesus said, “I counsel you to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich and clothed in white raiment, and that the shame of your nakedness does not appear; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see” Revelation 3:18.
As the Prophet Daniel said (above), the wicked won’t understand what has just been written, but
“the wise shall understand.”
The message is this: God’s people will be tried in the fire and purified, as gold.
The Apostle Paul said, “Yes, and all who will LIVE GODLY IN CHRIST JESUS shall suffer persecution” 2 Timothy 3:12.
Let’s take another look at that scripture. Did Paul say “some” who live godly, or “a few” who live godly, or “the majority” who live godly shall suffer persecution? We can clearly see that he said “ALL.”
I find it interesting that there are preachers today who won’t dare utter the words “persecution” to their congregations; it would be something unpleasant for them to hear, which might run them off.
There are a lot of Calvinists out there who not only back away from the word “godly,” but they surely wouldn’t want to hear a message about suffering for Christ. I will use Joel Osteen’s church as an example. I don’t think we would ever hear him preach a sermon about ALL of us who are “in Christ” suffering persecution. He doesn’t even preach about abstinence from sin, let alone persecution. His church is not exclusive; there are many like it today, Rick Warren’s church, and many who are Calvinists by faith, “once saved, always saved,” and those who “return to the vomit” (2 Peter 2:22).
Those who believe they can live according to the “flesh,” satisfying the lusts of the flesh, and believe they will also receive the reward of heaven, because they repented of sin sometime in the past, are definitely not planning on suffering any persecution, because they aren’t interested in denying the lusts of the flesh, or living godly.
The reason I find this interesting is because there are so many scriptures in the Word of God which tell us otherwise, and inform us in advance that we “will suffer persecution.”
Many will not suffer a martyr’s death, prison, or even ridicule, because possibly their labor for Christ doesn’t involve working in the public spotlight, per se. Albeit, we will all suffer persecution in some manner, or other, if we “live godly,” according to Paul’s testimony in 2 Timothy 3:12.
If we truly live “godly,” we will also deny ourselves many things in the world that most people consider to be common things, i.e.: staying glued to the TV; watching other than “G” rated movies, or spending too much time watching movies; drinking alcohol; going to bars, or other ungodly places; taking drugs; internet addiction; watching porn; cursing; gossiping; backbiting; casting judgment on others, without knowing their hearts; basically, living worldly lives in many ways. If you have denied yourself these things in today’s world, you are perhaps suffering in the “flesh,” and you are probably ostracized by many others, which is also a form of persecution. I am not going to list a lot of things that come to mind, because they might not necessarily be a sin to some (Romans 14:22); but I can tell you this, if you feel condemned in your heart about something you allow, if you know God has a different plan for you, but you do it anyway, that thing you allow to stand between you and God is a sin, and it can bring about further separation from God – on to a complete backslidden condition. The “little foxes” spoil the vine (Song of Solomon 2:15).
The Word of God tells us, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a LIVING SACRIFICE, HOLY, acceptable unto God, which is your REASONABLE service” Romans 12:1. (emphasis added)
Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters, for either he will hate one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (money)” Matthew 6:24. Oh yes, Jesus spoke about money. This thing called money can be a good thing, but the “love of money” is the “root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10).
Some of God’s people, as demonstrated in the Parable of the Ten Virgins, will fall asleep spiritually and not allow themselves to be purified before they great tribulation begins, and they will be left behind.
Some, during the great tribulation, will be beheaded (Revelation 20:4) for Jesus’s sake and the Word of God (Revelation 20:4).
Personally, I would rather let go of the things of this world NOW, and focus all of my heart, mind, soul and strength on God, and on the things of God, than to wait and focus on Him LATER, during the great tribulation.
According to God’s Holy Word, there will be many who profess to know God, but who actually did not keep His commandments, or surrender to His will: “Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, and in Your name cast out devils, and in Your name done many wonderful works? And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you that work iniquity” Matthew 7:22-23. In other words, they professed the name of the Lord, but they “worked iniquity,” committed sinful deeds, at the same time.
Jesus said, “And why call Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” Luke 6:46.
Some of these will lay their necks down, rather than receive the “mark of the beast,” during the great tribulation (Revelation 20:4), and end up in the lake of fire forever.
Some, tragically, will fear being beheaded so much that they will receive the mark of the beast, which will only provide a very temporary stay of execution – possibly three and a-half years (Revelation 13:5), only to be cast into hell a short time later to suffer for eternity thereafter for receiving the mark of the beast (Revelation 14:9-11)!
“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation, and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb, and the smoke of their torment ascends up forever and ever, and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name” Revelation 14:9-11.
What is your decision?
God wants ALL of you, or NOTHING from you:
Jesus said, “So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth” Revelation 3:16. In other words, either serve Me with your whole heart, or don’t serve me at all, because if you aren’t either, you will be like warm water in My mouth – I will spit you out!
Hundreds of Bible prophecies have been fulfilled and those remaining shall surely come to pass. Are you prepared to stand before God and give an account of the life you have lived on this earth? If not, salvation is only a prayer away. Please visit the How Can I Be Saved page – your eternal destiny depends on it. God bless you.