TEXT: Matthew 5:1-12:
1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
After preaching the Gospel every day for 367 days straight throughout the 2016 presidential campaign season, I am preaching the Gospel every day throughout the first 100 days of President Donald Trump’s term. If you think a new president being in office is the only thing needed to save America and ‘make America great again’, you are woefully deceived. The church must follow through and “keep the main thing the main thing: and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,’ and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to ‘pray without ceasing’ for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders.” So, we encourage you to pray for the new president, but not to get caught up in the political happenings like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord. And that is what this campaign is all about.
This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 164, day 531 since Jan. 1, 2016.
Amy Miller said, “‘Blessed are the persecuted’ hits at the core of what it means to be a follower of Christ: those who are sold out completely to living a life for Him will have the scent of the Spirit of God on their lives. This scent is the smell of death for those who are dying spiritually. For this reason, true followers of Christ will be rejected.”
Today, we will explore the eighth of Jesus’ laws for supreme blessing. To recap:
#1 is to be “poor in spirit,” that is, to live in accordance with one’s true standing as an undeserving sinner before God. It is these who will obtain the kingdom of heaven.
#2 is to “mourn” over sin, especially one’s own sin. It is these who will be comforted by God in the end.
#3 is to be “meek,” to depend entirely on God in every situation and not on one’s self. It is these who will “inherit the earth.”
#4 is to “hunger and thirst after righteousness.” Those who do so will experience the fullness of God in their life.
#5 is to be “merciful” so that we might receive “mercy.”
#6 is to be “pure in heart” so that we can “see God.”
#7 is to be “peacemakers” so that we might “be called the children of God.”
The eighth law of supreme blessing is: “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” It is easy for Christians today to cry persecution at the slightest of offenses. In our culture of hyper-sensitivity and political correctness, it has been pointed out that many of the situations that we cry foul over are simply par for the course — especially when, in some places, Christians are being killed for refusing to deny Jesus. We in the West are not as persecuted as we sometimes like to believe.
Jesus qualifies the condition of supreme blessing, stating that it is only for those who are “persecuted for righteousness sake.” R.C. Sproul said, “Our Lord does not promise a blessing to every type of suffering; rather, it is suffering for the kingdom that proves the kingdom is ours. Sometimes we misinterpret our suffering as enduring pain for Christ when all we are really suffering is the pain of our own bad choices and misbehavior. So we must be careful that we do not count ourselves blessed until we are sure that our pain is on account of faithful service to Jesus.”
Persecution may come as a result of telling someone about Jesus, refusing to go along with the evil of others, or confronting someone about their sin. But, like with all of the beatitudes, the blessing comes as a result of our heart condition, not just our actions. We can’t have a proud, self-important attitude about being persecuted. It is not something that makes us more important than other Christians. We ought to accept persecution, humbly and gratefully, as a part of the cross we must bear as citizens of the kingdom of righteousness.
The reason why those who do righteously are persecuted is because the lives of the righteous expose what is wrong in the lives of those who are not righteous. Jesus said, “Every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” If we live according to the standards of Scripture, there will always be those who oppose us. Righteous living — and the persecution that may come as a result of that — marks us as citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. We are members of a force, occupying this hostile worldly kingdom until it becomes the Kingdom of our Lord. And, as the Apostle Paul said, “If we be dead with Christ, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him.”
You can enjoy the supreme blessing of the kingdom of heaven by giving your life to Jesus Christ right now. Allow me to show you how:
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.