SERMON ON THE MOUNT #10

THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT #10

“BLESSED ARE THEY WHICH ARE PERSECUTED”

(Matthew 5:10)

INTRODUCTION

A. Today we come to the last of the beatitudes – Matthew 5:10

B. We have been looking at the beatitudes as they relate to
faith

1. The beginning of faith – poor in spirit, those who mourn,
the meek

2. The development of faith – hungering and thirsting after
righteousness

3. The maturing of faith – the merciful, the pure in heart, the
peacemakers

C. Now we come to the beatitude that speaks to the testing or
proving of one’s faith – persecution

1. Christians should expect their faith to be tested

2. 1 Peter 1:6-7

3. It is important to know what Jesus spoke about so that real
faith can exist among us

DISCUSSION

A. SOME THINGS ARE NOT PERSECUTION

1. There is a difference between being persecuted and
being punished for some misdeed

a. 1 Peter 4:14-16

b. Peter makes it clear that a Christian who is punished for
a crime, or even if you are chastised for being a
busybody, that is deserved and it has nothing to do with
what Jesus discussed

c. The blessing derived from persecution is altogether
different from that

2. Based on Peter’s statement, we might list some other
forms of reproach that are not the persecution Jesus
meant

a. Jesus didn’t mean persecution arising because you
are difficult, hard to get along with, or objectionable
in conduct

1) I have known people who were simply ugly, mean
folks who thought that’s what it meant to be a Christian

2) If that’s you, you deserve for people to give you a hard
time

b. Jesus didn’t mean persecution arising because you
are weak in faith, immature in your actions, and
unwise in the conduct of your life

1) There are people who do really dumb things and are
amazed that it backfires on them

2) If you are shocked at the effects of weak faith on your
life, then you need to know also that there is no
particular blessing headed your way for being
foolish

c. Jesus didn’t mean persecution arising out of fanatical
religious belief or behavior

1) Many people know us as the folks who think we’re the
only ones going to heaven, and everybody else is going
to hell

2) We deserve a hard time if we’ve used that idea to
badger people and beat them up religiously

d. Jesus didn’t mean persecution arising for being good
in behavior

1) Truthfully, even the world usually appreciates people
for doing good things for others

2) None of these things are what Jesus discussed

B. THE KIND OF PERSECUTION JESUS MEANT

1. Look at the whole statement Jesus made

a. Matthew 5:10-11

b. Jesus names two reasons for this persecution:

1) For righteousness sake

2) For My sake

2. We must understand that this persecution is that which
comes for specific reasons

a. Consider a few quotes

1) Wiersbe – “The world has no problem accepting and
following a religious leader who permits them to stay in
their sins; but they will crucify the man who dares to
point them to a narrow gate that leads to a narrow
way.”

2) Wiersbe — “Jesus was different, and a world that
thrives on conformity cannot tolerate differences. We
are children of light, and they are children of darkness.
We are alive in the Spirit, and they are dead in sins. We
live by faith, and they live by sight. We understand
them, but they do not understand us.”

3) Wiersbe — “Let a man announce that he belongs to a
religious group – be it Baptist, Presbyterian, Lutheran,
or what have you – and few people, if anybody, will get
upset. But let him announce that he is a Christian, let
the name of Christ come into the conversation, and war
is declared.”

b. Consider the testimony of Scripture

1) John 15:18-21

2) 2 Timothy 3:10-12

3. Jesus meant the persecution that comes from following
him, putting your faith in him, and having your life
changed by him

a. The person who lives the beatitudes will be persecuted
because he or she will be different from the world

b. Think of just a few basic differences

1) Poor in spirit – won’t operate out of pride or arrogance
and so will be susceptible to the power hungry of the
world

2) Mourners – they mourn over their own sins and sins of
others, they do not gladly participate in them

3) The Meek – these are the gentle people who are so
often misunderstood and who take a lot of the world’s
abuse

4) Those who Hunger and Thirst after Righteousness –
they are after an entirely different set of values and
behavior

5) The Merciful – these are people who refuse to take
revenge, who deal with others in a way different from
the world

6) The Pure in Heart – these do not mix with the world,
and make every effort not to be stained by the ways of
the world

7) The Peacemakers – these are the ones trying to bring
about the will of God among the people of the world

c. Consider all these characteristics in light of the two
reasons for being persecuted

1) Righteousness

2) Jesus Christ

d. Put that kind of person into the world and
persecution is bound to come

C. WHY IS PERSECUTION THE PROOF OF FAITH?

1. Consider the following

a. Romans 8:35-39

b. 2 Corinthians 4:8-18

c. Revelation 2:8-10

2. Persecution is the proof of faith for two reasons

a. Of the beatitudes, it is the only one that is not an internal
characteristic of the disciple, but one which he or she
must endure from others

b. Persecution demands that all the other beatitudes are at
work in a person’s life

c. Therefore the ability to withstand persecution (for
righteousness’ sake and for Jesus’ sake) proves our faith

CONCLUSION

A. Are you going through any persecution?

1. Make sure it isn’t because of some negative thing you are
bringing upon yourself

2. Make sure it is the outworking of your faith – persecution
that rises from righteousness and following Jesus Christ

3. Make sure it is because your life is different from the
world, just as the life of Jesus was different from the
world.

B. Persecution will prove your faith

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About from the Preachers PC

Gospel Preacher for the Park Heights church of Christ in Hamilton, TX. I stand for and defend the truth of God's word. All other degrees and diplomas mean very little in comparison.
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