His Grace Oasis

General Category => General Discussion => Deeper Fellowship => Topic started by: DiscipleHeLovesToo on October 05, 2014, 09:59:13 am

Title: persecution
Post by: DiscipleHeLovesToo on October 05, 2014, 09:59:13 am
so as bad things happen to me lately, i've been struggling with how to know what is due to my own mistakes in being led by God (or even remembering to be led by God) and what is due to persecution.  the difference i think is profound; in the case of the former, i need to fall on God's mercy; in the case of the latter, i need to exercise my faith to receive.



Mar 10:17-31 KJV
(17)  And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
(18 )  And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
(19)  Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
(20)  And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
(21)  Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
(22)  And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
(23)  And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
(24)  And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
(25)  It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
(26)  And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?
(27)  And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.
(28 )  Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.
(29)  And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's,
(30)  But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
(31)  But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.


on a side note, it strikes me that the Lord used 'or' in verse 29, and 'and' in verse 30 - God is SOOO GOOD!!!


verse 30 bothered me for years; i mean let's face it - a hundredfold harvest is awesome; but why did He say that it has to come 'with persecutions'?  on a 'surface level', the answer is obvious, in that we are in the world, the world operates by performance; so to prosper by giving instead of getting flies in the face of the world's wisdom and convicts the self-centered of their selfishness.  but one day as i read this verse, it occurred to me that maybe He said this to point out an indicator of the working of the hundredfold harvest; a way to discern whether prosperity is a result of intersecting with God's already-given blessings through a heart's desire to be led by Him versus prosperity that comes as a result of following the world's wisdom of prospering through getting rather than giving.  a Christian who follows the world's model of  'let the buyer beware' can prosper as effectively as a lost man - although such a Christian will be an easy target for the devil in the area of destruction, so the end of that person's life will reflect the futility of amassing wealth for the sake of protecting one's self - we see this all the time as wealthy Christians who got wealthy by the world's wisdom suffer from incurable (from the world's perspective) diseases, depression, etc., and get destroyed in spite of their wealth.  such a Christian would appear to have an ideal life, free of persecution.  maybe persecution is an indicator that can identify True lasting prosperity due to giving from temporary prosperity due to getting.


in other words, could verse 30 be interpreted in this way:


those who suffer persecution in this life because of leaving houses or family or lands for God's sake and the sake of the gospel will receive a hundredfold now in this life, houses, family, and lands.


in this light, persecution would be a reason to rejoice in the confident expectation that a hundredfold multiplication of what we have given is in operation; in this light persecution would be a positive indicator of effective faith, and an encouragement to expect to see the result of that hundredfold multiplication of what we have given.  not that persecution in and of itself is good - it isn't - but that we can use what the devil meant for bad as encouragement to believe for good.


but then how can i know if i'm being persecuted, or if i'm reaping the ungodly things i have sown through 'sin' - wrong words and actions?



Title: Re: persecution
Post by: DiscipleHeLovesToo on October 05, 2014, 10:08:26 am
oops!  i guess i hit 'post' rather than' preview'...


so one way to tell if i'm being persecuted versus suffering from my own mistakes is by my performance; but this can't be the way to identify persecution because my performance will always disqualify me (as i'm never perfect in my performance) - so there has to be another way to identify persecution; it must be based on the intent of my heart in spite of my performance, as this lines up with the gospel. 


so if i've set my heart to be led by God, and acted on that intention (either by perceiving God's leading and following it, or by missing His leading while intending to follow it), then the bad things that happen must be persecution in some form; as God has promised me protection based on the intent of my heart, not my performance.  if this is true, then in order to receive the hundredfold increase that accompanies persecution, i have to interpret those bad things as indicators of the hundredfold harvest working and encourage myself to put faith in this promise.



Title: Re: persecution
Post by: flaglady on October 25, 2014, 10:52:06 pm
I had incident of persecution recently on BoneSmart. Three female members, one an atheist and the other two clearly agnostic at the very least, started criticising the forum and me in particular for telling other members going into surgery or facing a difficult issue that we would be praying from them. This led to other more critical almost insulting comments, a considerable number of which were aimed at me directly. I've tried never to pay attention to such comments on the grounds that you can't please all the people all the time, but this was really beginning to get to me, make me feel attacked and depressed and lose faith in myself and my advice on the forum. But then I read a short passage in a book and while it didn't directly speak into this situation, I had a revelation that I should disregard all this stuff as it was nothing more than satan having a dig at me, and why? because I am doing exactly what God wants me to do! Yes, I'm ministering to His people who are frightened and in pain. So the negative whinings of a trio of malcontents are actually of no importance whatsoever.

There are so many instances in the Gospels where Jesus said "
If
they persecuted me, they will persecute you also". So I take strength in that and continue on ...
Title: Re: persecution
Post by: DiscipleHeLovesToo on October 26, 2014, 09:40:38 am
great example!


so are you expecting (having faith for) what comes with persecutions (Mark 10:30) ?


:)
Title: Re: persecution
Post by: flaglady on October 26, 2014, 12:57:08 pm
Oh for sure! Two of them started trolling the site, deliberately posting advice that was in completely contradiction to advice I'd given them. So they got banned. Now they are tweeting how BoneSmart is not a forum for free speech as two members got banned for speaking their minds, etc., etc. I also got an email from one of them asking for an explanation why she was banned and said she would contact all the sponsors to tell them how she was being silenced and if she didn't get am explanation very soon, she would be taking legal advice!

I'm quite prepared for her to let this roll as I don't think the sponsors would be too exercised about a couple of members being banned and I also doubt very much if she would find a lawyer interested in pursuing such a case. Wouldn't you agree? 
Title: Re: persecution
Post by: Hisgirl on October 26, 2014, 11:25:46 pm
I just signed onto your site. I have a couple of questions for my husband and hope to get on there soon. Looking forward to seeing how you handle that place. :)
Title: Re: persecution
Post by: DiscipleHeLovesToo on October 27, 2014, 05:08:30 am
here's what comes with persecutions:


... an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands...[/size]and in the world to come eternal life
[/size]
:)
Title: Re: persecution
Post by: Optimax on October 27, 2014, 07:51:56 am
30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

There is a "qualifier" for verse 30.

Those who qualify for what verse 30 says are those who do or have done what verse 29 says.

There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's,

Mark 10:29-30

29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's,

30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
KJV
Title: Re: persecution
Post by: DiscipleHeLovesToo on October 28, 2014, 05:48:11 am

absolutely! 

so then the question is 'what does it mean to leave family and things for the gospel?'


does it mean physically move, or is it referring to forsaking desires of the flesh and respect for people's opinions to seek God and respect Him above all else?  is it about what we do in the flesh, or what we believe in the heart?
Title: Re: persecution
Post by: Optimax on October 28, 2014, 08:47:08 am
Those whom God has called to preach and must leave for extended periods to go where God has told them to go.
Title: Re: persecution
Post by: DiscipleHeLovesToo on October 28, 2014, 08:06:29 pm
but isn't every true christian a preacher to those they interact with?  can you preach the gospel without sacrificing things and family?
Title: Re: persecution
Post by: flaglady on October 29, 2014, 04:28:49 pm
Having trolled our BS Facebook page, these women are now banned from there as well!

When I said Tweeting, I meant on Facebook - that's not Tweeting! Silly me!

Title: Re: persecution
Post by: flaglady on October 29, 2014, 04:30:03 pm
Quote from: Hisgirl on October 26, 2014, 11:25:46 pm
I just signed onto your site. I have a couple of questions for my husband and hope to get on there soon. Looking forward to seeing how you handle that place. :)
Ooh, I run a tight ship there! With skills learned and honed on CF! Make yourself known to me, won't you?
Title: Re: persecution
Post by: Optimax on October 29, 2014, 06:41:02 pm
Quote from: DiscipleHeLovesToo on October 28, 2014, 08:06:29 pm
but isn't every true christian a preacher to those they interact with?  can you preach the gospel without sacrificing things and family?


Sure and many do.

But the two verses go together.
Title: Re: persecution
Post by: DiscipleHeLovesToo on October 29, 2014, 07:16:15 pm
you're absolutely right; in order to leave family and things for the gospel, one must first become a 'living sacrifice' in one's heart.



Title: Re: persecution
Post by: Katana on January 01, 2015, 07:29:27 am
Quoteit occurred to me that maybe He said this to point out an indicator of the working of the hundredfold harvest; a way to discern whether prosperity is a result of intersecting with God's already-given blessings through a heart's desire to be led by Him versus prosperity that comes as a result of following the world's wisdom of prospering through getting rather than giving.


The correct answer is: both views are incorrect. It is not a matter of you "giving" in order to get, nor getting in order to give, but God working in you "both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Php 2:13), and giving you all blessings which you can never deserve, no matter how well you "intersect" with God, because "to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt" (Rom 4:4). The Gospel is not about what you do for Christ, but what Christ has already done for you and continues to do within you. I find this quote from Augustine quite perfect in explaining what I mean:

"Can you say, 'We will first walk in His righteousness, and will observe His judgments, and will act in a worthy way, so that He will give His grace to us'? But what good would you evil people do? And how would you do those good things, unless you were yourselves good? But Who causes people to be good? Only He Who said, 'And I will visit them to make them good,' and, 'I will put my Spirit within you, and will cause you to walk in my righteousness, and to observe my judgments, and do them'(Ezek.36:27). Are you asleep? Can't you hear Him saying, 'I will cause you to walk, I will make you to observe,' lastly,'I will make you to do'? Really, are you still puffing yourselves up? We walk, true enough, and we observe, and we do; but it is God Who He makes us to walk, to observe, to do. This is the grace of God making us good; this is His mercy going before us." (Augustine - Against Two Letters of the Pelagians, 4:15)

The "performance" centered Gospel will never leave you in peace because you will always be second guessing your own position in God's grace and plan. You will always be questioning whether you are suffering because of persecution, or suffering because you are not doing what God wants you to do.

Years ago, I remember, I was totally ignorant of such things. My life was all about moving into periods of peace and back into periods of despair because of my own sins and guilt. I did not know that, though events were terrible, though my life was filled with setbacks and embarrassing failures, that "all things work together unto good for them who love God, who are the called according to His purpose (Somewhere in Romans chapter 9). Now if "all things work together unto good" for the elect, then this explains both our persecution and our suffering for our mistakes, as both come from the same God who "begun a good work in you [and] will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Php 1:6).

You do well if you examine yourself and your actions when hardtimes come, for God always tries His people or chastises them, but do so from a position of strength (that is, a position from faith), knowing that you are secure in God's grace, and if there is a place where God wants you to be, He Himself will move you to that place through His omnipotence. You will not miss an opportunity God ordained for you, nor fall off a cliff due to your own weaknesses. Even your weakness God can turn to good for you. This does not mean to be idle, of course, for we should chase after our salvation "with fear and trembling," but it does mean to be at peace, because we have our fear and trembling only because it is God who works it within us.
Title: Re: persecution
Post by: DiscipleHeLovesToo on January 01, 2015, 09:42:58 am
Quote from: Katana on January 01, 2015, 07:29:27 am


The correct answer is: both views are incorrect. It is not a matter of you "giving" in order to get, nor getting in order to give, but God working in you "both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Php 2:13), and giving you all blessings which you can never deserve, no matter how well you "intersect" with God, because "to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt" (Rom 4:4). The Gospel is not about what you do for Christ, but what Christ has already done for you and continues to do within you. I find this quote from Augustine quite perfect in explaining what I mean:

"Can you say, 'We will first walk in His righteousness, and will observe His judgments, and will act in a worthy way, so that He will give His grace to us'? But what good would you evil people do? And how would you do those good things, unless you were yourselves good? But Who causes people to be good? Only He Who said, 'And I will visit them to make them good,' and, 'I will put my Spirit within you, and will cause you to walk in my righteousness, and to observe my judgments, and do them'(Ezek.36:27). Are you asleep? Can't you hear Him saying, 'I will cause you to walk, I will make you to observe,' lastly,'I will make you to do'? Really, are you still puffing yourselves up? We walk, true enough, and we observe, and we do; but it is God Who He makes us to walk, to observe, to do. This is the grace of God making us good; this is His mercy going before us." (Augustine - Against Two Letters of the Pelagians, 4:15)

The "performance" centered Gospel will never leave you in peace because you will always be second guessing your own position in God's grace and plan. You will always be questioning whether you are suffering because of persecution, or suffering because you are not doing what God wants you to do.

Years ago, I remember, I was totally ignorant of such things. My life was all about moving into periods of peace and back into periods of despair because of my own sins and guilt. I did not know that, though events were terrible, though my life was filled with setbacks and embarrassing failures, that "all things work together unto good for them who love God, who are the called according to His purpose (Somewhere in Romans chapter 9). Now if "all things work together unto good" for the elect, then this explains both our persecution and our suffering for our mistakes, as both come from the same God who "begun a good work in you [and] will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Php 1:6).

You do well if you examine yourself and your actions when hardtimes come, for God always tries His people or chastises them, but do so from a position of strength (that is, a position from faith), knowing that you are secure in God's grace, and if there is a place where God wants you to be, He Himself will move you to that place through His omnipotence. You will not miss an opportunity God ordained for you, nor fall off a cliff due to your own weaknesses. Even your weakness God can turn to good for you. This does not mean to be idle, of course, for we should chase after our salvation "with fear and trembling," but it does mean to be at peace, because we have our fear and trembling only because it is God who works it within us.



help me understand what you're saying


are you saying that God is on control of us by default?  that all that happens to us is God's will?


are you saying that we should be in fear and trembling of God as reborn believers?


are you saying that God uses bad experiences to teach us?
Title: Re: persecution
Post by: Katana on January 01, 2015, 05:58:54 pm
Quoteare you saying that we should be in fear and trembling of God as reborn believers?


Hmmm, in a sense. Not a "fear" that we may lose our salvation at any moment, as if God cannot perform His promise as in Php 1:6, but a fear in the sense of awe at the blessings of God, a "fear" that means to have humility and to dash away pride, and a trembling that calls for us to carefully go about our business as Christian believers without glorying in our selves, because "it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."

Quoteare you saying that God is on control of us by default?  that all that happens to us is God's will?... are you saying that God uses bad experiences to teach us?


Absolutely, for when the scripture teaches that "all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose" (Rom 8:28), it does not mean only "some things" or "only the good things," but all events, both positive and negative, good and terrible, for nothing can happen in the world except what God has ordained, no matter how minor. From the throwing of lots (Pro 16:33), to accidental killings (Exo 21:12-13), to tragedies in the city or any tragedies at all (Amo 3:6; Isaiah 45:7). Consider the case of Joseph and his brothers. They performed a truly evil deed, yet it was God who not only did not jump in and prevented it, but even ordained that it should come to pass for a greater good through His omnipotence and providence:

Gen_50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

Now these things may come to teach us; they may come to correct our behavior (it is always good to question yourself, to repent of your sins when bad things befall you, even when nothing bad befalls you, and to ask God for mercy); they may come to try our patience and to strengthen us through hardship; they may come for the benefit entirely of another person, or something entirely mysterious that we may not even figure out for years and years, maybe into eternity. But this we can rest assured: what the world meant for "evil against [us]", God "means it unto good, to bring to pass," some thing that fulfills His good purposes.
Title: Re: persecution
Post by: Katana on January 01, 2015, 06:14:43 pm
Oops, I forgot to reply to one thing. You asked "is God in control of us by default." By this you might mean, "Are we robots?" IOW, does God merely program us and set us loose? Now if we were robots, there would be no reason to try us, and yet the scripture says "the LORD trieth the righteous" (Psalm 11:5). At the same time, however, the nature which we have, this new heart in our chests, do not belong to us by nature. For by nature we are "children of wrath," and servants of sin in both the body and the mind, as it says in Ephesians. We are such who "do not seek God, do not understand," and are all fallen astray; we are such that cannot believe "but by the Holy Ghost." But when God moves to save us, we are "quickened" by the Holy Spirit and made new people. Thus God places into us a new life and works within us to conform us into the image of His Son.

Now, how is it that God "works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure?" The way he accomplishes this is: 1) Of course, by His Grace, which grants us a new nature and continually refreshes and teaches our hearts from within 2) Through life events. By using His Providence to teach us in the way a teacher in a classroom reforms and instructs their students (in the old days, at least; education has fallen quite low in this country!). Thus events, both good and evil, the reading of a certain verse in your Bible, through new understandings and new experiences, or a different perspective granted of the same experience, all these things God uses to shape us into the image of His Son. Thus God works within our hearts and through events to produce the fruit He wants in us, not as "robots," but as Children of God trained up in the way that we shall go. Our sanctification is never instant, but progressive, and is not even completed until finally we enter heaven, where we lose this wicked flesh that wars against our mind.

Title: Re: persecution
Post by: Bryan on January 02, 2015, 07:44:32 pm
Sorry if this has already been said but I think suffering is necessary for this reason

1 Peter 4:1  Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,
Title: Re: persecution
Post by: DiscipleHeLovesToo on January 03, 2015, 10:54:15 am
ok; we disagree about some things that impact how we perceive persecution. 


the meaning of 'the sovereignty of God' is something i've debated with many people, and i believe it is so important that it deserves it's own thread:

'sovereignty of God' vs man's free will - who's really in control in the earth? (http://www.hisgraceoasis.com/index.php?topic=5470.msg73732#msg73732)[/color][/font][/size]'


Katana - please feel free to post further clarification of your understanding of the meaning of the 'sovereignty of God' in that thread so we don't loose the focus on persecution in this one.


Bryan - i think the verse you offered is more clear when taken as a complete statement:



1Pe 4:1-2 KJV
(1)  Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
(2)  That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.


so while suffering (because of persecution) is unavoidable for those 'who live to the will of God', this is not to say that suffering is necessary in order to know or do the will of God.
Title: Re: persecution
Post by: Bryan on January 03, 2015, 12:05:48 pm
I didn't mean that we have to suffer to know the will of God, so I apologize if that's the way it comes across.

Suffering should be part of the Christian walk though.  If one never encounters resistance, then we can be sure they never took a step of faith in obedience.

2 Timothy 3:12  And indeed, all those who want to live in a godly manner in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

Paul is only talking about living a godly life, nothing about evangelism or the likes.

Now suffering is not always being stoned, or physically assaulted.  It has many forms, sometimes we may not even be aware we are suffering until the suffering is over.

But persecution/suffering should not distract us from the mission of the life God gave us.  To testify of his Son.

I think what Peter was getting at, again my opinion, is that those who reach the point of being willing to suffer for the name of Jesus have reached the point of being sold out for Christ.  There is no going back for them to the life of sin and flesh.  They have truly crossed over from death to life because such a thing is really saying no to your flesh (which hates suffering and persecution) and yes to the Spirit.
Title: Re: persecution
Post by: Pete on January 03, 2015, 06:00:28 pm
I sometimes wonder if there are Christians that go looking for persecution so they can wear it as a badge of honor. I mean, I fully agree that as we follow Christ, persecution will come, but I think there is a marked difference between being persecuted for following after Christ vs. being persecuted for being a jerk. ;)

O0
Title: Re: persecution
Post by: Bryan on January 03, 2015, 09:23:52 pm
Dont get me wrong, I agree.  Some people act like knuckleheads then brag about persecution.  Persecution that is deserved is not persecution at all.  But truly living a godly life will result in persecution for the simple reason that light and darkness can not coexist peacefully.
Title: Re: persecution
Post by: DiscipleHeLovesToo on January 04, 2015, 09:00:12 am
Quote from: Bryan on January 03, 2015, 12:05:48 pm
I didn't mean that we have to suffer to know the will of God, so I apologize if that's the way it comes across.

Suffering should be part of the Christian walk though.  If one never encounters resistance, then we can be sure they never took a step of faith in obedience.

2 Timothy 3:12  And indeed, all those who want to live in a godly manner in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

Paul is only talking about living a godly life, nothing about evangelism or the likes.

Now suffering is not always being stoned, or physically assaulted.  It has many forms, sometimes we may not even be aware we are suffering until the suffering is over.

But persecution/suffering should not distract us from the mission of the life God gave us.  To testify of his Son.

I think what Peter was getting at, again my opinion, is that those who reach the point of being willing to suffer for the name of Jesus have reached the point of being sold out for Christ.  There is no going back for them to the life of sin and flesh.  They have truly crossed over from death to life because such a thing is really saying no to your flesh (which hates suffering and persecution) and yes to the Spirit.



while i agree with you about resistance being a part of the Christian walk, suffering is a choice not based on circumstances.  you can have all your needs met, walk in divine health, be at peace with everyone, and still suffer from fear of judgment.  suffering is not the result of circumstances, but of wrong focus - focus on the flesh instead of the Spirit.  Paul found himself in the bottom of a prison after being whipped earlier that day; and yet his focus was so singularly on God's goodness that he was able to sing praise to God in the midst of circumstances that most people would be suffering greatly in.