Scandal of Grace
Psalm 62 (My Soul Finds Rest in God Alone)
Come, My Soul, With Every Care
The World’s Persecution | John 16:1-4 | Josh Valdez
I. Preparation (1)
II. Persecution (2-3)
III. Perseverance (4)
For Christians, Jesus promises hatred and persecution from the world. Persecution comes as rejection and martyrdom. Christians don’t need to be hopeless because God guarantees their perseverance.
Let us never forget that religious earnestness alone is no proof that a man is a sound Christian. Not all zeal is right–it may be a zeal without knowledge. No one is so mischievous as a blundering, ignorant zealot. Not all earnestness is trustworthy–without the leading of God’s Spirit, it may lead a man so far astray…Some bigots imagine they are doing God service, when they are actually fighting against His truth, and trampling on His people. Let us pray that we may have light as well as zeal.” ~ J.C. Ryle
For both Jesus and the Jews, death and service are involved, though with very different intentions. While the Jews think their service to God involves taking life from others, Jesus knows that his service to God (the Father) requires that he give his life for others. The irony is stark, and Jesus wants his disciple to grasp it.
~ Edward Klink III
Whether in the first century, or the twentieth, Christians have often discovered that the most dangerous oppression comes not from careless pagans but from zealous adherents to religious faith, and other ideologies…Christians have faced severe persecution performed in the name of Yahweh, in the name of Allah, in the name of Marx–and in the name of Jesus.
~ D.A. Carson
Those whom God has accepted in the beloved, effectually called and sanctified by his Spirit, and given the precious faith of his elect unto, can neither totally nor finally fall from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved, seeing the gifts and callings of God are without repentance, from which source he still begets and nourishes in them faith, repentance, love, joy, hope, and all the graces of the Spirit unto immortality; and though many storms and floods arise and beat against them, yet they shall never be able to take them off that foundation and rock which by faith they are fastened upon; notwithstanding, through unbelief and the temptations of Satan, the sensible sight of the light and love of God may for a time be clouded and obscured from them, yet he is still the same, and they shall be sure to be kept by the power of God unto salvation, where they shall enjoy their purchased possession, they being engraved upon the palm of his hands, and their names having been written in the book of life from all eternity.
~ 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith, 17.1
THE FATE OF THE APOSTLES
|James the Great
||Stoned and Crucified|
|James the Less
||Stoned and clubbed to death|
||Executed by arrows / javelin|
||Flayed and Crucified|
|Simon the Zealot
||Sawn in half|
||Died of Old Age