Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. (Romans 10:9-10)
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When Hard Times are Good (Matthew 5:10-12, James 1:2-4, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, John 15:18, Acts 4:23-31)Joe Dillon, Interim Pastor, August 11, 2019
Part of the The Radical Teachings of Jesus series, preached at a Sunday Morning service
When Hard Times are Good
1. Persecutions many forms.
• Isolation, “Your weird”
• Rejection, “You have a demon”
• Scape-Goat, “You caused this”
• Martyrdom, “The world will be better off without your presence”
2. God uses difficult circumstances.
• Short term, James 1:2-4
• Long term, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
3. Persecution delivers the church from:
• The applause of men, John 15:18
• Self-reliance, Acts 4: 23-31 (a prayerless church is a fear filled church, a prayerful church is bold.)
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10Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. (KJV)
2My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (KJV)
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
16For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (KJV)
18If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. (KJV)
23And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. 24And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: 25Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? 26The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. 27For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, 28For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. 29And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, 30By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. 31And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. (KJV)