This seems like a strange idea to many. When Paul and Barnabas went from Derbe to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, “they…preached the gospel…made many disciples” and then returned to these same cities “strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).
This is part of the discipling process. As Paul concludes his teaching to Timothy, he reminds him that “all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12).
Why is this point in discipling so important? It was certainly part of Jesus’ teaching of the disciples. “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:18–19). This is the reason persecution is part of life for any who follow Jesus Christ.
If we tell new believers that in accepting Jesus as Savior, they will have a wonderful life of prosperity and freedom from problems, we lead them into a false concept of what it means to be a Christian. We cannot expect any different treatment than our Savior received, and this must be the expectation and taught to every believer.
Date posted: 11/ /20
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