Through Many Tribulations (Part 4): Persecution

Through Many Tribulations

As we continue looking at the apostle Paul, we will see that he did more than just sacrifice his time and effort in laboring for the cause of Christ, along with a degree of material and mental well-being. He also faced persecution for his faith.

He told Timothy, “Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel, for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned. For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory” (2 Timothy 2:8-10). Not only did Paul suffer as a criminal, but he willingly endured this. Why? He said he did so “for the sake of those who are chosen” (2 Timothy 2:10). He also told Timothy later in this same letter, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8). He endured persecution in order to obtain salvation – for himself and for others. In his second letter to the Corinthians, he described some of the ways he faced persecution.Continue Reading

Through Many Tribulations: Introduction

Through Many Tribulations

As Paul and Barnabas returned to the churches they established during their first preaching tour, they encouraged the disciples to “continue in the faith” as they would go “through many tribulations” in order to “enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). The kingdom to which this referred was not the church – these brethren were already in the church. Instead, this was the eternal kingdom where we will enjoy the reward of heaven. These Christians would have to endure “many tribulations” before they reached that reward.Continue Reading

Lord, Come Quickly

Clouds

After receiving the revelation contained in the book of Revelation, John gave a final statement from Jesus: “I am coming quickly” (Revelation 22:20). John then expressed his desire for Jesus to do this: “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20). He wanted Jesus to come quickly.

Why would John desire Jesus to come quickly? When we think about the return of Christ in which He will judge the world and reward the faithful, why should we desire Jesus to come quickly? Furthermore, what does it say about us if this is not our desire? We will explore these questions in this article.Continue Reading

Not Ashamed of the Gospel

Romans 1:16

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘But the righteous man shall live by faith’” (Romans 1:16-17).

When Paul wrote to the saints in Rome, he said he was “not ashamed of the gospel” (Romans 1:16). Because of the confidence he had in Christ’s message, he was “eager to preach the gospel” (Romans 1:15) and do many other things in the cause of Christ.

We need to have the same confidence as Paul so that we can also say, “I am not ashamed of the gospel” (Romans 1:16). Can we say this? To answer that question, we need to consider what we would be willing to do with and for the gospel.
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The Root of the Problem (Part 14): Difficult Circumstances

The Root of the Problem (Part 14): Difficult Circumstances

Excuses are often made for sin on account of the difficult circumstances in one’s life. These excuses may be made by individuals for themselves or by others on their behalf.

  • He stole – but he was poor.
  • He has a drinking problem – but his parents were alcoholics.
  • He committed murder – but he was abused as a child.

These are just a few examples. The list is endless. Sin is regularly excused because of one’s situation. We cannot have this mindset. Sin that is excused later becomes expected and then eventually becomes accepted.
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Making Wise Investments (Part 6): Faith More Precious Than Gold

Making Wise Investments (Part 6): Faith More Precious Than Gold

The next and final lesson in our series will deal with the “treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:20). But before we get to that, we must answer this question: How can we make it through the trials of life so that we will reach heaven? The answer to this question is that we will “obtain an inheritance…in heaven […] through faith” (1 Peter 1:4-5). Peter went on to describe the value of a proven faith.

In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6-7).

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How to Handle the Trials of Life

Stress

Everyone faces trouble in life. But for the Christian, it is important that we know how to handle the trials that we will encounter in a way that will please God.

The apostle Paul is an example of one who had many struggles in this life. His suffering was such that he told the brethren in Corinth, “I die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:31) and that he was “in danger every hour” (1 Corinthians 15:30). In his second letter to these brethren he spoke of the suffering he faced for the cause of Christ – labors, imprisonments, beatings, shipwrecks, and more (2 Corinthians 11:23-29). When he wrote to the brethren in Philippi, he mentioned that there were times in which he was “going hungry” and “suffering need” (Philippians 4:12).

How was Paul able to handle all of this? He told the Philippians, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

As we face trials in this life, we can handle them as Paul did – through Christ. But what exactly does this mean? In practical terms, what must we do to overcome these hardships? What does God provide to aid us in our efforts? What attitude must we have to be successful in dealing with the trials of life? To answer these questions, we must look to the word of God.
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