Persecution

An Assignment for Obadiah

Read: 1 Kings 18:1-16
Text: verses 7-16

What we need to fear is disobeying God. If we are doing what God tells us to do, there is no reason to fear and the Bible makes is clear that God expects his people to have the kind of trust in God that excludes fear. As Psalm 118:6 expresses it, “The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Jesus speaks of this as well in his farewell message to his disciples. In John 16:33, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Living with Realism and Hope in our Time

The application for us as we face a new year is, “Do not be complacent. Do not take it for granted that you are not being pulled into the current of worldly thinking and worldly living. Think very seriously about your life and values and priorities in the light of biblical teaching.” One of the common themes of the best Christian literature on this subject is that the only Christians who will survive in the current environment are those who go deep – that is those who are serious about their relationship with the Lord...
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Suffering for the Sake of Christ

The call of the gospel is a call to embrace a life of suffering due to persecution. It is assumed that all followers of Christ will be persecuted to some extent and being willing to experience that suffering is an essential part of the response to the gospel as it is presented in the New Testament. That is explicit and unmistakable in Jesus’ call to follow him. “[W]however does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” To follow Jesus is to follow a Saviour and a Lord who was a magnet for persecution and the assumption is that his followers will be as well.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

“If one member suffers, all suffer together.”

The Bible has lots of commands and exhortations to believers. Obedience is automatic in the sense that it always follows from true faith. It is it not automatic in the sense that it just happens without any effort on our part.
And so it is here, when it comes to this principle of the whole body suffering when one part suffers. In one sense it is automatic because that is what it means to be a body. And yet we are also exhorted to weep with those who weep.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra