Beatitues, part 8: Blessed are Those Persecuted for Righteousness
Ultimately, what do the Beatitudes celebrate as virtues?
Poor in spirit. Mourning. Meekness. Hunger and thirst for righteousness. Showing mercy. Pureness of heart. Making peace. Things not seen by our secular world as virtuous.
But the final Beatitude is the kicker.
I don’t know how the prosperity gospel ever came to be. Nor do I know how asinine arguments like this one from God is Imaginary could ever capture the imaginations of serious Bible readers.
Because Jesus said:
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Mt 5:10-12)
This one of many times the theme of persecution is introduced into the Bible. In fact, one Bible teacher insists that there is at least one reference in all sixty-six books of the Bible to suffering for the sake of God’s kingdom.
Sorry, Marshall Brain. That means that we aren’t going to end suffering and death with prayer. Your argument fails.
Sorry, Joel Osteen and T.D. Jakes and Ed Young and Kenneth Copeland and others who have bought your lie. God’s plan includes suffering.
In fact, to suffer is the ultimate virtue. Suffering imitates all of the great Old Testament prophets. When we are ridiculed for preaching God’s word, the word of God through Christ is confirmed to us. Christ said we’d suffer on his account.
We do. Look at the issues that set conservative Christians apart from the secular world. Read the rest of this entry