Abundant Grace From God For Persecuted Christians By Pastor W.F. Kumuyi
DCLM SPECIAL SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICE BROADCAST
DATE: 2ND AUGUST, 2020
PREACHER: PASTOR W. F. KUMUYI
TOPIC: ABUNDANT GRACE FROM GOD FOR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS
TEXT: I PETER 4:12-19
We thank the Lord for all we have received since the beginning of the service, from the time of prayer, to the time of search the scriptures, and the various choir groups who have ministered to us. I pray that everything will have indelible impact on everyone in Jesus name.
We thank the Lord for bringing us to the service today. I wish I could see you directly but the condition in which we are now will not permit it, but I believe I will see your faces very soon.
12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.
16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
“If any man suffer as a Christian…” I want you to underline the word ‘Christian’. If any man suffers, lives, behaves and comports himself as a Christian – ransomed, redeemed and righteous Christian – what does it mean? It means he has turned away from sin to the Saviour. He has repented and believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, hence, salvation has come to him. The experience is so real that the spirit of God will bear witness with him that he is a child of God.
The word ‘Christian’. We need to understand the origin, meaning and implication of the word (Acts 11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch). Believers in Antioch were first called Christian because of the dynamism of their faith, character, conduct, and lifestyle.
This is the foundation of what we are looking at in this message. You need to know whether you are a Christian or not, and if you are suffering, you need to know if you are suffering as a Christian or otherwise.
Who are Christians? They are Christlike believers. A change happened in their lives and they became real followers of Christ. They are:
1 CONVERTED (Acts 3:19,26) If someone is not converted or born again, he is not a Christian. If the change and transformation of life that comes out of conversion to Christ is missing, he is not a Christian yet. Repentance comes before conversion. A time comes in a man’s life when he sees that the road he is on will eventually lead to perdition and he decides to turn and return. Thus all his sins are blotted out. Then we call him a Bible-centered and Bible-controlled Christian. Conversion is the work of God.
2 CLEANSED (Ezekiel 36:25-27) Conversion, becoming a Christian is the work of God, not that of a priest, or pastor. When God sprinkles the water of life on you, you become clean from ALL your sins. Salvation is not little by little, it happens at a moment of time. It is a gift of God. After this initial experience, the genuine Christian will also be sanctified and filled with the Holy Spirit.
3 RIGHTEOUS (Romans 6:18,22) The Christian is not just a church-goer, or one who claims Christianity because he was born in a Christian home. He is righteous and if he suffers for righteousness sake, it brings glory to God. A Christian is a servant of righteousness.
4. GODLY (Titus 2:11-12) He is not godless but godly. The grace of God brings salvation to our lives, it helps us live soberly and godly in this present, evil world.
5. Just (Hebrews 10:38-39) The real Christian is converted and transformed by grace and lives by faith. The just shall live by faith.
6. OBEDIENT (I Peter 1:14-16) The Christian is an obedient child of God. The grace and goodness of God brings the quality of obedience into our lives. By reason of the change which Christ brought, the lust for disobedience, selfishness and pleasing ourselves is taken out completely. What can you tell us about your salvation if you are sure of it?
7. HARMLESS (Philippians 2:15-16) A Christian is totally harmless. He will not harm a neighbour, roommate, classmate, or anyone he comes across. The product and result of his life is harmlessness.
We needed to look at the Christian before we look at his suffering. Now the topic of today’s message is: ABUNDANT GRACE FROM GOD FOR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS.
A. THE PREDICTED PERSECUTIONS OF GODLY CHRISTIANS. I Peter 4:12,15-16
1. The Present Persecution Of Godly Christians. I Peter 4:12
Persecutions come into our lives to try us. God permits the tests to come to us to reveal if we are truly His children. Even satan wants to know if the conversion experience we are claiming is real. May you have grace to overcome when you are tried. If you say your sins are forgiven and gone, then prove it by the life you live.
Examine your life, have you ever been persecuted or you are just flowing along like a dead fish or are you actually living the life? If they persecuted Christ, they must do same to you (II Timothy 3:12-14) Persecutions make us stronger, greater and higher. God has the power to make us better, stronger and greater if Satan can make his men wax worse and worse. Satan and persecutors have not stopped in their projects of persecution all these years and we too must not stop being strong. We must continue.
2. The Pronounced Punishment Of Guilty Creatures. I Peter 4:15
Believers must not suffer like sinners or evildoers, but always for righteousness sake. It is none of the business of persecutors why you became born again or how you now live your Christian life. As a child of God, you will not be like them, suffer like them or bother yourself about what they do. There is punishment coming for them. Who are the guilty creatures?
- I John 3:12-15. They are murderers. Cain killed his brother Abel
- I Corinthians 6:9. They are thieves. They are guilty creatures who will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. Do not be foolish to run after money or anything that will not be useful in heaven.
- Isaiah 1:4-6. They are evildoers who forsake the Lord and provoke the Holy One.
- I Timothy 5:12. They are busybodies who are not concerned about their own issues but those of other people. They cast off the first faith and everything godly, whereas, the things they hold on to have no life. They are idle, wandering from house to house, they talk too much, speaking things which they ought not.
3. The Pleasant Personality Of A God-glorifying Christian. I Peter 4:16
The people that see you minding your own business and working to improve your Christian life will glorify God with you. It takes effort, commitment and consecration to trim, brighten and continually put oil in your lamp, it takes vigilance to make your light shine all the time (Matthew 5:16; II Thessalonians 2:11-13) Unbelievers are the way they are while we believers must also maintain the way we are. Our lives must be God- glorifying, pleasing honouring, and exalting (I Thessalonians 2:11-12).
B. THE PURIFIED PARTAKERS WITH THE GLORIFIED CHRIST. I Peter 4:14-18
1. The Peaceful Partakers Of Christ’s Suffering. I Peter 4:13
We are to rejoice because heaven is in our hearts, glory awaits us and Christ looks on us as partakers of His own suffering. We will also rejoice because our names are in the book of life, and when His glory will be revealed, we will be glad with exceeding joy. No matter what we are passing through, we must remember that people in the world – neighbours, family members, classmates, colleagues, etc – also go through various difficult situations. Some of them go through emotional and physical assaults, etc. But we must note that in our own case, we will inherit the kingdom of heaven as well as many rewards for suffering for righteousness sake, and with Christ because we will be glorified together with Him.
Even at such time of suffering, the peace of God which passes all understanding reigns in our hearts (Philippians 4:7-9) We must follow the example of Christ so that the God of peace abides with us. If this is so, what do we meditate on? (vs 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things).
Leave the persecutors alone and concentrate on the good things that will add value to your Christian life.
2. The Purified Partakers Of Christ’s Sanctification. I Peter 4:14
If people call you names, belittle, cast aspersions on you for the sake of Christ; if your family in the village or city look down on you, accusing you of bringing shame to the family because you are carrying the Bible, if they reproach, slander and give you demeaning looks for His sake, happy are you! Unbelievers speak evil of Christ whom you as a Christian glorify. When everything about you is sanctified, you become a purified partaker of the nature of Christ.
Hebrews 10:12-14. You become a partaker of His holiness after your first experience of salvation. Then we you are able to follow peace with all men, with no fighting, argument or quarreling. Everywhere you are, there is peace around you.
- You are saved and peaceful,
- You are sanctified and pure, and
- You are baptized in the Holy Ghost as you receive power.
3. Powerful Partakers Of Christ’s Spirit. I Peter 4:14
At salvation, you have grace from God. At sanctification you have greater grace and your heart is purified. At baptism of the Holy Ghost, the grace increases and becomes higher and it keeps coming and you are able to overcome every difficulty and persecution.
The power of the Spirit helped Apostle Paul to overcome all he went through (II Timothy 3:10-12. He was here talking to Timothy about all the persecutions he went through which he endured for the sake of the saints he was ministering to. He told him how God delivered him from them all (II Timothy 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen). As you live your life in the power of peace, purity and power, persecution will not tamper with any of your experiences. God will deliver us as He delivered the apostles in Jesus name.
C. THE PROMISED PRESERVATION BY OUR GLORIOUS CREATOR. I Peter 4:17
Judgment must begin at the house of God. This is telling us that there will be judgment for sure and it will be for the whole earth, for sinners and saints in all generations, but it will start in the house of God. If this is so for pastors, preachers, apostles, evangelists, teachers, workers, members, how about the sinners and unrighteous? How will it be for the sinners and the ungodly?
Your salvation, sanctification and godliness are the will of God. If you are suffering misrepresentation, misunderstanding and pain of persecution, you will not allow it to get you out of the will of God, you do not allow it to move you. You will continue to do well and commit your life, destiny, inheritance and soul to the Lord as a faithful Creator.
1. Persevering Continuation In Godliness Despite Persecution. I Peter 4:17-18; I Timothy 3:1
Persecution from the ungodly will continue, so you must know how to behave yourself in the house of God and continue in the godliness and holiness God has given you (II Peter 1:3-9; 3:10-14) If the godliness and grace of God abound in you, you will never be unfruitful. May you be found faultless and blameless in Him.
2. Permanent Condemnation For Ungodliness And Perversion. I Peter 4:17-18
Sinners refused to heed the call of the gospel to conversion, new life life in Christ and continue in the word of God. How will their end look like? (Romans 1:18,29-32) The wrath of God is revealed from heaven upon all works of unrighteousness perpetrated in the offices, sanctuary of God, in the family, in secret and in public.
ch 2:8-9. Tribulation and anguish are upon every evil work of men. God will judge them all. There will be condemnation at the judgment for all unconverted people, compromisers and backsliders. Because of your commitment to God, you must suffer persecution, and if you endure to the end, the Lord will protect you and moderate the persecution so that it will not go beyond what you can cope with.
3. Personal Commitment To God For Preservation. I Peter 4:19
Let all who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him for keeping. Persecution will not overcome you, rivers will not drown you neither will fire burn you. God is faithful (I Corinthians 10:13-14) Do not always wonder why persecution happens to only you. No. It is not only you. Other believers also suffer persecution. God is a faithful Creator and Preserver, He will always make a way of escape for you. Always keep your eyes open to see it.
II Timothy 1:12. The Apostles suffered much persecution but they were not ashamed. They deposited their souls to God who kept them to the end. He is stronger than Satan and all persecutors. If He could preserve the saints at such dangerous times, He will keep us today.
II Timothy 4:18. God will deliver you, no matter what you are passing through now (II Corinthians 1:10) He delivered those who were in the past, He is delivering presently and will yet deliver us from all challenges ahead. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Jude vs 21,24-25. Whatever you are going through, persecution or any other difficult situations, God will see you through. He is more than able to keep you. To Him be glory in our lives and family now and forever more. Amen!
We thank the Lord for opening our eyes to His word today. We finished with joy and you are going to finish your journey and ministry with joy. Whatever is happening, let the joy of the Lord be your strength. Rise up and pray.
Pray that God will preserve us and give us and our Pastor the grace to persevere and endure to the end. Amen and Amen.
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Lord Jesus, come into my life. I accept You as my Lord and Personal Saviour. I believe in my heart You died and rose from the dead to save me. Thank You Lord for saving me, in Jesus name Amen.
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