Matthew 5:10-12

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See Pastor John


Good morning and welcome to FCC where we worship the Lord in Spirit and in Truth, one verse at a time, one Book at a time.
We have come as far as Matthew 5:9, so let us open our Bible’s there:

Read Matthew 5:1-12


Lord heavenly Father, we praise for Your Holy Word and we ask that by the Spirit You would saturate our minds with truth and that you we give us nuggets to practically apply into our lives personally and corporately. We pray Lord, that the truth would be both comforting and afflicting. If we come complacently, we pray that the truth would afflict us that we might flee to Christ. If we come distressed and downcast, we pray that the truth would draw us to Him, strengthen and equip us for service. But we ask above all, O Lord, that as You edify us by Your word that Jesus Christ would be honored and exalted in our lives and in the world.
For we ask these things in JESUS name, that name above all names. We love You! AMEN!


In looking back we have learned that Jesus is teaching those that are His how to enter His Kingdom, how to live out the Kingdom in our lives, how to be his disciples, and how to be happy in this life.
And if Jesus said blessed are you if you do this or that, why do we seek this blessedness in everything but Jesus?
He laid out for us the beatitudes or the characteristics that mark the lifestyle of those who experience the blessings of the kingdom of God church.
These last few weeks Jesus actually described what the power of God’s kingdom will make us if we follow the prescription that he has laid out.
He has given us everything thing that pertains to life and godliness and it is not by strength, nor by power, but by the Spirit will we achieve these in this life.
The first seven beatitudes describe a kind of life that would be lived by a man or woman who has become a follower of Jesus Christ, and who now lives a life under the gracious gift of righteousness through faith in Him. And then, we come to the last beatitude that gets our attention.
We see blessed, blessed, and blessed seven times and now we come to the eighth
AND yet is still says blessed, but wait:
How can one be blessed when they are being persecuted, insulted, mocked, and even slandered? How can this be?
Matthew 5:10–12 NKJV
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
As we look at the remaining beatitude, one might think this actually two, but most scholars believe this is just one.
Note: the word persecuted is mentioned 3 times, therefore, what can we draw from this.
Jesus did not say blessed are the objectionable, or the fanatics, or those who put their head in the sand church!
He said blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake...
This blessing is restricted to those who suffer persecution because of His righteousness, not self-righteousness.
The believers described in this passage church, are determined to live as Jesus lived.
Therefore, they will suffer persecution....
Peter says it like this:
1 Peter 3:13–17 NKJV
And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
And again Peter reiterates the concept of suffering for Jesus:
1 Peter 4:12–16 NKJV
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.
Reproached- oneidizō (on-i-did'-zo)-to be harshly criticized v. — to be or become reprimanded for real or merely perceived faults in a harsh and demeaning manner. To heap insults upon, to cast teeth into, to mock, to provoke...
It is crucial that we see in both Matthew 5:10-12 and here in Peter that the persecution is not because of you, but because of Jesus and his righteousness that is living in you and coming out of you into a world that loves darkness rather than life:
Jesus said this after he said the most used verse in the whole Bible which is John 3:16 that God sent his only begotten Son to die for you and for me:
John 3:19–21 NKJV
And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
Persecution is promised church for those that hunger and thirst for righteousness and for those that live like Jesus lived.
There is no way around it!
Did Jesus ever do anything wrong? Was he persecuted for righteousness sake and yet he was perfect?
How about the prophets of old, like Jesus said, were they persecuted?
How about the apostles that walked with Jesus?
How about the disciples???
Church persecution comes in all shapes and sizes and can take many forms:
Think about countries like communist countries and people are being put to death for righteousness sake.
Or a Christian in the West who practices righteousness may be ridiculed by his family and even ostracized because of the name of Jesus.
Even believers who were raised in the fear and admonition of the Lord will face persecution somewhere.
Perhaps at work, you might discover some of your colleagues are saying he/ she is taking their Christianity too far...
He will not even cheat on his taxes now..
Perhaps your are persecuted in your own home by your spouse or children because you are living your faith out loud and you have all 8 beatitudes operating in your life...
Matthew 5:10–12 NKJV
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Note the persecution comes for righteousness sake..
You know what this tells me?
If we are not hungering and thirsting for righteousness and the righteousness of Christ Jesus is not living in us and through us, then we will not be persecuted
Church, last weeks beatitude was blessed are the peacemakers, not the peace takers, but we come to the last beatitude and it is teaching us the righteousness is the catalyst for persecution.
Think about this, it is counter intuitive.
You will both make peace and stir up trouble, really???
You hear it from the lips of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, who said that He came as the Prince of Peace to bring peace and then elsewhere said, “I came not to bring peace but a sword.”There is this constant ambivalence where the believer is, in the world, a peacemaker who is able to make a man at peace with God by the presentation of the Gospel.  But on the other hand, where there are those who will not respond to his peacemaking effort, he is a troublemaker, and invariably brings about persecution.
Church, when you pass into the richness and the fullness of kingdom character, and when you begin to live the way God wants you to live, when you begin to fulfill the principles that God has ordained, you’re going to find there will be a process of pain and suffering involved. 
You will be a peacemaker, yes, but you’ll be a troublemaker, too!!!
Are you serious Pastor John? Really?
Yes, really!
What Became of the Twelve Disciples?
(1) John died of extreme old age. (2) Judas Iscariot hanged himself. (3) Peter was crucified, head downward, during the persecution of Nero. (4) Andrew died on a cross at Patrae, in Achaia, a Grecian Colony. (5) James, the younger brother of the Savior, was thrown from a pinnacle of the Temple, and then beaten to death with a club. (6) Bartholomew was flayed alive in Albanapolis, Armenia. (7) James, the elder son of Zebedee, was beheaded at Jerusalem. (8) Thomas, the doubter, was run through the body with a lance at Coromandel, in the east Indies. (9) Philip was hanged against a pillar at Heropolis (Abyssinia). (10) Thaddeus was shot to death with arrows. (11) Simon died on a cross in Persia (now Iran). (Source unknown).
Matthew 23:37 NKJV
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!
Matthew 5:10 NKJV
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Persecute- diōkō- (dee-o'-ko) v. — to cause to suffer, whether physically or emotionally. To make to run or flee, put to flight, drive away, to be mistreated, suffer persecution on account of something, to pursue and hunt, to drive away, pass judgement on.
We are persecuted church, not for our sake, but for the sake of righteousness, for the sake of the cross, for Jesus sake...
But the good news when we are persecuted, the good news when people slander us, mock us, spit on us, defile our characters, when they insult us, talk evil about us we have a reward church for enduring this and not losing heart, not giving up and going with the crowd or down the broad way;
Our reward is the Kingdom of Heaven church.
Another words this beatitude is a test for all the beatitudes.
Just as a person must be poor in Spirit to enter the kingdom, so will he be persecuted because of righteousness if he or she is to enter the kingdom.
For this final beatitude becomes one of the most searching of all of them, and it binds up all the rest; for if the disciple of Jesus never experiences any persecution at all, it may be fairly asked where righteousness is being displayed in his life.
If there is no righteousness, no conformity to God’s will, how shall we enter the kingdom?
Church, we live in a sinful world, therefore, if we exhibit genuine, transparent righteousness we will be rejected and persecuted by many.
Genuine righteousness or the light will bring discomfort to those that are not walking in it and thus, they lash out.
We are not persecuted for having right theology, all though I believe theology plays a role in it, but rather for righteousness alone and we cannot and will not have righteousness if we are not seeking after it.
John 15:18–20 NKJV
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.
Philippians 1:27–29 NKJV
Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God. For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,
Church, being one of His means that we will suffer for His sake and not for our own.
It is important to close out this section with a couple of thoughts:
Jesus opens with blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, and then as he closes out his 8 beatitudes, he says blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
We have the kingdom here on earth church, and the one yet to be consummated on that great day weather it is when Jesus returns or we go home...
Jesus used some form of the word persecute three times. When a word is used in repetition, we must take heed for it is inevitable if we are His.
Jesus expanded his teaching on persecution church and he left us with three insights in these three verses:
Persecution includes insults, mockery, and slander.
We are persecuted because of righteousness and this is in view of imitation of Jesus. Paul says imitate me as I imitate Christ.
One scholars says, it so identifies the disciple of Jesus with the practice of Jesus’ righteousness that there is not place for professed allegiance to Jesus that is not full of righteousness!
Last, there is an open command in verse 12 to rejoice and be glad when suffering under persecution.
Matthew 5:12 NKJV
Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Acts 5:41 NKJV
So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.
The apostle rejoiced as they were counted worthy to suffer for his name.
And we see this all through the Word of God church, persecution starts in Genesis when Cain slew his brother Abel and there is a thread all the way through to Revelation when the saints are persecuted by the dragon:
Revelation 12:11 NKJV
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.
During this sermon, there were several brothers and sisters around the globe put to death because the righteousness of Jesus Christ lived in them and through them.
On January 9, 1985, a pastor in Bulgaria named Christo Kuleczef, was arrested and put in jail. His crime was preaching in his church. He immediately began to share Christ while he was in prison. He had a trial. It was a mockery of justice, and he was sentenced to eight months. He did his eight months, got out, and wrote these words: “Both prisoners and jailers asked many questions, and we had a more fruitful ministry there than we could have expected in church. God was better served by our presence in prison than if we had been free.
The Word teaches us that the church grows while it is being persecuted church and if it is being persecuted it is for righteousness sake.
How do you think the church is doing today?
Are you willing to suffer for Him? Have you committed your life to Him?


Lord, if we were honest this is a hard list to follow and as we end the beatitudes it even became more difficult because we are promised persecution. Father help us to fully grasp and by the power of Spirit walk and live these beatitudes out. May our faith not be shallow, but fruitful for your honor and glory. May Jesus be exalted and the gospel proclaimed in our lives this week. If there is someone in the sanctuary that has yet to surrender to your Lordship and receive freely the gift of eternal life and the gift of the Holy Spirit that enables us to walk circumspectly, with all heads bowed and eyes closed, may they raise their hand now. Father thanks you that you wish not one shall perish but that all would come to repentance. Lord as we leave today, may we reflect on your Word and apply it to our lives. Our desire Lord is to be more like Jesus today, than yesterday.
In JESUS name, we Love You! Amen


2 Corinthians 12:8–10 NKJV
Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
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