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Matthew 13:21; Psalm 69: The Persecuted Church: Disorientation

Psalms: A Hymn Book of Life  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  20:34
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Today we are talking about a under discussed topic here in the united states because we don’t really have to face it
We live relatively sheltered lives. Most of us will not experience true persecution. You might have someone who doesn’t agree with you, even be hostile to you, because of your faith. But to be persecuted, most will not face that.

Matthew 13:21

Matthew 13:21 LEB
21 But he does not have a root in himself, but lasts only a little while, and when affliction or persecution happens because of the word, immediately he falls away.
This passage is found in the midst of a parable that most though not all are familiar with Parable of the sower.
In this passage a man is sowing seeds. He throws some on the path. He throws some on the rocky ground. He throws some in the thorns and weeds. And he throws some in the good soil.
Only that of the good soil will take root and survive
It is about the word as it is sown and the different types of hearts that hear the word
The particular passage we are discussing today is found in the rocks. The person receives the word with joy, but when trouble comes because there is no roots he quickly falls away.
Did you catch that, it is “when” troubles or persecution comes. It’s not “if” troubles and persecutions come but when. Jesus knows that there will be troubles and persecution.
It will happen
In Acts 1 we are told that God even used persecution to help spread his word. Because of persecution the people dispersed and took the word with them

The Persecuted Church

We are selves are not accustomed to the idea of persecution because on a large part we have not had to deal with it
An estimated 43 Million Christians have been killed for their faith since the crucifixion of Jesus.
More people have been martyred in the last century than in the 1900 years before. More than 245 million Christians living in places where they experience high levels of persecution.
That’s the equivalent of 65% of the united states population. 60% of these are children. This last year 4,305 Christians have been killed for their faith. 1,847 churches and other Christian buildings attacked. 3,150 believers detained without trial, arrested, sentenced or imprisoned.
With all of this its Christians in the United states are largely unaware of persecution around the world
Which should not be so
Because as we read about in 1 Thessalonians 3:7
1 Thessalonians 3:7 LEB
7 because of this, brothers, we have been comforted because of you in all our distress and affliction through your faith,
Even though we may not personally be going through we are encouraging those who are
If we have faith and live out our faith
One of the many reasons for us to live out our faith
We need to pray for these champions of faith that are surviving off of prayers from the faithful as well
Not all persecution is with the sword though
Some persecution comes in different forms
Doctors are now beginning to have to choose between their jobs and their faith, Because of abortions
A school teacher in Michigan lost his job after a Muslim student attending a private off –campus wrestling camp that he was hosting along with a local church accepted Christ. The school district is primarily Muslim community
The worst yet is a San Diego pastor and his wife claim they were interrogated by a county official and were warned they will face escalating fines if they continue to hold Bible studies in their home without purchasing a Major Use Permit from the county which can cause in the area of 10 thousand dollars. For a in home bible study, but this is nothing compared to the persecution around the world.
With all this persecution going on in the world. We need to be aware of the world around us. Christians are supported through our faith

Are we Willing

Are we willing to pay the price for following Christ publicly and boldly.
Are we committed to our Lord
Willing to lose our job
Be heavily fined
Spend some time in prison
Even die for Christ sake and the spreading of his gospel
But as you answer that remember that is always easier to say we will die for our Lord
It is much harder to actually live for our Lord right now
He has called us to live on the Via Dolorosa
Way of suffering
Will you take up your cross and follow him

How can I help the Persecuted Church

The First Request of Persecuted Christians is “Pray For Us”
Pray for Christians around the world who are imprisoned for their faith
Pray that God will Strengthen, Protect and Encourage them
Pray for God’s protection of Pastors and Evangelists who share the Gospel in Restricted and Hostile Nations
Pray for the provision and encouragement of Christians whose family members were killed for living out their faith in Christ
Pray that Government officials in Hostile and restricted nations will come to know Jesus Christ and Follow His will for their lives.
Pray for Christian converts from Islam who must decide when and how to tell family and friends they are now followers of Jesus.
Pray for radio, television and internet ministries that broadcast God’s words into restricted nations.
Pray for the provision and safe delivery of Bibles to believers in Hostile and restricted Nations
Pray that persecuted Christians will boldly witness for him, even to their persecutors
Pray that Christian in free nations will choose to stand with our persecuted brothers and sisters.

Psalm 69:1-6

Close read a psalm of David when he was being attacked.
Psalm 69:1–6 LEB
1 Save me, O God, because waters have come up to my neck. 2 I sink in the mud of the deep, and there is no foothold. I have come to watery depths, and the torrent floods over me. 3 I am weary with my calling out; my throat is parched. My eyes are exhausted in my waiting for my God. 4 More numerous than the hairs of my head are those hating me without a cause. Those who are destroying me—my enemies wrongfully— are mighty. What I did not steal, I then must restore. 5 O God, you yourself know my foolishness, and my guilty deeds are not hidden from you. 6 Let those who wait for you not be put to shame because of me, O Lord Yahweh of hosts. Let those who seek you not be disgraced because of me, O God of Israel.

Will You Pray

Pray - don’t come to me and tell me you commit to pray. The alter is open.

Witthoff, David, Kristopher A. Lyle, and Matt Nerdahl. Psalms Form and Structure. Edited by Eli Evans. Bellingham, WA: Faithlife, 2014.
Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann. The Social Construction of Reality. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday and Co., 1966.
Brueggemann, Walter. “Psalms and the Life of Faith: A Suggested Typology of Function,” JSOT 17 (1980):3–32.
Harris, W. Hall, III, Elliot Ritzema, Rick Brannan, Douglas Mangum, John Dunham, Jeffrey A. Reimer, and Micah Wierenga, eds. The Lexham English Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012.
Singerman, Barbara, Beyond Surrender. Hannibal Books, 2003
George Benson. Then Joy Breaks Through. New York: Seabury Press, 1972.
Warstler, Kevin R. “Psalms.” Pages 908–9 in CSB Study Bible: Notes. Edited by Edwin A. Blum and Trevin Wax. Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017.
Williams, Donald, and Lloyd J. Ogilvie. Psalms 73–150 . Vol. 14. The Preacher’s Commentary Series. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc, 1989.
Historic Creeds and Confessions. Electronic ed. Oak Harbor: Lexham Press, 1997.
John Calvin. Commentary on the Book of Psalms. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1979.
Kornelis H. Miskotte, When the Gods Are Silent. New York: Harper and Row, 1967.
William Styron, Sophie’s Choice. New York: Random House, 1979.
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