The Blessings

8 – The Persecuted

TEXTMatt. 5:1-12

INTRODUCTION:

A.      THE “BLESSINGS,” OR “BEATITUDES,” ARE WELL KNOWN.

B.      BOTH THE BLESSINGS AND THE TRAITS ARE COMPOSITES.

C.      SERMON’S THEME (5:20).

I.      THE PERSECUTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS SAKE (vs. 10-12).

 Persecution is not guarantee of right!

A.      Matt. 23:32-36.  GOD’S PEOPLE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN PERSECUTED.

          1.       OT People (Heb. 12:35-38).

          2.       Jesus himself (Matt. 16:21;  17:22-23).

          3.       His disciples:

                   a.       evil reproach and false witness (Matt. 5:11).

                   b.       contempt and disparagement (John 8:48;  Matt. 10:25).

                   c.       ostracism (Luke 6:22;  John 16:1-2).

                   d.       illegal arrest, spoliation of goods, death itself (Matt. 10:16-23).

                   e.       comfort offered – beyond death they could do nothing (Luke 12:4-7).

          4.       In the church persecution instigated by the Jews (Acts 4:1-3, 17-18).

          5.       The dam broke with the death of Stephen (Acts 7:54 – 8:4;  22:4).

                   a.       Persecutors felt justified (Acts 26:9-12).

                   b.       Result of misconception (Acts 24:14;  John 16:2-3).

                   c.       Paul’s summary (2 Cor. 11:22-28).

          6.       Gentile persecution slow in coming.

                   a.       Witness the treatment of Paul (Acts 18:12-17;  26:30-32).

                   b.       Something went wrong (2 Tim. 4:6-8, 9-18).

B.      WE ARE PROMISED PERSECUTION!

          1.       Jesus’ teaching (Luke 6:26;  John 15:18-21).

          2.       The apostles (2 Tim. 3:12;  1 Pet. 4:12;  Heb. 12:7).

C.      WHAT IS OUR ATTITUDE?

          1.       The apostles (Acts 5:41;  8:4;  2 Cor. 4:7-15;  12:15;  2 Tim. 2:3;  1:12).

          2.       Our attitude

                   (1 Pet. 1:6-8;  3:13-17;  4:12-19;  James 5:7-11;  Heb. 12:1-3;  Matt. 5:10-12).

D.      HOW DO WE COMPARE? (Heb. 12:3-4, 12-13;  1 Cor. 10:10).

VIII. GREAT IS THEIR REWARD IN HEAVEN (vs. 10-12).

A.      PERSECUTION IS PROMISED (2 Tim. 3:12).

B.      IT IS WORTHWHILE (1 Cor. 15:58;  2 Tim. 4:6-8;  2 Cor. 4:16-18).

C.      OUR REWARD IS IN HEAVEN (2 Cor. 5:1;  Heb. 11:9-10).

D.      CONCEPTS OF THE KINGDOM.

          1.       Jewish concept was fleshly, vague, divided.

                   a.       Disposition toward Jesus (John 6:15;  Matt. 21:1-11;  1 Cor. 1:22).

                   b.       The disciples (Matt. 18:1;  20:21).

                   c.       After the resurrection (Acts 1:6).

          2.       The distinction between the kingdom and heaven not made

There is a connection.

                   a.       Those going to heaven will be those in his kingdom.

                   b.       In places, the eternal reward is referred to as the kingdom

                             (Eph. 5:5;  1 Cor. 6:9-10;  2 Pet. 1:10-11).

                   c.       People in the church promised an inheritance or entrance into the

                              kingdom (Matt. 5:10).

E.      OUR REWARD IS IN HEAVEN (Matt. 5:12).

CONCLUSION:

A.      DO YOU WANT TO GO TO HEAVEN?

B.      YOU MUST DO THE WILL OF THE FATHER (Matt. 7:21).

C.      WHAT IS HIS WILL FOR ME?