Continue to Preach the Gospel Despite Persecution

From The Heart

Publish date: 08/01/2010

The days of visitation and punishment have come; the days of recompense have come; Israel shall know it. The prophet is [considered] a crazed fool and the man who is inspired is [treated as if] mad or a fanatic, because of the abundance of your iniquity and because the enmity, hostility, and persecution are great. 8 Ephraim was [intended to be] a watchman with my God [and a prophet to the surrounding nations]; but he, that prophet, has become a fowler’s snare in all his ways. There is enmity, hostility, and persecution in the house of his God.  Hosea 9:7-8 AMP

The prophets of God, the true people of God who speak and live God’s Word, will inevitably suffer persecution when their nation is full of sin and rebellion against God and the Truth of His Word, however, the Gospel must continue to be boldly preached.

The Christian who believes in the power of the Word of God, who is filled with the power of God, who is wholly submitted to the Word and the Spirit, who has clean hands and a pure heart, who is not ashamed of the Gospel, who preaches the truth and lives a godly life, is the devil’s worst nightmare! If the devil cannot stop you from obeying the Great Commission, then he will stir up persecution against you to try to hinder you, discourage you, and/or prevent you from continuing.

For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
  1 Corinthians 1:21-24 NKJV

The Gospel is the same to all, but not all receive it the same way. Sincere people, who sin because they don’t know any other way, still have a conscience that convicts them, especially when the truth is preached. However, a person who has silenced their own conscience so that they can continue to sin, does not welcome, but rather rejects, the Truth. The generation which has embraced evil will be stubborn and rebellious toward God; therefore, they will claim that God’s righteous messengers, who speak His Word, are merely “crazed fools”, rather than God’s watchmen, so that they can have an excuse for their own sinfulness. Unwarranted enmity, hostility, and persecution, directed toward the messenger, are the results.

If you are a child of God, then you have been given the ministry of reconciliation – to introduce people to Jesus Christ and see them reconciled to the Father. Sometimes you are welcomed; sometimes ignored; sometimes attacked. You cannot quit because you are not welcomed – the word must be preached and the seed sown regardless of the reception.
Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
  2 Timothy 4:2-5 NIV

The Amplified Bible says we must be ready to preach the Word of God anytime and every time, “…whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable; whether it is convenient or inconvenient, whether it is welcome or unwelcome.” We are not responsible for the response TO the message, just the delivery OF the message. We cannot preach merely what people WANT to hear – we are to preach the Truth – we are to preach what they NEED to hear, whether they like it or not. We must correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.

But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  2 Corinthians 4:2-6 NKJV

The devil will try to blind men so they can’t see the Light or hear the Truth and so they don’t receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, but as you preach the Truth, God’s light shines into their hearts and they are converted. If you preach your opinion, you will get nowhere, however, the Gospel is full of the power of God and when you preach Jesus Christ, and Him crucified, then the power of the Gospel is released into men’s hearts and the Holy Spirit goes to work to touch and change their hearts.

You don’t know, you cannot tell beforehand, who will receive the Truth and who will not. Saul (renamed Paul) persecuted the Church terribly – he captured them, jailed them and even killed them – but Jesus met with him on the Damascus road and he became a bold proclaimer of the Gospel, himself. That is why you must be prepared to preach the Gospel and continue to preach the Gospel, through persecution and opposition if needs be, until all have heard and God’s will is done!