Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Have you ever had the experience of someone hating you because you were right, and they have accused you falsely? It's painful. You can't hate them back and be a Christian yourself; you must love them. Neither should you be a doormat for people to walk over. That's not healthy self-respect for your God-given integrity of person.
Read the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:11, 12: "Blessed [happy] are you when [men] revile you and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven."
Persecution began with Cain killing Abel because Abel was righteous and Cain was not (Gen. 4:8). All through history, God's true prophets have always been reviled and persecuted by God's professed people. Jesus spoke of this to the leadership of God's true church in His day--the leaders of the Jews, the scribes and Pharisees.
In Matthew 23:13-39 He fixed on them the guilt of all the murders committed in the world from A to Z, from Abel to Zechariah, who was murdered in the very temple itself in Jerusalem, between the porch and the altar. His blood was spattered on the stones of the pavement, blood that could never be cleaned away. Yet Zechariah was murdered some 800 years before Christ's day. How then could the Jewish leaders in Christ's day be guilty of a murder committed long before they were born? The answer is, corporate guilt.
Now we are coming to the end of time, and the last generation will be judged for all that has happened in previous history--either in repentance for the sins of the world, or in crucifying Christ afresh. Some who now preach will become persecutors; and some who now persecute will become converted like Saul of Tarsus. The Good News is that today we can choose to stand on the right side!
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: June 6, 1998.
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