Christian Universe ™
Pain, Persecution And Want
May 11, 2014
Many false teachers preach the "health and wealth gospel" They will teach that if you are following Christ and in the Spirit, you will become wealthy. They say this to get your wealth into their bank accounts! They further say that if you are righteous you will not be sick or in pain. They also teach that your enemies can never overcome you in the flesh. All of this is false, as the scriptures plainly show. - Bernie Parsons
Pain, Persecution And Want
by Bernie Parsons
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 05-11-2014
Presented to Load church of Christ on 06-01-2014
Some preachers have built multi-million dollar enterprises out of misleading people with false teachings. I suppose that the biggest trend these days is about building wealth, because that appeals to most people, and builds a direct path to revenue for these false teachers. Some use:
2 Corinthians 8:9 “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”
They take this totally out of context. This scripture was embedded in a long discourse about the Gentile churches taking up a collection to send down to Jerusalem and Judaea, where the Christians were suffering and doing without necessities. It is a follow-up to 1 Corinthians 16:1-4.
What does God think about man seeking material riches?
Ecclesiastes 5:10 "He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity."
Proverbs 13:11 "Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase."
Luke 12:15 "And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth."
Matthew 19:21 "Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions."
Mark 14:7 "For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always."
1 Timothy 6:10 "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."
Philippians 4:11 "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need."
There are also those who preach that the godly shall suffer no pain, disease or injury. This, too, is false, as the scriptures prove. Here is one of the scriptures that they use:
Matthew 8:17 “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.”
Again, taken out of context, this scripture refers to the taking away of our sins. The healing of the sick by Jesus and His apostles was to prove that He was the Son of God.
They also use, the following verse, which also refers to spiritual healing,
Yet, consider the following scriptures regarding pain and suffering:
8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."
Galatians 4:13 "Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first
14 And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus
15 Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me
16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?"
1 Timothy 5:23 “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.”
Romans 8:16 "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."
Philippians 1:28 "And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.
29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;"
1 Thessalonians 3:3 "That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.
4 For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know."
2 Timothy 3:11 "Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."
And there are those who teach that the righteous will rise above all others, and shall triumph in all things in this life – that no one and nothing can stand in their way. Yet the Bible reveals:
Matthew 23:34 "Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:"
Matthew 24:9 "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another."
Matthew 10:34 "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."
We are not promised wealth on the earth, nor freedom from pain and suffering. We are not promised that we prevail in all things. Our riches, triumph, and protection are spiritual.
Ephesians 1:7 "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;"
2 Thessalonians 1:4 "So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:"
John 16:33 "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."