Vance Pitman

Blessed are those who have been Persecuted

Radical Red Letters: Kingdom Living in a Chaotic Land
Nov 8, 2020
Matthew 5:12

In this message, Pastor Vance concludes our series on the beatitudes, “Radical Red Letters: Kingdom Living in a Chaotic Land” by teaching what Jesus meant when he said “blessed are those who have been persecuted…” In this message, he defines what persecution is and what it isn’t and how we respond in the midst of it!

Sermon Notes

Radical Red Letters
Blessed are those who have been Persecuted (Week 9)

The Beatitudes: Eight radical declarations of kingdom living resulting in contentment in the midst of the chaos


“The Sermon on the Mount is the nearest thing to a manifesto that Jesus ever uttered, for it is His own description of what He wanted his followers to be and do.”—John Stott (Sermon on the Mount, p.5)


The Beatitudes are who we are in Christ and what we do as we allow Christ to live His life through us


“Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.”—James 4:17


“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.”—Galatians 5:16-17


1) Read v.3: Poor in spirit—to recognize one’s own spiritual poverty apart from God’s amazing grace


2) Read v.4: Mourn—a brokenness before God born out of truth revealed through my fellowship with Him


3) Read v.5: Gentleness—the overflow of brokenness before God expressed in my surrender to Him and my submission to others


4) Read v.6: Hungering and Thirsting for righteousness—a passionate longing to see the righteousness that is mine in Christ be experienced in my life, my relationships, and the world


5) Read v.7: Mercy—an attitude and action of kindness towards the undeserving


6) Read v.8: Pure in Heart—an internal wholeness that results in external holiness


7) Read v.9: Peacemaker—one who takes responsibility for reconciling broken relationships


“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in this same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” - Matthew 5:10-12


“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.”—John 15:18-19




A. Persecution is suffering for Christ…


B. Persecution is suffering for Christ physically…


“and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.”—Hebrews 11:36-38


“Top Ten countries where it is most dangerous to follow Jesus due to ‘extreme persecution’: North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Eritrea, Sudan, Yemen, Iran, India.”


C. Persecution is suffering for Christ physically, emotionally, and/or mentally




“Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”—2 Timothy 3:12


“Rejoice and be glad” (v.12)


1)     It deepens our intimacy with Jesus


2)     It gives us an opportunity to demonstrate the love of Jesus


“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two…You have heard it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”—Matthew 5:38-41,43-48


3)     It reminds us this world is not our home


“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” —Matthew 5:12


“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”—Romans 8:18

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