We have a brother in the Lord in a foreign city who often invites me to come and stay at his home. I laugh and tell him that if I came, he would treat me so well that I would never want to leave. He says, “That would be wonderful, brother. Pease, come and stay for as long as you like.” I would not get to sit idle. For as much as “his castle is my castle,” it is first and foremost a spiritual fortress from which he goes forth to battle Satan.
For many Christians, Jesus’ promise of “a hundred times as much…houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms” is both exciting and confusing. Of course, it only makes sense when a soul has given ownership of everything they have to the Lord. Then the saint understands that they, and everything they have, become a part of the hundredfold blessings that Jesus promises to his followers.
He adds, however, that those blessings “are accompanied by persecutions” (Mark 10:30).
For those only interested in what they can get out of the church, Jesus’ Hundredfold-Blessings-Scheme sounds great. But when Jesus adds the persecution element to the equation, it suddenly becomes problematic. In fact, to the unconverted, “blessings” and “persecutions” are mutually exclusive.
However, rather than being mutually exclusive, Jesus presents “blessings” and “persecutions” as being mutually inclusive. He was not exaggerating for effect when he said, “Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man” (Luke 6:22). In simple terms: “To be persecuted is to be blessed!”
The Battle for the Souls of Men is fought against the persecutions incited by the devil—“Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12)
Count me in!