"Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." - 2 Timothy 3:12 (ESV)
In 2 Timothy, Paul warns us that we will face persecution if we are following Christ. In these messages, Alistair Begg reminds us that we are to respond in a Christ-like manner, and that despite the trials of this world, Christ reigns on an eternal throne.
Whether it is the overt hostility faced by Christians in other parts of the world or subtle clashes with our own society’s ungodly mindset, all true believers experience some form of the “persecution” about which Paul warned Timothy. Beginning with these verses from 2 Timothy 3, Alistair Begg helps us consider the practical cost of living a godly life. As we learn to think biblically, we can respond to our circumstances in a Christlike manner.
Whatever form persecution may take, it is an inevitable part of the Christian experience. In this sermon on Paul’s confounding challenge to “bless those who persecute you,” Alistair Begg introduces us to one of the most difficult responsibilities of the Christian life: meeting our enemies’ hatred with godly love. We are called, he reminds us, not to be liked by the world, but to live lives of uncompromised holiness—even if the world hates us for it.
As unintuitive as it may seem, it is possible for us to obey Scripture’s command to meet persecution with blessing. By remembering God’s love and mercy and depending on the Holy Spirit’s power, Alistair Begg explains, we can show compassion, extend kindness, and pray for those who wish to harm us. Where our natural impulse is to seek our enemies’ destruction, God offers a better, revolutionary alternative: their salvation.
Paul’s appearance before the Sanhedrin provides a glimpse of the ordinariness of the extraordinary apostle Paul. Alistair Begg traces the thread that shows how God worked in all the details of Paul’s life, including violence, hostility, regrets, and disappointments, and reminds us that God continues to work out His purpose for each of us through the good, bad, and ordinary events of our lives.
As Alistair Begg guides us through the final verses of Esther 4, we learn truths to apply in our lives today. Like Mordecai, we can have faith that God’s purposes will be fulfilled. Like Esther, we must choose whether we will entrust ourselves to God’s providence, obedient to do the work He calls us to do.