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Why Does God Allow Persecution
The providence that permits the good to suffer persecution at the hands of evil men has caused perplexity to many who are new in the Christian faith. Some are even ready to cast away their faith in God because He allows evil doers to prosper, while believers suffer (Psalms 73: 3). Can the Lord who is just and merciful, and who is also infinite in power, tolerate such injustice?
The Lord has given us all the evidence of His love. He offered His Son to die in order to redeem mankind from eternal death. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). There is no greater love than that (John 15:13). Therefore, we are not to doubt His goodness just because we cannot understand the workings of His providence.
Jesus said to His disciples, foreseeing the doubts that would press upon their souls in days of trial: “Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20).
The Son of God suffered for us more than any of His followers can be made to suffer by evil men. “…who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:6-8).
Reasons for Persecution
The righteous suffer persecution, that they themselves may be purified; that their example may convince others of the reality of faith and godliness; and also that their consistent course may condemn the ungodly and unbelieving. Paul encourages the believers, “you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6,7).
God also permits the evil doers to prosper and to reveal their enmity against Him, that when they have filled up the measure of their iniquity, all may see His justice and mercy in their destruction. He permits the wicked to reveal their true colors, that none who desire to do His will may be deceived concerning them.
God’s Punishments and Rewards
Our Heavenly Father does not forget or neglect His children. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise” (2 Peter 3:9). The day of His judgment is coming soon, when all who have broken His law and have caused His people to suffer will meet the just penalty of their evil deeds. God will punish every act of cruelty or injustice toward the saints as though it was done to Christ Himself.
As for the rightouss, the Lord promised, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” (Matthew 5:10-12). When the Son of man comes in glory “he shall reward every man according to his works” (Matthew 16:27; Revelation 22:12).
In His service,