2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. 3 Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 2:2-3
Join with me in suffering. Who says that kind of thing? Did Paul want Timothy to actually tag along and be persecuted as Paul was being persecuted. I think wha Paul was saying was that suffering is normal for the Christian. You can hate it or accept it. The choice is still up to you. No use fighting it.
Does that mean we intentionally do things to get persecuted? Of course not. We shouldn’t shy away from speaking the truth, even if it means persecution.
It’s hard to write about persecution in the United States. For most of us, we don’t know what it is or what it’s like. We get shunned, discriminated against, and poked fun at in the media, but we’re not being hauled away on Sunday morning because of our beliefs. Again, I don’t want to minimize the shootings in a Texas church or the one at a South Carolina prayer meeting a few years ago. Yes, that happens and it’s considered the ultimate persecution, but it’s completely out of the ordinary.
Close your eyes for a moment and imagine what it would be like to be taken from your family by the police. Armed guards. Prison cells, Interrogation. Asking for you to renounce Christ. It’s not that hard to imagine as we can see how it’s taking place around the globe. It’s real and if we continue to devolve as a society, strong persecution is closer than we think.