2Tim.3:12 – Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution
Phi.1:29 – Given not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer
Mat.10:17 – Beware of men: they will deliver you up…scourge
Mat.24:9 – Deliver you up…ye shall be hated of all nations
Mk.10:30 – Shall receive 100-fold now… with persecutions
Lk.21:12 – They shall lay their hands on you & persecute you
Jn.15:20 – If they have persecuted Me, they will persecute you
Jn.16:33 – In the World ye shall have tribulation
(See also Mat.23:34; 1Jn.3:13.)

2. Benefits of persecution:

A. Heavenly rewards for enduring persecution:

Mat.5:10 – Blessed are…persecuted…for theirs is the Kingdom
Rom.8:17b,18 – Sufferings…not worthy to be compared with the glory
2Cor.4:17 – Affliction…worketh for us…eternal weight of glory
2Tim.2:12a – If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him
Heb.11:25,26 – Choosing to suffer affliction…respect unto reward
Heb.11:35b – Tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection
1Pet.4:12,13 – Fiery trial…when His glory revealed, ye may be glad

B. The Lord is with & helps those in persecution:

Psa.37:32,33 – The Lord will not leave him (the righteous) in his (the wicked’s) hand
Psa.46:1 – God is…a very present help in trouble
Isa.50:7-9a – The Lord God will help me…Who is mine adversary?
Mat.10:18-20 – Brought before governors…it shall be given you what ye shall speak…(God’s) Spirit speaketh in you
Acts 7:55 – (Stephen) saw the glory of God, & Jesus standing
Rom.8:35-39 – Persecution…(can’t) separate us from the love of God
2Cor.4:8-11 – Persecuted, but not forsaken
Heb.13:5b,6 – The Lord is my helper, & I will not fear what man shall do unto me
1Pet.4:14 – If ye be reproached for Christ…Spirit of glory & God resteth upon you

C. God allows it to spread His message & messengers:

Mat.10:23 – When they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another
Acts 8:1,4 – Scattered…went everywhere preaching the Word
Acts 11:19 – Scattered…travelled as far as Cyprus, preaching

D. When condemning God’s messengers, enemies often broadcast God’s message thus arousing interest in it:

Jn.19:4-8 – The Jews answered, “(Jesus) ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God”
Acts 17:5-7 – These (say) there is another king, one Jesus
Acts 19:23-26 – This Paul persuaded…saying that [idols] be no gods
Acts 24:14 – This I confess…the way which they call heresy, so worship I God
Acts 25:18,19 – (Paul’s) accusers…had questions against him of Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive
Acts 28:22 – Everywhere (this sect) is spoken against…but we desire to hear of thee, what thou thinkest
Phi.1:15-18 – Notwithstanding…Christ is preached

E. It sifts out those who are not whole-hearted:

Mat.13:21 – When persecution ariseth because of Word, by & by he is offended

F. The Word preached even in imprisonment:

Jer.38:13-18 – [King Zedekiah consulted with imprisoned Jeremiah]
Mat.10:18-20 – Brought before governors & kings for a testimony
Acts 16:23-31 – [Philippian jailor converted after earthquake]
Acts 28:16 – [In bonds, Paul preached<+> in Rome See vs. 30,31]
Phi.1:12-14 – [In bonds, Paul converts Caesar's household See also Phi.4:22]

G. God gets good out of seeming bad:

Gen.50:20 – Ye thought evil…but God meant it to good
Exo.14:1-28 – [God hardened Pharaoh's heart to pursue the Hebrews, so that his entire army drowned & empire collapsed]
Psa.76:10 – Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee


A. Be fearless & unmovable:

Mat.10:28 – Fear not them which kill the body
Jer.1:17-19 – Be not dismayed…they shall fight…but I am with thee
Ezk.3:8,9 – Fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks
Acts 20:24 – None of these…move me, neither count I my life dear
1Thes.3:3 – That no man should be moved by these afflictions…we are appointed thereunto
1Pet.2:20 – When ye do well, & suffer for it…take it patiently
Rev.12:11b – And they loved not their lives unto the death
(See also Phi.1:14)

B. Have joy in persecution:

Mat.5:12 – Rejoice & be exceeding glad…for so persecuted
Lk.6:22,23 – When men hate you…rejoice…leap for joy
Acts 5:40,41 – Rejoicing they were counted worthy to suffer shame
Rom.5:3 – We glory in tribulations also
2Thes.1:4 – We glory in you for your patience & faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure
1Pet.3:14 – If ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye
1Pet.4:12-14 – If ye be reproached for…Christ, happy are ye

C. Do not be ashamed:

1Pet.4:16 – If any suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed
Isa.50:7 – I set my face like a flint…I shall not be ashamed

D. Suffer willingly for a righteous cause:

Jer.15:15b – For Thy sake I have suffered rebuke
Mat.5:10 – Blessed are they…persecuted for righteousness’ sake
2Cor.12:10 – I take pleasure in persecutions…for Christ’s sake
2Thes.1:5 – Counted worthy of Kingdom of God, for which ye suffer
1Pet.2:19 – For conscience toward God…suffering wrongfully

E. Examples of enduring persecution courageously:

Jeremiah(Jer.26:11-15); Paul & his companions(1Cor.4:12b); Paul(2Cor.6:4,5,8-10; 2Cor.11:23-27); Timothy(2Tim.1:8); Early Christians(Heb.10:32,33); Moses(Heb.11:25); Old & New Testament saints(Heb.11:35-40).

F. Faithfulness to truth, despite persecution:

Psa.119:51 – Proud have me…in derision, yet have I not declined
Psa.119:86b,87 – They persecute me wrongfully; they almost consumed me…but I forsook not Thy precepts
Psa.119:157 – Many are my persecutors…yet I do not decline
Rev.2:13 – Thou holdest fast…& hast not denied My faith, even in those days wherein…My martyr was slain

G. Endure persecution because of love for the lost:

2Tim.2:10 – I endure all things for the elect’s sake, that they may obtain salvation (See also Jn.10:11)
Heb.5:7-9 – He suffered…became the author of eternal salvation
1Pet.2:21 – Christ suffered for us…ye should follow His steps

H. Examples of men of God imprisoned for their faith:

Old Testament saints:(Heb.11:36); Samson:(Judg.16:21); Micaiah:(1Ki.22:26,27); Hanani:(2Chr.16:10); Jeremiah:(Jer.37:11-16); Daniel:(Dan.6:16,17); John the baptist:(Mat.14:3,4); Peter & John:(Acts 4:1-3); Apostles:(Acts 5:16-18); Men & women Christians in Jerusalem:(Acts 8:3; 9:1,2,14; 22:4,5;19, 26:10); Peter:(Acts 12:1-4); Paul & Silas:(Acts 16:22-24); Paul’s imprisonments:(2Cor.11:23b); Paul’s final imprisonment:(Acts 24:27; 26:29; 28:16).


A. Their goal is to stop the witness:

Jer.11:21 – Prophesy not…that thou die not by our hand
Jn.11:47,48,53 – If we let Him alone, all men will believe on Him. Then they took counsel to put Him to death
Acts 4:17 – That it spread no further…let us threaten them
(See also Rev.6:9; 11:7)

B. Wicked, carnal men hate the righteous:

Gal.4:29 – He that was born after the flesh persecuted him
Psa.38:20 – They are adversaries; because I follow…good
Pro.29:27 – He that is upright is abomination to the wicked
Isa.59:15a – He that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey
Acts 7:52a – Which of prophets have not your fathers persecuted?
1Pet.4:3,4 – [Righteous despised for not joining drunken parties]
1Jn.3:12 – Cain slew (Abel)…because his own works were evil

C. Because truth is a witness against evil:

Jn.7:7 – It (the world) hateth Me (Jesus), because I testify of it
1Ki.22:17-27 – [Micaiah imprisoned for prophesying the truth]
2Chr.16:7-10 – [Asa imprisons Hanani for prophesying against him]
2Chr.24:20,21 – [King has Zechariah stoned for rebuking the people]
Jer.32:2,3 – [Jeremiah imprisoned for prophesying the truth]
Amos 5:10 – They abhor him that speaketh uprightly
Acts 6:10-15 – [Stephen stoned for rebuking Jews. Acts 7:51-60]
Rev.1:9 – [John exiled to Patmos for preaching the Word]
(See also Rev.12:17; 20:4.)

D. Ignorance of the truth:

Acts 3:13,14 – I wot that through ignorance ye did it (Also vs. 17)
1Tim.1:13 – (I) was a persecutor…I did it ignorantly in unbelief

E. Do not truly know God:

Jn.5:18,38,42 – Ye have not His Word…ye have not the love of God
Jn.8:37 – Ye seek to kill Me, because My Word hath no place
Jn.15:21 – They (persecutors) know not Him (God) that sent Me
Jn.15:24b – Now have they… hated both Me & My Father
Jn.16:3 – Because they have not known the Father, nor Me
Acts 13:27,28 – They knew Him not…nor yet the voices of prophets

F. Self-righteous, misguided religious zeal:

Jn.16:2 – Whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service (See also Isa.66:5)
Acts 13:50 – Jews stirred up the devout & honourable women
Acts 21:27-32 – Men of Israel, help: This is the man that teacheth
Acts 22:3,4 – Zealous…I persecuted this way unto the death
Acts 23:12-14 – [40 men vowed & conspired to kill Paul]
Acts 26:9-11 – I thought I ought to do many things contrary to Jesus
Gal.1:13,14 – Persecuted…being exceedingly zealous of traditions
Phi.3:6 – Concerning zeal, persecuting the church

G. For breaking religious traditions & doctrines:

Mat.12:10-14 – Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath days?
Jn.5:16 – [Angry Jews seek to kill Jesus for healing on Sabbath]
Jn.9:16a – This man is not of God, because He keepeth not
Jn.10:31-33 – For a good work we stone Thee not; but for blasphemy

H. Religious jealousy & fear of competition:

Mat.27:18 – For He knew that for envy they had delivered Him
Mk.11:18 – Feared Him, because people astonished at His doctrine
Acts 13:44,45 – When the Jews saw the multitudes…filled with envy
Acts 17:5 – Jews which believed not, moved with envy…assaulted

I. Because we do not belong to this world:

Jn.15:19 – Because ye are not of world…the world hateth you
Jn.17:14 – World hated them, because they are not of the world
1Jn.4:5,6 – They are of the world…we are of God

J. Persecution by corrupt rich:

Acts 19:23-27 – By this craft we have our wealth…but Paul persuaded
Jam.2:6b,7 – Rich men oppress, draw you before judgment seat
Rev.17:1-6,18 – That great city…drunken with the blood of saints

K. Wickedness, pride:

Psa.10:2 – The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor
Psa.74:22 – The foolish man reproacheth Thee daily
Psa.119:69a – The proud have forged a lie against me

L. For refusing to compromise faith:

Dan.3:14-20 – We will not serve thy gods, nor worship the…image
Dan.6:4,5 – [Jealous princes accuse Daniel regarding his faith]

M. For refusing to worship the Antichrist & his image:

Rev.13:14-17 – As many as would not worship the image…be killed
Rev.20:4 – Beheaded…had not worshipped the beast

N. For no valid reason at all:

Psa.119:86b – They persecute me wrongfully
Psa.119:161 – Princes have persecuted me without a cause
Jn.15:25 – They hated Me without a cause (See also Psa.69:4)


A. Slander, infamy, lies:

Psa.69:9-12 – I became a proverb to them…they speak against me
Psa.119:51a – The proud have had me greatly in derision
Mat.5:11 – Men shall revile you…& say all manner of evil
Lk.6:22 – Men shall reproach you, & cast out your name as evil
Lk.22:63-65 – Men that held Jesus mocked Him…blasphemously spake
Acts 14:2 – Made their minds evil affected against the brethren
Acts 28:22b – This sect…everywhere it is spoken against
1Cor.4:13 – Defamed…we are made as the filth of the world
(See also Psa.35:16,21)

B. Persecutors twist words to defame:

Isa.29:21 – Make a man an offender for a word…lay a snare
Isa.56:5 – Every day they wrest My Words…their thoughts evil
Mat.22:15 – Took counsel how they might entangle Him in His talk
Mk.12:13 – They send Pharisees…to catch Him in His words
Lk.11:53,54 – Seeking to catch something out of His mouth, that they might accuse Him
Lk.20:20 – Take hold of His Words…deliver Him to the governor

C. Lying accusations & false charges:

Psa.35:11 – False witnesses…laid to my charge things I knew not
Mat.26:59-61 – Chief priests…sought false witness against Jesus
Lk.23:2 – We found this fellow perverting the nation, & forbidding to give tribute (pay taxes)
Lk.23:5 – [Sedition] He stirreth up the people
Jer.38:4 – [Treason] Seeketh not the welfare…but the hurt
Acts 6:11-13 – We have heard him speak blasphemous words
Acts 16:19-21 – These men exceedingly trouble city…teach customs
Acts 17:5-7 – These…do contrary to the decrees of Caesar
Acts 18:12,13 – Persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law
Acts 24:5 – Pestilent, mover of sedition, ringleader of sect
2Tim.2:8,9 – I suffer trouble as an evil doer, even unto bonds
(See also Psa.94:20)

D. Character assassination:

Lk.7:34 – Behold a gluttonous man & a wine-bibber
Jn.7:12 – Nay; but He deceiveth the people
Jn.9:24b – We know that this man (Jesus) is a sinner

E. Accusations of being “of the devil”:

Mat.10:24,25 – They called(Jesus) “Beelzebub”, how much more (us)
Mat.9:34 – He casteth out devils through the prince of devils
Mk.3:22 – He hath Beelzebub, & by the prince of the devils
Jn.8:48 – Say we not well that Thou…hast a devil?
Jn.10:20 – Many said, He hath a devil…why hear ye Him?

F. Charges of religious insanity:

Mk.3:21 – Went to lay hold on Him: Said, He is beside Himself
Jn.10:20 – He…is mad: why hear ye Him?
Acts 26:24 – Much learning [of the Scriptures] doth make thee mad

G. Persecution through fear of society’s disapproval:

Jn.9:22 – Parents feared Jews: for Jews had agreed that if any
Jn.12:42 – [Some believing] chief rulers…did not confess Him, lest they be put out of the synagogue


Jer.12:6 – Thy brethren…have called a multitude after thee
Mat.10:21 – Brother shall deliver up the brother to death
Mat.10:35,36 – A man’s foes shall be they of his own household
Mk.3:21 – Friends…went out to to lay hold on Him
Lk.12:51-53 – There shall be five in one house divided
Lk.21:16 – Ye shall be betrayed by parents, brethren, friends
Jn.7:1-5 – [Jesus' brothers taunt Him to go endanger His life]
1Thes.2:14-16 – Ye also have suffered…of your own countrymen
Mk.6:4 – Prophet is…without honour among kin, & in own house
(See also Mic.7:2; Jn.1:11.)


A. Evil plots & persecution against Jesus:

Mat.12:14 – Held council against Him, how they might destroy Him
Mat.26:3,4 – Consulted that they might take Him by subtilty & kill
Lk.4:28,29 – Led Him unto the hill…that they might cast Him down
Lk.6:11 – Filled with madness; & communed what they might do
Lk.19:47 – Chief priests & scribes…sought to destroy Him
Jn.5:16 – Therefore did Jews persecute Jesus, & sought to slay
Jn.11:57 – Given commandment, if any man knew where He were
(See also Lk.20:20)

B. Look to Jesus ‘ example of suffering persecution:

Heb.12:2-4 – Consider Him Who endured such contradiction
Isa.53:3,7,8 – Despised & rejected of men…afflicted…cut off
Jn.15:18 – The world…hated Me before it hated you
Jn.15:20 – If they have persecuted Me, they will persecute you
Heb.13:13 – Let us go forth unto Him…bearing His reproach
1Pet.2:21-23 – Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example
1Pet.4:1 – Christ suffered…arm yourselves with the same mind

C. When persecuting Christians, they persecute Jesus:

Mat.25:40 – Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these…ye have done it unto Me
Acts 9:1-5 – Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?
Zech.2:8b – He that toucheth you toucheth the apple of His eye
Acts 5:38,39 – Refrain from these men…lest ye fight against God


A. Bad examples of compromising to avoid persecution:

2Ki.5:15a, [Naaman believed in God, but to save his position &
17b,18 - life, bowed down to the pagan idol of Rimmon]
Lk.6:26 – Woe unto you, when all men speak well of you
Jn.12:42 – Rulers…did not confess Him, lest they be put out
Gal.6:12 – Lest they suffer persecution for cross of Christ

B. Fleeing from persecution (discretion, not cowardice):

Mat.10:23 – When they persecute you in this city, flee ye to
1Ki.19:2,3 – [Elijah fled from the wicked queen Jezebel]
Jer.26:20,21 – [Urijah fled from king Jehoiakim to Egypt]
Jer.36:19,26 – Go, hide thee…& let no man know where ye be
Mat.2:13,14 – Arise, & take the young child…& flee into Egypt
Mat.12:14,15a – When Jesus knew it, He withdrew Himself from thence
Jn.7:1 – He would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews
Jn.10:39,40 – They sought again to take Him: but He escaped
Jn.11:53,54 – He walked no more openly among the Jews; but went
Acts 9:23-25 – Took (Paul) by night, & let him down in a basket
Acts 14:5,6 – An assault made…they were ware of it, & fled
Acts 17:5,10 – Assaulted…brethren sent away Paul & Silas by night
Acts 17:13,14 – Jews…stirred up people…brethren sent away Paul
Acts 23:12-35 – [470 Roman soldiers helped Paul flee a conspiracy]

C. Pray to avoid persecution, if possible:

2Thes.3:1,2 – Pray…that we may be delivered from wicked men
1Tim.2:1,2 – Prayers…that we may lead a quiet & peaceable life

D. Use wisdom to avoid stirring up unnecessary persecution:

Mat.5:25 – Agree with thine adversary quickly…lest he deliver thee to the judge…& thou be cast into prison
Pro.15:1 – A soft answer turneth away wrath
Pro.16:7 – When a man’s ways please the Lord, He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him
Rom.12:18-21 – If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men…overcome evil with good


A. The Psalmist’s prayers & curses against his enemies & for the Lord to protect His people from them:

Psa.3:all; 5:8-12; 6:7-10; 7:all; 9:3-6,9,10,13-20; 10:all; 11:all; 12:all; 13:all; 17:4-15; 18:37-50; 21:7-13; 23:5; 27:1-6,11-14; 28:all; 31:all; 34:1-7; 35:all; 37:all; 38:12-22; 40:13-17; 41:5-11; 43:all; 52:all; 53:1-5; 54:all; 55:1-9,18,23; 56:all; 57:1-6; 58:all; 59:all; 62:1-8; 63:8-11; 68:1-3; 69:4,22-30; 70:all; 71:4,10-13; 82:3,4; 83:1-4,12-18; 94:1-7,16,21-23; 105:12-15; 109:all; 118:5-14; 119:84; 124:all; 125:3-5; 129:1-6; 139:19-22; 140:all; 143:3,4,9-12; 144:6-11; 149:5-9. (Other prayers: Jer.15:15a; 17:18; 18:18-23; Lam.3:59-66; Rev.6:9,10) Prayers for God to stop their evil devices: Psa.10:2; 17:13; 21:11,12; 27:2,12; 31:4; 33:10; 64:all; 70:2,3; 71:13; 119:126; 120:2.

B. God’s judgment on persecutors:

Deut.30:7 – Lord put curses on enemies which persecuted thee
2Chr.36:16 – Wrath of the Lord arose…till there was no remedy
Psa.7:11-16 – He ordaineth His arrows against the persecutors
Psa.11:2,5,6 – Upon the wicked He shall rain fire & brimstone
Psa.37:12-15,17 – The Lord shall laugh at him, for He seeth that his day is coming
Psa.105:14,15 – Touch not Mine anointed, & do My prophets no harm
Isa.54:15 – Whosoever shall gather against thee shall fall
Jer.20:2-6 – [Pashur persecuted Jeremiah, then Jeremiah prophesied God's judgments against him]
Lk.11:49-51 – Blood of prophets…be required of this generation
1Thes.2:15,16 – Forbidding us to speak…wrath is come upon them
2Thes.1:6-9 – Recompense tribulation to them that trouble you
(See also Rev.16:1-6; 18:2,4-8.)


A. Suffering persecution in last days:

Mat.24:9,10 – Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted
Mk.13:12,13 – Brother shall betray brother to death
Lk.21:12,16,17 – They shall lay their hands on you, & persecute
2Tim.3:1-3 – In the last days…despisers of them that are good

B. Persecution during the great tribulation:

Mat.24:21,22 – Then shall be great tribulation…except those days
Mk.13:19 – In those days shall be affliction, such as was not
Dan.11:33-35 – They shall fall by sword, flame, captivity, spoil… they shall be helped
Rev.12:12,13,17 – Dragon persecuted the woman (church)…war with remnant
Rev.13:7 – It was given unto him to make war with the saints
Rev.13:15 – As many as would not worship the image…killed
Rev.20:4 – Beheaded for witness…had not worshipped the beast
Deut.4:30,31 – When thou art in tribulation…in the latter days

C. Tribulation saints greatly rewarded:

Rev.7:13-17 – Came out of great tribulation…before throne of God
Rev.20:4 – Beheaded…reigned with Christ a thousand years

29. Persecution, Copyright © 1998-2012, The Family International