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If a believer doesn’t suffer much, could it mean he really doesn’t belong to Christ?

Suffering is not in itself a proof of one’s salvation. There are many who have suffered for their religious beliefs, but who were not true believers in Christ. There are many factors that affect whether one suffers and how much. Christ was speaking about suffering by persecution because of one’s relationship to Him. I don’t know where you live, but if you live in the U.S., Christians often do not suffer for their faith because this has been a Christian nation, one that was founded on Christian principles. However, that is being drastically changed and as Christians take a stand—if they will—they will be persecuted to some degree. The apostle Paul summarized it this way. He said, “They that will live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” But even this depends on the society where one lives and on the degree by which one demonstrates his or her faith.

I knew an Air Force sergeant who was a Christian and this guy ended up suffering for his faith, but only because of the obnoxious way he tried to witness. He would corner some of the men under his authority on the flight line and force them to listen to the gospel. That was stupid. He was suffering for his foolishness, not for his faith, yet he thought he was suffering for Jesus.

Believers need to be concerned about living godly lives and about knowing what they believe and why. We need to be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us. When we do that, we may just suffer for our faith.

Related Topics: Assurance, Suffering, Trials, Persecution

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