We are focusing in this message on the need to prepare for suffering. The reason for this is not just my sense that the days are evil and the path of righteousness costly, but the promise of the Bible that God’s people will suffer.

For example, Acts 14:22 says that Paul told all his young churches, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom.” And Jesus said, “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you” (John 15:20). And Peter said, “Do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you” (1 Peter 4:12). In other words it is not strange; it is to be expected. And Paul said (in 2 Timothy 3:12), “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”

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