Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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“You can’t grow, or do anything for Christ,
as long as you persecute any child of God.”
Preacher Clark, 1972
My father, a survivor of much cruel persecution, learned much about the subject. In his 60-plus years of Spirit-filled ministry, he learned that everyone in the body of Christ either persecutes or is persecuted. There is no middle ground in spiritual warfare. And he said that God told him one day that there is one group of people that we can always be sure we are ahead of in the Spirit. That group which is always on a lower spiritual plane than ourselves is comprised of those who are persecuting us. “You only persecute those who are ahead of you,” he taught us. We may think that those we are speaking evil of are less holy than we are, but then, our thoughts are not the standard; God’s thoughts are.
If you are persecuting any child of God, you are blocking your own way to spiritual growth. They are ahead of you in Christ, and as long as you persecute them, you cannot catch up with them, much less surpass them in the Spirit! Many of God’s people justify harshness toward others by pointing out how wrong those others are. My friend, hard-heartedness is never right. You cannot justify having an unmerciful spirit toward those who are wrong. If Jesus had been that kind of person, we all would have been lost.
If you see a brother or sister doing what you think is wrong, be like Jesus, and be willing to endure whatever you need to endure in order to make them right again. And if you find yourself in the wrong, make it easy on those who are over you in the Lord by quickly confessing your fault and receiving the forgiveness they so much want to show you.