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The Cross & The Crown
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Keep Your Eyes On Jesus & The Crown
HEBREWS 12:1-3; 1 PETER 4:1-19; REVELATION 7:9-17
In HEBREWS 12:1-3 the writer reminds his readers to keep their eyes on Jesus - the author and finisher of our faith - and on the crown awaiting those who belong to him so that you do not grow weary and lose heart.
Persecution and suffering can make you weary and want to give up and give in. The only way we will survive is to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and the cross and seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit's enabling grace and power each day.
In 1 PETER 4:1-19 Peter reminds his readers not to be surprised by persecution but to expect it as part of the normal Christian life. Why? Because it shows we are sharing with Christ in his suffering and so we can be equally sure of sharing in the joy awaiting us in heaven.
The History of Christian Persecution
Throughout the history of the Church hundreds of thousands of Christians have died, and are still dying, for obeying Christ rather than the dictates of men. Many have suffered martyrs' deaths rather than swear allegiance to a political or religious doctrine that required them to renounce sole allegiance to Jesus Christ as LORD and Saviour. Sadly, many have died at the hands of those who professed themselves to be followers of Christ. In each case they died because they saw beyond the pain and suffering to the joy of life with Christ in heaven. For a list and biographies of famous Christian martyrs click on the links here FOXE'S BOOK OF CHRISTIAN MARTYRS and SOME FAMOUS CHRISTIAN MARTYRS.
• He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he
cannot lose ~ Jim Elliot, martyred in Ecquador [Watch the video END OF THE SPEAR}
• Be of good cheer, Master Ridley, and play the man. We shall this day,
by God's grace, light up such a candle in England, as I trust, will never
be put out ~ Archbishop Hugh Latimer, burned at the stake during the