Persecuted For Righteousness

Scripture: Matthew 5:10-12

10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.




I. Claiming Persecution

Many Christians claim that they are experiencing persecution, but that may not be the case.


15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. (1 Pet 4:15-16)


The only reason we can claim genuine persecution is because of righteouness - that is the righteousness found in Jesus Christ.


10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness ... 11 ... because of me. (Mt 5:10-11)



II. Describing Persecution

A. Reviling


Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. (Mt 5:11, ESV)


  • To criticize vehemently
  • To find fault in a way that demeans and shames
  • To insult and mock viciously


39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him … 44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him. (Mt 27:39–44)


Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. (Acts 9:1)


We cannot and must not be revilers.


But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler – not even to eat with such a one. (1 Cor 5:11, ESV)


Instead, we reprove and rebuke with grace and in love.


Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. (Rev. 3:19)


B. Unrelenting


  • Being pursued or chased
  • To harass, trouble or molest.
  • To hunt down continuously and persistently


But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison. (Acts 8:3)


C. Defaming


  • Slanderous.
  • To deceive and mislead others to believe in all kinds of lies so as to put the believer into disrepute.
  • Bearing false witness, to speak untruth in order to cheat and deceive.


59 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. 60 But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward... (Mt26:59–60)


We must realize that the blessing of Christ and the cross of Christ are two sides of the same coin.

True believers of Christ will experience both the blessings of God’s open heaven, and the curses of a carnal wretched earth.



III. Rejoicing in Persecution

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Mt 5:11–12)


The Lord wants us to rejoice when we are persecuted.


A. Christ is Our Cause


18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. (Jn 15:18-20)


20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Php 1:20–21)


B. The Saints are Our Companions


1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Heb 12:1–3)


C. Heaven is Our Crown


32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. (Heb 10:32–35)




Live our lives faithful to Jesus Christ and His ways - no matter the price, no matter the sacrifice.