“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.” Matthew 5:10-11.
We will combine the last two of the beatitudes, since both of them deal with the suffering the remnant will undergo in the Tribulation. The Lord had told them repeatedly that they would be hated by all nations because they represented Him.
In verses 13 and 14, He tells them that they are the salt of the earth, and the light of the world. Since men hate light, and righteousness, it will be impossible for these messengers to avoid persecution. He assures them a place in the Kingdom of Heaven once it is established. This persecution began in the early Acts period, and will be taken up again once the Kingdom message is reoffered during the Tribulation period.
Not only are the Disciples the salt, and light, so the nation will be in the Millennial. Isaiah chapter 60 has 64 prophecies concerning Israel. Since we are discussing light, we will observe its use in the chapter. “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.” Isaiah 60:1. “And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” Isaiah 60:3. All nations will come to Jerusalem with offerings, and to receive the LAW! “ And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” Micah 4:2. The reader cannot help but see that the Law will still be in force in the Millennial Kingdom. If one keeps this in mind, the Sermon of the Mount will become clearer. It must be interpreted in the context of the Law.
In John’s Gospel Jesus tells the disciples that hatred and persecution awaited them. “18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. 20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.” John 15:18-21.
In spite of the suffering and rejection they would receive, they are to maintain good works, and let their light shine. The shining light will be the message of the King and the Kingdom of Heaven which will be a reality shortly. There is nothing in these chapters about the church of this dispensation.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.