Romans 8:35-39 ESV
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
“’For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Who is this addressing? Who is the “us” here? It is not everyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ. It is all who are walking not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. It is those who are living according to the Spirit whose minds are set on the things of the Spirit. It is those who submit to God’s perfect law, the gospel, who are living lives pleasing to God. And it is those who, by the Spirit, are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, and who are being led by the Spirit of God. We are the children of God.
[Rom 8:1-17; Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24; Tit 2:11-14; Lu 9:23-26]
No one, no other human can separate us from the love of Christ. No matter how mean, cruel, hateful, spiteful, bitter, jealous, or resentful others may be against us, they cannot separate us from the love of Christ. They may be able to separate us from other humans by their lies and their slander and their cutting remarks and false accusations, but we can still count on the love of God to carry us through it all. God’s love will remain even when human “love” may fail us and desert us, because it was not true love.
Also, no amount of tribulation, distress, persecution, natural disasters, hardship, lack of resources, danger, or enemies coming against us fiercely to attack us and to destroy us will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord. And please know that when we go through these times of hardship, and these kinds of persecutions, that God has not abandoned us. He said this is what we should expect if we are to be his followers, for we will be treated as he was.
In all these things, we are to be more than conquerors through Jesus Christ, God the Son, who loves us and who gave his life up for us on that cross that we might be delivered from our slavery to sin and now walk in freedom from those chains which once bound us. And if we are truly following Jesus with our lives, we are already conquerors over addiction to sin. And as we daily walk by faith and not by sight, we are conquering the enemy of our souls who comes against us regularly to try to distract us or to frighten us in order to try to tempt us to not follow Jesus with our lives.
But Satan is going to use other humans to try to hurt us and to discourage and to dishearten us or to make us afraid. And these other humans could be our spouses or our children or our grandchildren or our siblings or other relatives, or they could be our neighbors, or friends, or they could be others who profess faith in Jesus Christ, including pastors and elders and other church leaders. And the closer we are to people the greater chance of them hurting us and injuring our spirits.
So, for us to be more than conquerors through Christ who loves us, we must turn everything in our lives over to Jesus daily and with each new challenge that presents itself to us. We need to give them all to Jesus, and he will turn our sorrows into joys. We just have to trust in the sovereignty of God over our lives, believing that God allows what he allows in our lives for a purpose, and that he will carry us through it all, and that he will teach us what we need to learn, and that through it all he will grow us to maturity in him.
We must be mentally, emotionally, and spiritually prepared to have the whole world turn against us because we follow Jesus with our lives and because we do all that he commands us to do, and because we hold fast to the truth of the gospel, and we do not compromise with the world and with the worldly church. We have to be determined that we will stand even if it means standing alone and having everyone throwing rocks at us to put us to death, like they did Stephen.
For, it is a hard road to travel when you stand on the truth of the gospel and you do not compromise and you do not waver when so many people who call themselves Christians are compromising and they are wavering, and so many of them are the ones persecuting you and attacking you because you stand on the truth and because you question and you examine what you hear against the Scriptures and then you expose the lies and proclaim the truth in opposition to the lies.
So, get ready. Severe persecution is not that far off for American Christians who are holding fast to the testimony of Jesus and who are not denying him.
An Original Work / June 19, 2013
Based off Acts 20-22, 26; Mt. 28:18-20; Ac. 1:8
Why are you weeping and breaking my heart?
I’m fully ready to suffer for Christ.
If I must die for the sake of His name,
I am convinced it will not be in vain.
Glory to God and to His Son Jesus,
Who has redeemed us; bought with His blood.
May I speak to you? Jesus came to me;
Asked of me, “Why do you persecute me?”
He said, “Now get up and stand on your feet.
Go, and you’ll be told all I have for you.
I have appointed you as a servant,
And as a witness; you have been sent.”
“Go into the world and preach the gospel.
Open the blind eyes. They will receive sight.
Turn them from darkness to the light of Christ;
From power of the evil one to God,
So they may receive forgiveness of sins,
And a place among those who’re in heav’n.”