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Outsiders Suffering (8 of 9)
Series: The Outsiders
INTRODUCTION: We're in a sermon series entitled ''The Outsiders.'' The premise of the series is that once upon a time in America to be a Christian was to be an ''insider'' enjoying the favor of society, culture, media and the government - but no longer. Now the church is being marginalized and it's a disadvantage to be a Christian in many ways. Today I want to talk about suffering.
Not long ago a new Christian said to me, ''Ever since I became a Christian my life has gotten better.'' My reaction to that is mixed. I'm glad that his circumstances got better but I don't want him to think that living the Christian life always goes hand in hand with better life circumstances. It doesn't. Granted, sometimes living the Christian life results in better life circumstances, for instance:
1) A Christian work ethic my help you advance in your job and make more money.
2) The Holy Spirit might empower you to give up self-destructive habits like drug and alcohol abuse.
3) Incorporating Christian love and respect in your marriage might create a more peaceful and harmonious family life.
There are lots of ways in which Christianity might improve your life circumstances.
However, Christians are still subject to all of the arbitrary suffering in life that non-Christians are such as bad economies, natural disasters, tragic accidents and fatal diseases. You know that. AND, as ''outsiders'' Christians are also subject to one additional category of suffering from which most non-Christians are exempt - and that is the suffering that comes from religious discrimination and/or persecution.
J. Paul Nyquist, is the 9th president of Moody Bible Institute and author of ''Prepare: Living Your Faith in An Increasingly Hostile Culture.'' Last week he wrote:
''The dominoes are falling, the latest being the U.S. Supreme Court's (Gay Marriage) ruling. This was not the first toppled domino ...
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