Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. – 2 Timothy 3.12
'Since we are talking about persecution,' Paul says, 'let's be clear about something. Anyone who desires to live godly in Christ will suffer persecution.'
A lot of Christians talk about various aspects and various forms of persecution today. Tragically there are many, many places where real persecution does take place today. There are Christians who are arrested, imprisoned in brutal conditions, tortured, and viciously executed simply because they profess Christ. These are the people that we are told to pray for as though we were in bonds with them.
But then there are Christians, mostly those who live in the West, who also talk about persecution. Their 'persecution' is a whole lot different. These are the folks who say it is persecution when a hotel chain stops supplying Bibles in every room. They call it persecution when a school student is forbidden to talk about Christ in a speech. They say it is an attack on faith when school sports teams cannot put Bible verses on signs and banners or Christian clubs are not allowed to meet in school facilities. I just saw where an American football was banned from put crosses on their helmets in memory of dead team mates.
That's not even real persecution, and yet there are plenty of people who yell and complain and post on Facebook about how they are persecuted like it is something unusual.
I don't know why people are so surprised. There has never been a doubt that the followers of Christ are not going to be well received. Jesus said 'if the world hates you don't be surprised - it hated me first.'
And so it starts and Paul makes it clear that it is not going to stop. Those who desire to live godly are going to going to have it tough. The world is going to be against them and some members of the visible church are going to oppose them as well.
We might as well get used to it. If we are going to follow Christ and do it regularly and consistantly we can't expect the world to jump on our side. SO we might as well quit complaining and get our to serve our Lord.