Facing Persecution

CGG Weekly by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

How does Jesus Christ expect us to face persecution? The Scripture show how Jesus, the apostles, and the prophets approached the persecutions they endured.


Persecution Edges Closer

Commentary by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh informs us that the Christian religion (both nominal and actual) is the most persecuted religion on the face of the earth. Heretofore, Christians in Gentile nations have received the brunt of the persecutions, whereas Christians in Israelite nations have been spared—until now—as secular progressive …


The Beatitudes, Part 8: Blessed Are the Persecuted

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

Persecution is a fact of life for a Christian. Jesus Christ says we are blessed if we are persecuted for righteousness' sake — here's why.


Persecution

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Richard Ritenbaugh acknowledges that although many in God's church have gone through sore trials and tests of sorts, virtually no one has gone through the nightmarish persecutions suffered by the early Christians in Imperial Rome. Because most of us have lived our lives in modern Israel rather than a Gentile culture, we have …


Persecution, Israelitish Style

Commentary by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, focusing on "Persecution: Israelitish Style," suggests that the kind of persecution practiced in Israelitish nations is more psychological than physical, but just as brutal in its own way. Candidates at the 2012 Democratic National Convention audibly "booed" God out of the platform. When …


A Pattern of Persecution

CGG Weekly by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Just as the child of the flesh persecuted the child of promise, the spiritual children of God can expect persecution from those living according to the flesh.


Facing Times of Stress: Persecution

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Persecution involves a wide spectrum, ranging from torture, physical beating, social excommunication, imprisonment and death. Our boldness should match Paul's.


Persecution From the Nones?

Commentary by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh reflects on the Handwriting on the Wall message he delivered last year in which he reported increased persecution of Christians in most non-Israelite countries. From 1950 to the present, the secular progressives called the Nones have risen from 3% to 20% of the population. This group, largely consisting of baby …


Eroding Religious Freedom

'Prophecy Watch' by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Freedom of religion in America is being slowly eroded rather than removed en masse. Richard Ritenbaugh presents several examples, then shows how the Bible encourages us in such times.


Prudence

Sermonette by Ronny H. Graham

Ronny Graham, citing statistics from the non-profit organization Open Doors, asserts that persecution against Christians is rampant and dramatic, escalating in many parts of the world in which professing Christians suffer governmental harassment, torture, and death. In North Korea, owning a Bible is a capital offence, bringing …


The Fifth Seal (Part Two)

'Prophecy Watch' by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Persecution and martyrdom are not popular topics among Christians, but they are facts. The fifth seal shows the cry of the martyrs and God's response.


A Government to Fear (Part One)

Commentary by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on a recent lawsuit against a woman photographer for refusing to provide services for a same-sex couple, describes an ominous phenomenon gripping American culture—the imposition of government control over the way we think and act in the name of tolerance and multi-culturalism. God's Law is …


A Look at Christian Suffering (Part Two)

CGG Weekly by David C. Grabbe

Even suffering that may not be as a direct result of our faith is part of the trials of this age. It will bear positive fruit if it is approached in faith.


Endurance

Sermonette by Ronny H. Graham

As we approach the time of Christ's return, persecution will become increasingly intense, coming from places we least expect it. We must learn endurance.


The Handwriting Is On the Wall (2011)

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, continuing the traditional opening night Feast of Tabernacles "Handwriting on the Wall" message, focuses on the plaintive Psalm 94 in which the psalmist despairs of the crescendo of wicked men and institutions causing the righteous to move "underground" for safety purposes. The church is …


The Seven Churches: Smyrna

Bible Study by Staff

The letter to Smyrna contains a rarity among the seven churches—no criticism! What's so good about the Smyrnans?


Why Hebrews Was Written (Part Four)

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

We often spend so much time engaged in our present-day trials that we fail to understand and learn from the experiences of Christians of the past.


Hebrews: A Message for Today

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

The book of Hebrews provides reasons to recapture flagging zeal, focusing on the reason for our hope and faith, establishing Christ's credentials.


Are You Bearing Your Cross?

'Ready Answer' by Staff

How do we, as modern Christians, bear our cross as Jesus commands? Christ meant far more than simply carrying a stake over our shoulders!


Fearing God's Worthiness

CGG Weekly by Levi W. Graham

Realizing God's willingness to help and knowing His worthiness begin to build in us the vital components of genuine, sincere worship.


Smyrna: Faithful Until Death

'Prophecy Watch' by David C. Grabbe

The biblical city of Smyrna may be one that many know the least about. The city's name reveals the themes that the Head of the church wants us to understand.


Matthew (Part 6)

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh


Psalms: Book Two (Part Four)

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Richard Ritenbaugh, focuses again on Book Two, aligned with Exodus, Ruth, and Pentecost, emphasizing the wave loaves made of beaten down flour with leavening and baked with intense heat—loaves which symbolize us and our preparation for the Kingdom of God. Eight of the psalms of Book Two were not written by David, but by …


Where Is Your Ultimate Allegiance?

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, reminding us that we, as followers of Christ, may suffer persecution, provides encouragement by reminding us we are promised boldness through the power of the Holy Spirit, making it unnecessary to prepare a response against the persecutors. When the laws of God conflict with the laws of man, civil disobedience is …


Knowing Christ (Part 1)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

When we mortify the flesh, refusing to feed the hungry beast of our carnal nature, we suffer. Suffering for righteousness' sake helps us to know Christ.


A Search for Identity

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

God gave His approval for the destruction of the Worldwide Church of God into numerous groups, allowing heresies so He could see who really loves Him.


Facing Times of Stress: Grieved by Various Trials

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, describing different reactions of certain substances to fire, uses this variation of reaction as a metaphor of our differing reactions to fiery trials. As Christians, we can be conditioned to rejoice in trials, paradoxically having joy in the midst of grief and heaviness. Trials come in great variety, from …


Why Hebrews Was Written (Part Three)

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

Hebrews was written to fulfill several needs of the first-century church. One of the most critical was to explain God's opening of eternal life to the Gentiles.


Are You Worthy of Your Calling?

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins discusses the apostle Paul's epistle to the Thessalonians, a group of dispirited, despairing Christians who had been bombarded by false teachings that the Day of the Lord had already come, prompting many to quit their employment, rest on their laurels, and become busy-bodies, as well as leading the leaders to …


Faith to Face Our Trials

'Ready Answer' by Pat Higgins

Life seems to be one trial after another. However, God has revealed an astounding facet of God's love that should give us the faith to soldier on.


Suffering Disgrace For Christ's Name

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, asking why Christians must endure such horrendous persecution and struggle, asserts that Paul warned in Acts 5 that the church would always be in danger of deception from within and opposition from without. "Opposition from without" in Peter's time came from the evil oppression incited by the Pharisees …


The Fruit of the Spirit: Patience

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

Biblically, patience is far more than simple endurance or longsuffering. The patience that God has shown man gives us an example of what true, godly patience is.


Lest We Forget

Commentary by Mark Schindler

Mark Schindler, focuses upon the Separatists who fled to Leyden in 1609, to escape persecution from the Anglican Church, which although broke away politically from the Roman Catholic Church, nevertheless retained some of the customs and teachings of Catholicism which the Pilgrims found repulsive. In order to preserve their …


Why Is Life So Hard? (Part One)

CGG Weekly by David C. Grabbe

Entrance into the Kingdom of God will not happen without many tribulations (Acts 14:22). We may need to adjust our expectations of what discipleship entails.


Why is Life So Hard?

Sermonette by David C. Grabbe

David Grabbe, assessing the impact of struggles, pressures, and tribulations of our spiritual journey, reveals that Christ's followers will have to endure afflictions and fiery trials as He prepares them for His Kingdom. Some detractors have tried to preach that "godliness is a means of gain," implying that if we were …


Everything Is Upside Down

Commentary by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, commenting upon the phenomenon of dystopian novels (the antithesis of Utopian novels), suggests that we have crossed the border into the dystopian society, a society in which the Creator is disrespected, booed out of the convention of a major political party, a society in which Satan's standards (abortion, …


Joy: What Is It?

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Richard Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the difficulties in translation from Greek and Hebrew to English, as well as comprehending spiritual truths with a fleshly mind, maintains that it is only through God's Holy Spirit we can comprehend those truths at all. Even with God's Holy Spirit, we have difficulty. Our minds are too finite, …


The Father-Son Relationship (Part Six)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

The Father and the Son are two distinct beings, not co-equal as the trinity doctrine proclaims, but with the Son deferring to the Father in all things.


Avoiding Spiritual Burnout

Sermon by John O. Reid (1930-2016)

John Reid, drawing on an example of an exhausted military medic, explores the problem of burnout with the attending symptoms of collapse, callousness, and giving up. The inability of solving mounting cultural and social problems despite advances in technology puts a strain on anyone who cares about the consequences, especially …


Letters to Seven Churches (Part Three): Smyrna

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Christ prepared the members of Smyrna for martyrdom, promising them eternal glory for enduring a relatively short time, looking at things from a hopeful perspective.