On today’s Bible Answer Man broadcast (04/09/21), Hank adds to what he said in the previous broadcast with respect to persecution. When Jesus said blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, he was speaking of more than being persecuted in innocence. That’s certainly part of it, but Jesus is also speaking about those who have rejected the unrighteousness of the world and embraced the principles of the kingdom. Thus, those persecuted for the sake of righteousness are blessed because they have received the grace and the glory commensurate with the rule of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. These are those who thereby participate in the kingdom of heaven. Instead of grieving and lamenting persecution, Jesus tells His disciples to rejoice and exult in persecution.
Moving past the beatitudes, Jesus goes on to say, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot” (Matthew 5:13 NIV). If you are not salt, you are not a follower of Christ. Moreover, if you are not salt, then the moral corruption of the world will continue unabated. All we need do is look at the collapse of Western civilization. Western governments mandated by God to ennoble life, promote justice, and restrain sin are instead leading the charge toward social chaos. Even toward the eradication of the gender distinctions ordained by God from the inception of human civilization. And yet the most colossal failures belong to the church itself. We are not only losing our kids but our evangelism efforts are not keeping pace with population growth. If truth matters, and it most surely does, the church must take the task of Christian education seriously. We must equip our children and theirs to always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have.