When Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,” he was speaking of more than being persecuted in innocence. Jesus here is also speaking about those who have rejected the unrighteousness of the world and embraced the principles of the Kingdom. Those who lived for the city of God rather than for the wickedness exemplified throughout the city of man. Jesus said, “theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10). Matthew alone uses this phrase, but the expressions “kingdom of heaven” and “kingdom of God” are interchangeable. As when Matthew uses both phrases synonymously in Matthew 19: “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again, I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Also, let me say this about persecution. Jesus actually tells us to rejoice and be glad in the midst of it. Why? For great is your reward in heaven. Furthermore, if you are not salt, you are not a follower of Christ. If you are not salt, then the moral corruption of the world will continue unabated. Christ’s admonition therefore is not theoretical. It is extremely practical. All we need do is look at the collapse of Western civilization. The saltlessness of the Christian subculture creates more unbelief and chaos than all the books and ruminations of infidels and skeptics combined.

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