Blessed Are You When Men Revile You

Revelation 11

For three and a half days the people of every nation, tribe, language, and race will stare at the bodies of these two witnesses and refuse to let them be buried. 10 Everyone on earth will celebrate and be happy. They will give gifts to each other, because of what happened to the two prophets who caused them so much trouble. 11 But three and a half days later, God will breathe life into their bodies. They will stand up, and everyone who sees them will be terrified.

Richard: Here, it appears that the enemy is winning. But then the “dead” witnesses” revive.

Psalm 17

I am innocent, Lord,
    and I will see your face!
    When I awake, all I want
    is to see you as you are.

Christianity

Christianity is Father Moon’s own religious heritage; hence he has more to say about it than any other religion. His main teachings concern the essence of the Christianity—its core tradition, the unity of the church, and Christianity’s mission to the world.
Following Christ’s example, the core tradition of Christianity is love and sacrifice. The Christian is not reluctant or afraid to take up his cross and suffer for the sake of God’s will, as Jesus did. Therefore, Christianity is not an easy or comfortable religion, but one that demands commitment, courage and conviction. Christian love is the second essential core tradition. Jesus taught his followers to love their enemies and forgive those who hurt them. The fellowship of Christians who practice the love of Christ is a beautiful thing.
However, because this love is practiced only imperfectly, and often does not extend to believers of other churches, the problem of disunity has plagued Christianity since its early days. placing doctrinal purity and denominational self-interest ahead of Christian love, churches have quarreled and persecuted one another, causing great damage to Christianity as a whole. Father Moon has dedicated himself to restoring church unity through the practice of reconciling love and a clarification of essential Christian truth.
Christianity has a worldwide mission, to save all humankind. For Father Moon, this is not only a matter of preaching the Gospel and converting the heathen. In today’s world of many religions, democratic values and the ethics of love and charity are Christianity’s contributions to elevating the level of all civilizations around the globe. Ultimately, the mission of the church is to prepare the way for God’s universal Kingdom on earth, based upon these values, which will be established when Christ returns.
The section concludes with a glimpse at Christian history, which can be viewed as a record of the church’s successes and failures in fulfilling its mission. It is a history that is mostly found wanting. The church has consistently failed when it has lived by the secular values of power, wealth and worldly authority. It has made progress when it returns to Christ’s tradition of sacrifice and the search for true freedom of faith. in the course of this history, God has attempted to establish a sovereign Christian civilization—first in the Middle ages through roman Catholicism, and today through Protestantism centered on the united states of America. Medieval civilization perished when the Vatican’s leaders were more intent to pursue power and worldly glory than to live by Jesus’ core tradition of love and sacrifice. America, as the current representative Christian nation with a calling to lead the world into the Kingdom, faces the same test.

1. The Core Traditions of Christianity: Love and Sacrifice

Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
    Luke 14.27
 
Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5.11-12
 
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.
    Romans 5.3-5
 
The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.
    Tertullian, Apology
 
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And fear came upon every soul; and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common; and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they partook of food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
    Acts 2.42-47
 
Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God; for God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No man has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
    1 John 4.7-12
 
Love most of all brands us with a mark of blame in the eyes of some. “Look,” [the pagans] say, “how [these Christians] love one another”—for they themselves hate one another—“and how they are ready to die for one another”—for they themselves are readier to kill one another.
    Tertullian, Apology
 
 

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