They which are persecuted - Δεδιωγμενοι, they who are hard pressed upon and pursued with repeated acts of enmity. Parkhurst. They are happy who suffer, seems a strange saying: and that the righteous should suffer, merely because they are such, seems as strange. But such is the enmity of the human heart to every thing of God and goodness, that all those who live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution in one form or other. As the religion of Christ gives no quarter to vice, so the vicious will give no quarter to this religion, or to its professors.
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven - That spiritual kingdom, explained Matthew 3:2, and that kingdom of glory which is its counterpart and consequence.
Blessed are they which are persecuted - To persecute means literally to pursue; follow after, as one does a flying enemy. Here it means to vex, or oppress one, on account of his religion. They persecute others who injure their names, reputation, property, or who endanger or take their life, on account of their religious opinions.
For righteousness‘ sake - Because they are righteous, or are the friends of God. We are not to seek persecution. We are not to provoke it by strange sentiments or conduct; by violating the laws of civil society, or by modes of speech that are unnecessarily offensive to others. But if, in the honest effort to be Christians, and to live the life of Christians, others persecute and revile us, we are to consider this as a blessing. It is an evidence that we are the children of God, and that he will defend us. “All that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution,” 2 Timothy 3:12.
Theirs is the kingdom of heaven - They have evidence that they are Christians, and that they will be brought to heaven.
Those who live during the last days of this earth's history will know what it means to be persecuted for the truth's sake. In the courts injustice will prevail. The judges will refuse to listen to the reasons of those who are loyal to the commandments of God, because they know that arguments in favor of the fourth commandment are unanswerable. They will say, “We have a law, and by our law he ought to die.” God's law is nothing to them. “Our law” with them is supreme. Those who respect this human law will be favored, but those who will not bow to the idol sabbath will have no favors shown them. Mar 195.4Read in context »
“Or persecution?”—No; “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for their's is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:10.... “Or famine?”—No, for we have God's promise,... “In famine he shall redeem thee from death.” Job 5:20. “... In the days of famine they shall be satisfied.” Psalm 37:19. In fleeing unto Jesus we shall be fully satisfied. “Or nakedness?”—Hear the voice of Jesus saying, “Buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear.” Revelation 3:18.... “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment.” Revelation 3:5.... OHC 320.3Read in context »
What will the human agent do to have the privilege of cooperating with God? Will he forsake all that he has rather than forsake Christ? ... Will he suffer persecution for the truth's sake? Reproach and persecution have separated many souls from heaven, but never a soul from the love of Christ. Never yet did persecution drive the soul who was indeed a lover of Jesus Christ away from Him. The love of Jesus in the soul is all-absorbing, for that great love wherewith God hath loved us, revealed in giving Christ to us, is beyond a parallel. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son.” ... TMK 275.2Read in context »
Work for Others Lessens Grief—The apostle lost sight of his own approaching sufferings in his solicitude for those whom he was about to leave to cope with prejudice, hatred, and persecution. The few Christians who accompanied him to the place of execution, he endeavored to strengthen and encourage by repeating the promises given for those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake. He assured them that nothing would fail of all that the Lord had spoken concerning His tried and faithful children. 2MCP 463.4Read in context »