2 Timothy 3:12
Yes, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
The greater part of our sufferings are not distinguishable from the common afflictions of life; and many of the trials that some foolish professors frequently charge on religion, religion would teach them to avoid, if its admonitions were regarded. But, on the other hand, it must be allowed —
1. That human nature is essentially the same in every age; and that a tiger may be chained and not changed. Under every form of government "the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked." And where there is a strong active propensity against anything (as, in this case, there must be against real godliness), it will show itself as opportunity offers; and such opportunity there must be in a world like this.
2. That persecution admits of various degrees. It includes every kind of injury or vexation, from a fiery stake to a scornful sneer. How often has genuine religion produced the loss of friendship, or chilled the warmth of attachment into cold civility! Where power is possessed, it is frequently exerted as far as safety or a regard to appearances will allow. This is seen in the attempts of husbands, parents, and masters, to restrain from following their religious convictions their wives, their children, and their servants. With regard to relations, a Christian will sometimes find a greater trim in their affections than in their frowns. Here is a mother, in all other respects tender and kind; she takes her daughter aside, and weeps to think she should favour a doctrine "everywhere spoken against."
3. If modern Christians frequently escape persecution, may it not be asked whether, in many instances, it does not arise from their less fully exemplifying the spirit of their religion than the primitive Christians did?
(1) The one is concealment. This is dastardly and mean. We should never be drawn out of a corner by the praise of man, nor be driven into a corner by the fear of man.
(2) The other is accommodation. And it is awful to think how one doctrine and usage after another has been given up! Christianity, says one, will never be received by Jews and Mahometans, while you "honour the Son as you honour the Father." It will never be acceptable, says another, to men of taste and learning, till you abandon the barbarous notion of the atonement and of original sin. Now, upon this plan, what would be left after all the objectors were satisfied? Christianity allows of no alteration. It needs none. The change required therefore is, where it ought to be in the world.
Parallel VersesKJV: Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.