Sermon Illustrations

John R. Scott gives a modern example of one who suffered for the gospel observing that…

"Few men of this century have understood better the inevitability of suffering than Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He seems never to have wavered in his Christian antagonism to the Nazi regime, although it meant for him imprisonment, the threat of torture, danger to his own family, and finally death. He was executed by direct order of Heinrich Himmler in April 1945, in the Flossenburg concentration camp, only a few days before it was liberated. It was the fulfillment of what he had always believed and taught: "Suffering, then, is the badge of true discipleship.

The disciple is not above his master. Following Christ means 'passio passiva', suffering because we have to suffer. That is why Luther reckoned suffering among the marks of the true church, and one of the memoranda drawn up in preparation for the Augsburg Confession similarly defines the Church as the community of those "who are persecuted and martyred for the gospel's sake". Discipleship means allegiance to the suffering Christ, and it is therefore not at all surprising that Christians should be called upon to suffer." (John R. Scott, Christian Counter Culture)

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