Matthew 5:3-12 lists eight Beatitudes that were spoken of by Jesus. Verses 10-12 all talk about Persecution. Jesus said, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” but he does not stop there. He actually personalizes this beatitude, by saying “Blessed are YOU, when men revile and persecute you falsely, for my [Name] sake”, and encourages those being persecuted from being not just glad, but exceedingly glad, for great is their reward in heaven. (Matthew 5:10-12).
To be blessed, one must have the attitude of being exceedingly glad when persecuted for bearing the name of Jesus.
What does it mean to be persecuted? What does “for theirs (who are persecuted) in the kingdom of heaven” mean? According to the Bible, those who are godly in Christ Jesus can be assured of suffering persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). This implies that persecution is an attribute of living a godly life in Jesus Christ. Godly life is different from a good life. There are many who can live a good life and yet not have accepted Jesus Christ as the God of their life, but to be godly IN Christ JESUS means that Jesus is Lord over their life. The godliness comes from God (Jesus Christ) in us, and this means that they they cannot partake of the pleasures of this present world. In other words, the godly in Christ (the persecuted) are sanctified and set apart from the patterns of this world, and they conform to the patterns of the kingdom of heaven (Philippians 3:20).
So you can say, blessed are they/you who are godly in Jesus Christ, for their citizenship is of heaven and not of this world.
Matthew 5:10-12 (KJV)
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
2 Timothy 3:12 (KJV)
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.