Lots of people think they like the writings of the Apostle Paul. They mainly think they like them because they haven’t read them much.
Most of the time, when people read Paul, they only hear the bits they want to hear and tend to justify their way out of everything else he said. Here’s a classic example:
“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
Not many fans of Paul take this verse at face value. It’s a verse of absolutes. The word “all” means “all.” All who live godly shall. “Shall” is another word for “will.” There is no equivocating in this verse.
If you live godly you will suffer persecution.
Paul knows this because this is Paul’s experience as well as what the Spirit revealed to him. Acts 9 covers Paul’s conversion and one of the things revealed to Paul at this time was “shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.”
Fans of Paul will say, “Well, yeah, Paul had to suffer, he was an apostle and the Jews hated him. Doesn’t mean I’ll suffer.” Except that Paul said all who live godly will suffer persecution.
The common “refutation” of this verse is “well, I’ve never suffered any persecution so this can’t be true.” Yeah. Or it might be true and you may have just admitted something.
It’s always important to not let our experience dictate what Scripture means. It means what it says and if it’s not true for you, the conclusion you should reach is not “the Bible must be wrong here,” but rather “I must not be living a godly life.”
Do we have a desire to know Christ as Paul did? Do we desire to know the “fellowship of His sufferings” or do we not really want to know Christ? If you know Him you will act like Him and be treated like Him.