Sermon Recap from Yesterday Regarding Persecution
Yesterday my wife and I participated in a child dedication at church for our 9 month old. He is usually the most well behaved child, but on stage yesterday he decided that he should blow chunks all over himself and my wife. Of course, the associate pastor who was sitting in front of us could not hold back his cackling laughter! But our pastor’s discussion of persecution was the most memorable part of the service.
Towards the end of the sermon, Pastor Harrell started discussing persecution in the west. As I have discussed before, persecution is headed to the west and we are unprepared as a nation. He agreed with that sentiment and he fears that many “Christians” will scatter with the wind when the government starts coming for us.
Persecution in Acts
As I was reading this morning in Acts 3 and 4 I cam across the jailing of Peter and John. As the beginning of Chapter 4 states:
“As they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them, being greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them and put them in jail until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.” – Acts 4:1-4
On the next day facing the rulers, elders, and scribes, Peter had an interesting and amazing response to the accusers:
“When they had placed them in the center, they began to inquire, “By what power, or in what name, have you done this? “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead-by this name this man stands here before you in good health. He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders , but which became the chief corner stone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:7-12
Persecution and Imprisonment in the 21st Century
It is inevitable that we will face some type of persecution in our lifetime here in the United States. As I look at the political climate, it is foreseeable that we will face persecution. This is not necessarily due to one political party but the fulfilling of the prophecy and second coming of Christ.
As we highlighted here in Acts 3 and 4, Peter and John did not back down when they faced imprisonment. For bringing thousands to Christ and healing a lame man, Peter and John were sent to prison and were later forbidden to us the name of Jesus (since everything was being done in His Name).
It is hard telling what percentage of proclaimed Christians will face this persecution boldly.
Brought before a judge, will we proclaim His Name? Will we cower facing punishment? Friends, the reward waiting for us in Heaven is infinitely greater than any promises in this world.