Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Persecute And Kill You (LS57)

           'Last Sermon of Jesus'

John 16:2 "They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service."
    At Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples of Jesus and also upon the devout Jews from afar, who came to Jerusalem to worship Yahweh. Three thousand souls believed in Jesus Christ, and they were baptized after having understood gospel.
Act 2:1-2,40-41 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting... And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation." Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.

Act 2:43,46-46 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles... So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
    As the disciples and new converts gathered daily in the temple, more and more were added into the kingdom of Jesus. This brought fear to the priesthood and they planned to stop this new religion by forbidding everyone to speak or use 'the Name of Jesus',
Act 4:16-17 saying, "What shall we  do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name."

Act 6:13-14 They also set up false witnesses who said, "This man does not cease to speak blasphemous words against this holy place and the law; for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs which Moses delivered to us."
    The Jews believed the lies of the wicked priesthood and thought that the believers were all blasphemers who must be killed. This prophecy was fulfilled with the great persecution of Christians in Jerusalem resulting in the killing of Stephen. The bloodshed forced believers to flee Jerusalem which indirectly brought the gospel to Judea and Samaria. Though the believers were hated, persecuted, tortured and even martyred, they counted it a privilege to be partakers in His sufferings.
Act 8:1b-3 At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.

Brethren, we too can potentially be persecuted or executed for our faith in Jesus and His words. The heinous act can be inflicted by the heathens but also by our covetous, worldly, carnal and depraved pastors and church leaders. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father's, and of the holy angels."    (Luke 9:25-26)