This morning, IFCA Board President Earl Brubaker traced through the Book of Acts, the development of persecution as it incrementally increased from “ridicule” on the day of Pentecost to threats of physical violence, to actual physical attacks, imprisonment and death. The progressive intensity in the persecution of the Church was triggered by the refusal of the apostles and early believers to simply “be quiet” and not preach the Gospel. That was essentially what the religious leaders of Israel wanted in Acts 3 when they “further threatened them and let them go.”
The apostle Paul told Timothy that “all who live godly will suffer persecution”. The kind of persecution that Paul was talking about is much more serious than what we often think of when we talk about the persecution of believers in this country today … resistance which usually amounts to mere inconvenience when compared to what the church suffered in the first century, and even what the church suffers in parts of our world today.
Could it be that the reason we do not experience such persecution is because we don’t do a very good job of proclaiming the Gospel? Are we not having a noticeable impact on the world around us that catches the attention of the enemies of Christ and stirs up their resistance? What do YOU think?