Do exploits, amidst persecutions – Part 2
However, the mentioning in verse 23 that – But when they persecute you in this city; flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come – was to inform us that there are still several places to spread the gospel of Christ, and that we would not have been able to cover all places before the second coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Therefore, any Christian, who reduces his gospel propagation as a result of persecution, has not really understood what Christianity is all about. From the time of Jesus Christ, to the Apostolic Age and other successive centuries, gospel preachers have been persecuted, yet those who persisted did a lot of exploits. For Christians to be able to do exploits on the path to eternal glory, they must understand the sacrifice Jesus Christ made, as well as for them to be prepared to face oppressions from the world. Indeed, Christianity thrives more at the time of persecution. We can look at the tenacity of Abraham’s children, Isaac and Jacob, who faced tribulations from their neighbours, who had been their enemies since the time of their patriarchs, yet their spirit was still very high, in holding on to the Covenant of God to their generations.
Biblical Stephen’s Example
Stephen, whom the Bible recorded that he was full of faith and power, who equally did wonders and miracles (Acts 6:8), was a good example of how not to be fainthearted in preaching the gospel of Christ. Despite animosities against him, he subdued his accusers and persecutors, with heavenly wisdom, to the extent that he cared less about what could happen to his body. To him, it was a great honour to die for Christ and amidst persecutions he did exploits. The lecture that Stephen gave to his persecutors, even when his life was at stake, was so boldly delivered to belittle and undermine the effect of the evil they planned and inflicted on him. To Stephen, his being persecuted for preaching the Word of God and for taking the evil people through historical actions of God against the heathens was a moment of happiness. To him, it was better to die in Christ than to die without spreading the gospel.
Stephen’s boldness and unwavering determination to preach the Word reached a boiling point, as he told his accusers, who they were – (Acts: 51) Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost, as your fathers did, so do ye. (52) Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers. Stephen was just sending direct message to these unbelievers and enemies of the gospel, that “the more I am being persecuted, the more I will continue to preach the gospel.” This is what is expected of all believers – Do exploits, when persecuted.
To work effectively for God, we must see every persecution, every attack, every intimidation and every oppression, as unavoidable necessity to win souls. If Moses, who thought he was helping his fellow Jews, could be castigated the following day by the same people that he thought he wanted to help (Exodus 2); if Paul and Silas could endure imprisonment and did many exploits (Acts 16:16-40); and if Daniel could be thrown into lions’ den and still proclaimed God’s supremacy over gods of the world (Daniel 6), we also cannot be stopped by any persecution from having our names in the book of life, in as much as we evangelise in spirit and in truth.
May Jehovah God never give room for Satan to take us away from His presence in Jesus name.
Remain permanently under God’s banner!
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