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Persecutor, turned the persecuted: The unavoidable step in gospel propagation – Part 2

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Israel Akinadewo

(11) But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel, which was preached of me is not after man. (12)For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

(13)For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it.

(14)And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. (15)But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace.

(16)To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with the flesh and blood. …..

(23)But they had heard only, that he, which persecuted us in times past, now preacheth the faith, which once he destroyed. (24)And they glorified God in me.

Therefore, what this entails is that at one point or the other, we have persecuted the church, until we were saved by the grace of Jesus Christ.

That same Christ, Who turned Paul from being a persecutor to the persecuted, is the same Saviour, Who, out of grace, died for our sins, so that we will no longer be persecuting the church, but we become the persecuted, so as to spread the gospel to all corners of the world.

Why Being Persecuted?

The truth of the matter is that nobody can receive Jesus Christ, as his personal Saviour, and still remains the same – something must change and give way. Firstly, his new position will make him to detest all the things he/she once loved.

The truth of the matter is that, before accepting Christ, he/she would surely have loved the world. But accepting the Messiah will make him/her the number one enemy of the world.

Therefore, when we become enemy of the world, the world will start persecuting us.

1 John 2:15-17 says “(15)Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

(16)For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

(17)And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.”

It is, therefore, imperative for us to know that we cannot conveniently preach the gospel without being persecuted.

This is because the gospel is about the truth and the world hates carriers of truth, hence, we will be persecuted.

In addition, the persecution, as said earlier, might not be in the form of direct attack alone.

But struggling with the souls of the perishing with Satan cannot be a child play.

It requires effective prayers, fasting, living above board and taking away the spirit of covetousness from our life.

We need to know that it is that ‘small’ dirt in our life that Satan needs to show to people, and we will then lose the potency of our gospel propagation.

Meanwhile, we need to know that without passing through pains, rejection and tribulations, it might be highly difficult to successfully propagate the gospel.

Let’s take Paul the Apostle as an example. He was initially rejected by the people he once persecuted.

Understandably, the Apostles knew him as that sinner, who killed followers of Christ.

So, to now see him preaching the word was unbelievable and required caution, for it could be a trick to attack them.

Apostle Paul passed through pains. He was equally rejected, but in all honesty, these were no longer new to him and could not have stopped him from preaching the gospel, for he had passed through regeneration.

This was why he said nothing in the world could separate him from the love of Christ.

According to Romans 8:35-39 – “(35)Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

(36) As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the daylong; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

(37) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

(38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come.

(39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”.
Remain permanently under God’s banner!

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