It seems like more often than before that the Church and Christians are being persecuted for their beliefs. We see the enemy rising up through people and politics to quiet our proclaiming of Christ and his Word. Take for example the City of Houston requesting that churches turn over their sermon notes that taught against homosexuality or gender identity. Why such a request you might ask? The first openly gay Mayor obviously felt convicted because her lifestyle did not align with the Word of God. I suppose she thinks that if she can remove the preaching against homosexuality and gender confusion then her conscience is cleared, however, the Bible says;
Matthew 24:35 King James Version (KJV)
35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Can I get an Amen in this house?! Hallelujah to the Most High! His Words will never ever pass away no matter how hard the world tries to get rid of God, they will fail.
I am not going to speak in a condemning way in regards to the lifestyle of homosexuality or gender confusion, I would rather be tender-hearted towards them. Being hateful is not going to help anyone or lead them closer to God, but love covers a multitude of sin. (1 Peter 4:8) Plus the reality is that sin is sin, and God is no respecter of persons. The Word of God is in black and white and he hates all sin and unrighteousness.
Today I was led to read the Book of Acts, which entails the baptism of the Holy Spirit in the upper room, spreading the gospel through the power of the Holy Spirit, signs and wonders, and the persecution of Christians. I will be talking about the persecution of believers and how we need to stand firm in adversity.
In Acts chapter 3, we have the story of Peter and John heading to the temple and at the gate called Beautiful they cross paths with a lame man. The lame man lays at the gate asking for alms (charity)from all those who come to worship, but on this special day he received more than that. As he fixed his eyes on Peter and John, they said “look at us”, so the lame man fixed his eyes on them, and they continued, “silver and gold I do not have but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” The lame man took them by the hand and raised up and immediately, his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he leaped up, stood and walked into the temple with them. All those around them saw the miraculous had been done in Jesus’ name and were amazed. (Acts 3:1-10)
So of course the devil can’t stand that God and his son Jesus get all the glory, so he plots. The story of the lame man being healed had spread like wild fire throughout the city and the Sadducees sent his men to arrest Peter and John for preaching the gospel of Jesus. The next day Peter and John were in presence of authority being questioned as to what power and in what name do they perform these miracles, and they replied that they did these things in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth whom they crucified but raised from the dead. (Acts 4:7-10)
The authorities spoke among themselves and asked “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 does not spread any further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name.” (Acts 4:16-17)
‘But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than God, you judge”. “For we cannot but speak of the things which we have seen and heard”. (Acts 4:19-20)
Just as today’s society, we have slanderers of Christianity who are refusing to gain access to the Father through his Son. Just as the Sanhedrin, the high priest and others, people cannot deny the signs and wonders that are occurring in the name of Jesus. Instead of submitting to the supremacy of our Almighty God, they silence the truth. I am calling all my brothers and sisters in Christ to not give way to the enemy and hide your Faith- Stand Firm and see the salvation of the Lord!
Dear Lord, I thank you for your Holy Spirit that lives within all your believers and I pray that they are consumed with your fire to go out and share the gospel in boldness and without regret. We thank you that our reward is in heaven and that all the persecution here on earth is not in vain. I pray for the heart of every man, that it will be softened to receive your Word which is the truth and live a Holy and pleasing life, In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.