The Conquest: Standing Firm in Battle

“So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness…”

Acts 26:15-16

Ponder This

Webster’s defines persecution as “hostility or ill-treatment, especially because of race or political or religious beliefs.” In the case of Christian persecution, this hostility is aimed at the Lord Jesus Christ. Have you ever asked why? The world today loves the baby Jesus. They don’t persecute Him because He was born of a virgin in Bethlehem. They don’t persecute Jesus because of His teachings, or because He healed the sick and fed the multitudes. The Jesus the world persecutes is the One who came to destroy the works of the devil, the Jesus who is against rape, murder, greed, pride, abortion, sodomy, and racial hatred. Now when we come to know Jesus, we stop persecuting Him, but put it down big, plain and straight: when you stand for Jesus, as He calls you to stand, this world is going to come down on you like a hammer. All of the artillery of Hell is going to be aimed at you just like it was aimed at the Lord Jesus Christ. If there’s no persecution, don’t get the idea that the world has gotten more churchy; it’s because the church has gotten more worldly.

Practice This

If you belong to Jesus and you’re not being persecuted in any way, be prepared, for the Bible says that all those who live godly lives in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. If you are in a battle, take to heart these words in 1 Peter 5:9: “Resist him [the Evil One], steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world."

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