“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” – Romans 12:15
I’m teaching through the book of Acts at church and I noticed that wherever Paul and Barnabas preached, they always encountered opposition and persecution. It’s as if preaching and persecution go hand in hand. When people reject the goodness of God’s love and the sacrifice of His Son for their sins, a natural response is to persecute the preacher.
In Acts 13 and 14, Paul and Barnabas brought a message of hope to a variety of people – religious Jews and pagan Gentiles – but not everyone was pleased with what they heard. Not only were people divided in their belief of Paul’s message, some of them got so stirred up they forced the Apostles to flee from city to city. After going to Lystra, a group of Jews from Antioch and Iconium stirred up the crowd and stoned Paul, leaving him for dead. In response to this, Paul gets up and heads back into the city. I’d probably be headed to the hospital first and then to my lawyer.
Christians have become so soft in American we think we’re being persecuted because we can’t have the Ten Commandments on the walls of our school classrooms. We’re not being persecuted. We’ve just become so comfortable with Christian morals and values being the main way of thinking in America that we don’t know what to do when people disagree with us. Christians have practiced loving those who love us for so long we don’t know how to respond to those who persecute us. Continue Reading