In Acts 4:1 – 4, after Peter and John heal the man born lame in the process leading 5000 people to the Lord, the priests, captain of the temple guard, and the Sadducees arrest Peter and John. Why? What they were sharing did not align with their view of the truth. Forget that a 40 year old man, lame from birth, was suddenly able not only to stand, but to walk, run, and leap. That evidence was apparently not compelling enough. Rather they were greatly disturbed. Enough so that they wanted to silence Peter and John.
We Need to Pay Attention
There is a not so subtle message here. In John 16:33, Christ tells the 11 that they are to expect tribulation in carrying out the assignment he is giving them. The source of this tribulation, this hatred, this persecution, is the world’s hatred of Christ, John 16:1 – 4.
Compromise is not an Option
It really does not matter how many coexist or tolerance bumper stickers you may see, the world is not interested in coexisting or tolerating Christ’s apprentices. Like the group that arrested Peter and John, they want to silence us.
Resistance is Guaranteed
If that has not been your experience, it will be. One of the main themes of 1 Peter is the reality of suffering for believers. Much of the Church is already experiencing this. Those of us in the western Church have, for the most part, been spared the full brunt of the world’s hatred. That is changing. It is changing more rapidly that we would probably like to admit.
How do we prepare? Tomorrow I will suggest some ways.