Paul's thoughts ...
Caring for others, speaking the truth, and living with integrity are not always rewarded in this broken world. God's grace often exposes the sin and guilt of people, sometimes triggering hostility. We believers can become a convenient target of anger.
Paul experienced that from the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem (Acts 24:1-26). Notice the varied forms of opposition they mobilized against him before Felix:
- They enlisted a skilled orator, Tertullus, who flattered the governor as he represented them in their case against Paul. (24:1-3).
- They trumped up a variety of accusations that amounted to little more than name-calling (24:5-6). On a previous occasion, Jason of Thessalonica had experienced similar treatment for merely entertaining Paul and his team. (17:5-9)
- They arrested Paul, and though they accused commander Lysias of violence, it was they who had been on the verge of a riot. (23:7-10; 24:6-7)
- They engineered the testimony of others against him (24:9)
- They demeaned the entire Christian movement, describing it in loaded terms like "plague" and "sect" (24:5, 14), not unlike some today who use sweeping negative generalizations and caricatures to dismiss religious activity.
- They apparently played politics with Felix, who was obviously used to settling disputes through bribes and other deals (24:26; 25:9).
Recognizing this pattern can help us to avoid the mistake of personalizing all attacks on our faith. These are more often rooted in our opponents' sense of guilt or fear of judgment than in any justified assessment of our character or conduct.
I hope this is a help for applying our faith in these days.
Pastor Wally ...
What you shared is already happening to Christians in other parts of the world, and they are affecting thousands if not millions of JESUS’ followers. It’s sad when great numbers of western Christians are unprepared due to a lack of teachings and sermons on such matters of vital importance.
It’s heartbreaking and unfortunate!
The following video is not easy to watch ... please use discretion ... OVER 18+ ONLY! ...