As the Apostles faced opposition just after the Spirit came and the church was formed, they showed a very different reaction than wanting to “tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them” (Luke 9:54). By contrast, the church gathered for prayer and “lifted their voices together to God” and only asked the Lord to “look upon their threats and grant to Your servants to continue to speak Your word with all boldness” (Acts 4:24, 29).
It is critical that we change our operating manual from the old way of “self-protection” to the new way of operating under the power of God as we do His will and deliver His message. God intends that His light shine the brightest in the darkest circumstances. In a world controlled by its ruler, we should not expect anything different than opposition and persecution. When our mission is accomplished, Jesus will return and take us out of this world to another He has prepared for us. That is why it is so important that we maintain our focus on what we are called to do, not on how it is or is not received.
Sadly, this same scenario happens in the church. John, Jude and Peter all point to the same problem in the church; those who have agendas to oppose the message of Scripture. We must take Paul’s stance regarding such persons; “the Lord will repay him according to his deeds” (2 Timothy 4:14). John says, “Do not imitate evil but imitate good” (3 John 11). Jude says, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God” (Jude 20). This advice is very appropriate for our day.
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