Will I Suffer As A Christian? by Danny Pitts

II Timothy 3:11  Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12  Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

A recent re-reading of a portion of Fox’s Book of Martyrs highlighted the awful manner in which some Christians have suffered in the past. The second chapter gives a brief record of The Ten Primitive Persecutions.  Each of these periods of persecution during the first three centuries of the Common Era is named after the Caesar who was reigning at the time. The first began under Nero who reigned from the years of A.D. 64-68. He ordered the burning of the city of Rome. Although the historian Tacitus denied that it happed, Fox follows some historians who reported that Nero had played on his harp and sang while Rome burned. The ensuing uproar by the people could have threatened the life and reign of the Caesar. In a shrew political move, the ruler blamed the Christians for the fire. The exposure to wild dogs and the lighting of human bodies to serve as lights at night are among the punishments mentioned for being a Christian. Paul and Peter were executed during this time period. The Second Persecution began under Domitian around A.D. 81. Tradition indicates that John was boiled in oil prior to being placed on the Isle of Patmos. He wrote the book of Revelation while there.

In the text Paul stresses that “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” We in the United States have been so blessed. We have had the liberty to worship God freely with no concerns about interruptions to the services or our home devotions by persecutors. Everyone has not had the freedoms which we take for granted. The very least that we should do is to thank God regularly for His goodness. We also need to be prepared mentally and spiritually to accept persecution. The Greek word comes from the idea of being hotly chased or pursued. In our society the opposition to Christians may involve subtle situations in which we do not understand why folks are speaking against us. As our Biblical views become more politically incorrect, we must expect the forms of injury to become more blatant. Considering all that Jesus did for us, we as servants must be ready to endure some for Him.

Previous post:

Next post: