The contemporary church should not forget history. We are not an existential church that is autonomous with its teachings and policies. Our existence and operations are based on the truth once for all delivered to the saints.
What did Jesus teach us to do while facing persecution?
How did the apostles respond when faced with persecution?
They actually faced it from the beginning. The government was not not friendly with them. Yet they grew mightily and prevailed with the gospel.
Power, not just spiritual, belonged to Peter when they came to arrest him and his peer at the temple. He only needed to speak to the people who were awe struck with the words and the miracles. They could have mobbed the temple soldiers that came to arrest them. They chose rather to follow them like the sheep to its slaughter.
Situation did not change Peter’s opinion. Little wonder decades down the line, he presented the death of christ not just as expiatory, but also as exemplary.
He left us an example that we should follow in His steps – 1 Peter 2:20-23
But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
“He committed no sin,
and no deceit was found in his mouth.”
When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.
If any teaching or response leads us away from what the Lord says, we might need to decide to whom our allegiance is.
We are disciples only to Christ; we were won for Him and to Him is our allegiance.
If ours is a living faith, our obedience to it is our defence of it.
He who sits in the heavens, did not at any time order us to take to arms to defend his cause. We are not savages.
What kept the Christian faith till date was not the defence of arms, but the obedience and the resilience of the saints who would not forget that He promised that He will build His church and gates of hell shall not prevail.
What caused the faith to be overrun wherever if happened in history was not the failure of the promise but the nominal religion that they reduced the faith to in those places.
This is what we should contend against; and to the great commission, we should commit ourselves.
When Peter drew the sword, Jesus told him that those who live by the sword shall perish by the sword.
He later taught his generation to be peaceful when faced with persecution.
THE BLOOD OF THE MARTYRS IS THE SEED OF THE CHURCH.
The valiant in faith never resorted to sword in the history of the church.
Our defence of the faith is ideological and spiritual. If we resort to sword, it is not for the faith, maybe for our space and for our lives.
He called us to take up our cross and not our sword.
For those who were not nominal in history, they sustained in obedience to Christ.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?
They choose to die willingly in the early church, knowing it was part of the package.
Not all who says Lord, Lord shall have the attention of the master on that day, in spite of the accomplishments, only those who do (not those who rewrite) His will.
We must sharpened each other in these trying times; we must uphold one another not to forget where our river flows from.
To him who overcome, there is a crown.
We Cannot Forget Our History Because of Our Situation