The story of the persecution continues:
“About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword, and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also.”
The church has always faced a hostile environment. Followers of Jesus should not assume that they will face a conflict-free world. For over 200 years American Christians have experienced the ability to worship in safety and security. To declare that you worship King Jesus will always put you in conflict with this world.
The story does not end with the hostility the church finds in its environment. The chapter that began with the words we read above, ends with these words:
“On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. And the people were shouting, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!” Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last.”
Do not claim God’s place: God is a jealous God.
Ronald Friesen © 2015