• Welcome to Talk Jesus

    A true bible based, Jesus centered online community. Join over 13,000 members today

    Register Log In

Fear in the Church

Users who viewed this discussion (Total:0)

Loyal
It seems often times in the early church Christians faced persecution, even by governing authorities.
But yet... did they fear these governing authorities?

Surely we know about Peter.

Acts 5:14; And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number,
Acts 5:15; to such an extent that they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on any one of them.
Acts 5:16; Also the people from the cities in the vicinity of Jerusalem were coming together, bringing people who were sick or afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all being healed.

It seems even if Peters shadow fell on someone they were healed. ..and yet because of this, many of them were thrown into prison. Did that stop them?

Acts 5:19; But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the gates of the prison, and taking them out he said,
Acts 5:21; Upon hearing this, they entered into the temple about daybreak and began to teach. Now when the high priest and his associates came, they called the Council together, even all the Senate of the sons of Israel, and sent orders to the prison house for them to be brought.
Acts 5:22; But the officers who came did not find them in the prison; and they returned and reported back,
Acts 5:23; saying, "We found the prison house locked quite securely and the guards standing at the doors; but when we had opened up, we found no one inside."
Acts 5:25; But someone came and reported to them, "The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!"

John the Baptist was thrown into prison and beheaded. Did he change his mind and renounce God before he died?

Then we have Paul and Silas

Acts 16:19; But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the authorities,
Acts 16:20; and when they had brought them to the chief magistrates, they said, "These men are throwing our city into confusion, being Jews,
Acts 16:21; and are proclaiming customs which it is not lawful for us to accept or to observe, being Romans."
Acts 16:22; The crowd rose up together against them, and the chief magistrates tore their robes off them and proceeded to order them to be beaten with rods.
Acts 16:23; When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely;
Acts 16:24; and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

Did this stop Paul and Silas?

Acts 16:25; But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them;
Acts 16:37; But Paul said to them, "They have beaten us in public without trial, men who are Romans, and have thrown us into prison; and now are they sending us away secretly? No indeed! But let them come themselves and bring us out."

Jesus prophecies to the church in Smyrna...

Rev 2:10; 'Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

Paul finished out his life in prison.

2Tim 2:8; Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel,
2Tim 2:9; for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned.

It sounds like much of his life was in danger and imprisonment.

2Cor 11:23; Are they servants of Christ?—I speak as if insane—I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death.
2Cor 11:24; Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes.
2Cor 11:25; Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep.
2Cor 11:26; I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren;
2Cor 11:27; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.
2Cor 11:28; Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches.
2Cor 11:29; Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern?
2Cor 11:30; If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness.

It sounds like Paul wasn't the only one.

Acts 12:2; And he had James the brother of John put to death with a sword.

Heb 11:35; Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection;
Heb 11:36; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment.
Heb 11:37; They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated

What has happened to the church today?

Rom 8:15; For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"
Rom 8:16; The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,
Rom 8:17; and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

We are so afraid of everything, afraid of sickness and disease, afraid of jail and imprisonment. It seems we are afraid of everything.

1Jn 4:4; You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

Do we believe this? Why is the church so afraid of everything? Afraid of losing our lives, our comfort, our families, and even being persecuted.

Rev 20:4; Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

If we are already afraid of this much now... how afraid will we be when the real persecution starts? When you have to worship the beast, take his mark or be beheaded?
How afraid of prison will you be in those days?
 
Active
It seems often times in the early church Christians faced persecution, even by governing authorities.
But yet... did they fear these governing authorities?

Surely we know about Peter.

Acts 5:14; And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number,
Acts 5:15; to such an extent that they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on any one of them.
Acts 5:16; Also the people from the cities in the vicinity of Jerusalem were coming together, bringing people who were sick or afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all being healed.

It seems even if Peters shadow fell on someone they were healed. ..and yet because of this, many of them were thrown into prison. Did that stop them?

Acts 5:19; But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the gates of the prison, and taking them out he said,
Acts 5:21; Upon hearing this, they entered into the temple about daybreak and began to teach. Now when the high priest and his associates came, they called the Council together, even all the Senate of the sons of Israel, and sent orders to the prison house for them to be brought.
Acts 5:22; But the officers who came did not find them in the prison; and they returned and reported back,
Acts 5:23; saying, "We found the prison house locked quite securely and the guards standing at the doors; but when we had opened up, we found no one inside."
Acts 5:25; But someone came and reported to them, "The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!"

John the Baptist was thrown into prison and beheaded. Did he change his mind and renounce God before he died?

Then we have Paul and Silas

Acts 16:19; But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the authorities,
Acts 16:20; and when they had brought them to the chief magistrates, they said, "These men are throwing our city into confusion, being Jews,
Acts 16:21; and are proclaiming customs which it is not lawful for us to accept or to observe, being Romans."
Acts 16:22; The crowd rose up together against them, and the chief magistrates tore their robes off them and proceeded to order them to be beaten with rods.
Acts 16:23; When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely;
Acts 16:24; and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

Did this stop Paul and Silas?

Acts 16:25; But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them;
Acts 16:37; But Paul said to them, "They have beaten us in public without trial, men who are Romans, and have thrown us into prison; and now are they sending us away secretly? No indeed! But let them come themselves and bring us out."

Jesus prophecies to the church in Smyrna...

Rev 2:10; 'Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

Paul finished out his life in prison.

2Tim 2:8; Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel,
2Tim 2:9; for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned.

It sounds like much of his life was in danger and imprisonment.

2Cor 11:23; Are they servants of Christ?—I speak as if insane—I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death.
2Cor 11:24; Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes.
2Cor 11:25; Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep.
2Cor 11:26; I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren;
2Cor 11:27; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.
2Cor 11:28; Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches.
2Cor 11:29; Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern?
2Cor 11:30; If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness.

It sounds like Paul wasn't the only one.

Acts 12:2; And he had James the brother of John put to death with a sword.

Heb 11:35; Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection;
Heb 11:36; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment.
Heb 11:37; They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated

What has happened to the church today?

Rom 8:15; For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"
Rom 8:16; The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,
Rom 8:17; and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

We are so afraid of everything, afraid of sickness and disease, afraid of jail and imprisonment. It seems we are afraid of everything.

1Jn 4:4; You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

Do we believe this? Why is the church so afraid of everything? Afraid of losing our lives, our comfort, our families, and even being persecuted.

Rev 20:4; Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

If we are already afraid of this much now... how afraid will we be when the real persecution starts? When you have to worship the beast, take his mark or be beheaded?
How afraid of prison will you be in those days?
None of us can do anything without the grace to do it. None of these men faced their trials alone, in their own strength. Jesus was there: " I will never leave you or forsake you" After Stephen had given his speech to the Sanhedrin Acts 7:54-60 When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. Look, he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the tops of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, " Lord Jesus receive my spirit." Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord do not hold this sin against them." when he had said this, he fell asleep. Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit, I don't believe he felt the stones, and if ever we have to face death I don't believe Jesus will forsake us either.
 
Top