“Church Persecution?”

“Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread.”

Acts 12:1-3

Acts 12:1-3 is church persecution and religious persecution.

It came from outside the church.  This type of persecution happened 2000 years ago and is still happening in our world today.

What are we supposed to learn from it? 

You would think we would have learned something over the years.  Especially if we study and teach the Bible like we are supposed to.

Hours spent… lots of money spent… but we still react to challenges, persecution, just like we always have!

So… what have we come away with, after many years at church, many years of Sunday School, mid-week Bible studies?

Did I learn what was supposed to be learned?

Did that learning help me or prepare me for what was to come?

Ask yourself… “Does your attendance make your church stronger?”  And… “Why?”

Will your absence make it weaker or will it make a difference?

Sometimes I believe churches lean towards things that weaken them.  Most of those weaknesses come from sin that is tolerated and becomes a constant in the local church and is just accepted.

It will be a potential land mine under the right circumstances.

In our country, we have freedom to worship and for the most part, we are left alone.

Yet, so many churches find themselves struggling as though they were under some kind of outside persecution. 

So, where does our persecution come from?

Why are our churches filled with agitated people?

Is this spiritual warfare?  Or… maybe just a lack of half transformed minds and hearts.

People trying to live a Christian life without leaving the old man behind!

You want to see how anemic your church is?

Try to get through a type of challenge from outside or from within.

In general, churches don’t do well when being in the line of some kind of challenge, at least not that I know of.

What was supposed to be one body in Christ has just removed itself… very easily I might add!

I have used a line in some of my weddings, “What God has joined together, let no man divide.”

I find that a very interesting thought when applied to local churches.

Maybe those who write local building codes understand something we don’t.

They insist where there is a way into your building…there must be a way out!

Whenever I go into a building for the first time, I always look where the exits are.

I have done it so much it has become a habit. In general, we Christians are never far away from our exit plan.

I wonder why that is?

I know there are lots of reasons to leave, but a lot of us have gotten very good at it.

The other side of the story…there are always those who ought to be thinking about leaving and they never do.

This seems to be systematic in all churches these days.

I wonder what ministries could be accomplished if we truly were one in the Spirit?

I am not sure how to end this.

Nor do I find a wrong or a right.  Just my simple observation of 46 years in church ministry.

I am sure we are all seeking the Lord’s will and guidance. 

May the Lord Bless You and Guide you!

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