This is the third in a series of seven posts based on Acts 6-7 and the martyrdom of Stephen, exploring the idea that it is a foreshadow of end-time persecution for the Church.
To go to the beginning, to the first post, please click here.
Please either listen to the short audio clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time!
This morning we explore the opposition of the religious authorities.
Opposed by Religious Authorities
Both the political and the religious authorities will demand that Churches water down their message of repentance. Churches that refuse to bow to the demands of the authorities will be opposed and persecuted.
Acts 6:9 ‘Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue…’
Jesus warned of the opposition we would face.
Matthew 24:9 ‘Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.’
The Jewish people have always been a convenient scapegoat for the problems of society and this does not look like it is going to change anytime soon.
The history books of 1930’s Germany scream at us with warning and indignation
Churches that stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Jewish people will likewise be made scapegoats and be persecuted in the same way.
John 15:18 ‘If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of this world. That is why the world hates you.’
Matthew 25:34-46 warns us of the anger of Jesus towards those who refuse to help the Jewish people during the tribulation. We can turn this around though and know the blessing we will earn by helping God’s beloved chosen people in their hour of need.
Matthew 25:36 ‘I needed clothes and you clothed me. I was sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
We need to take this warning seriously.
Tomorrow we explore the teaching of the truth of the gospel. To get there, please click here.
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Thank you for reading this!