Theme: BUILDING ON THE FOUNDATION
Text: “Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.” – Isaiah 51:7.
Comment: The devil raises opposition to the children of God through violent afflictions, reproaches and misrepresentations. Our Lord Jesus Christ warned his apostles in advance not to be dissuaded or frightened by the intensity of the persecutions they will get. He stated: “It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?” (Matthew 10:25) It is noteworthy that, in spite of threats from the Sanhedrin, the apostles “daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” – Acts 5:42.
As the apostles turned to the gentiles, spreading the gospel to other parts of the Roman empire, the emperors who were worshipped as divine beings became hostile to the faith and expressed determination to wipe off Christianity which they equated with criminality. Christians who refused to offer sacrifices to pagan deities or to worship the emperor’s statue were crucified, thrown to the lions, banished or put to death and their property seized. But the work grew faster by the grace of God. It is on record that several faithful Christians held to the truth till the end by God’s grace. The Bible says, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” – Matthew 24:12, 13.