My post today is a follow-up to yesterday’s post upon Philippians 1:19-20, that encouraged fellow Christians to pray for the persecuted church…
What would a noted spiritual leader who happened to be in prison and facing martyrdom for his faith say to fellow Christians? What godly advice would he have for Christians that perhaps might face persecution themselves in the future? What would Apostle Paul, himself in prison and facing death, say to fellow Christians today?
We don’t have to be in doubt on that issue… We have his words to the congregation in Philippi in the Bible…
“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves inn a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ! Then… I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you…”
And then he would remind us… “It has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.” (From Philippians 1:27-30)
The Bible predicts increased persecution as the end draws near! Authentic believers will not escape it – things will get worse for Christians before they get better. In fact, I am personally concerned that many professing Christians are not prepared to face persecution for Christ’s sake with faithfulness and fearlessness… The expectations they have for their “discipleship” is instead predicated upon blessings, painlessness and prosperity.
So I believe Apostle Paul’s words from imprisonment to the believer’s in ancient Philippi are apt for us today! Persecution may come… no, it will come! And if and when it does, I want to live “worthy of the gospel,” evidence authentic unity with fellow Christians, and fearlessly stand shoulder to shoulder with them as we share the gospel!