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Persecutions, Christian Response and Divine Protection


PERSECUTIONS, CHRISTIAN RESPONSE AND DIVINE PROTECTION

The early Christians had persecutions from the Jews. However, they did not fight back. God’s providential care was with them:

1. The high priest along with the Sanhedrin, “laid hands upon the apostles and put them in the public jail. But during the night, the angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison, led them out” (Acts 5:18-19). The apostles continued preaching in the temple area (Acts 5:21).

2. After beheading the Apostle James, the brother of John, Herod Agrippa 1 imprisoned Peter. “Prayer by the Church was fervently being made to God on his behalf” (Acts 12:5). The angel of the Lord rescued Peter, who had double chains and was sleeping between two soldiers (Acts 12:3-12).

3. The death of Herod Agrippa, who martyred James and imprisoned Peter, was because of divine intervention. “At once the angel of the Lord struck him down because he did not ascribe the honour to God, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last. But the word of God continued to spread and grow” (Acts 12:23-24).

4. Jesus converted Saul (Paul) who persecuted the Church into a fervent apostle of the Church (Acts 9:1-20).

5. When Paul and Silas were in prison at Philippi, God freed them by an earthquake (Acts 16:25-36).

6. After years of severe persecution of Christians by the Roman emperors, God converted Constantine in 312 A.D. That ended the centuries-long persecution of the Church, and it flourished in the Roman empire.

Since Jesus is the head of the Church, it will be safe until the second coming of Christ in glory. God will protect the Christians as long as they are faithful to him and patient for the providential care of God.


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