Show Notes

Welcome to Episode #142 of Way of the Bible podcast. This is our sixth of eight episodes in our eighteenth mini-series entitled, Son of God and Son of Man. 

On this episode, Mutual Comfort, we’re going for a trilogy of one-episode sidebars on our exploration of the life of Jesus Christ as revealed in the gospels. We’ll be exploring the fallout of following the resurrected Jesus and the benefit of experiencing such fallout.

With that short introduction we’re going to jump right into it. What you’ll see in the book of Acts and then spread throughout the epistles is that becoming a believer in the resurrected Jesus was serious and dangerous business. At a minimum you were persecuted and intimidated. If Jewish, if you didn’t observe the sacrificial laws and ordinances, you could be kicked out of the synagogue and ostracized by the community. You would be considered dead by family and friends.   

If you were a gentile, you would be prevented from conducting any business in public markets as Christians didn’t offer the required daily sacrifices to the gods. Not honoring the gods was grave and could put you in the grave.

Alexander the Great made a special dispensation for the Jews as a protected religious class. The Romans continued that tradition. The Jews made sure the Romans knew Christians should not be mistaken as a Jewish sect, but rather a false religious cult.

As a gentile Christian you became part of an unprotected religious class within Rome. That designation opened you up to the full gambit of rejection, persecution, punishment, and even death for dishonoring the gods of Rome. It wasn’t long before it became acceptable and rewarding to arrest, persecute and even kill Christians while confiscating all their goods as plunder like spoils of war. 

This persecution went on for three centuries, and at times was promoted and unhindered by the emperors of Rome. There are lot of well-respected scholars and experts who have investigated Christian persecutions by Roman emperors, and it was a dirty business. An evil and darkness that was dispelled in the early fourth century.

In the mid to late 19th Century this darkness and persecution of Christians emerged back into the world through atheistic philosophers and agnostic and atheistic scientists. By the 20th Century the emergence of darkness empowered the rise of atheistic leaders who instigated wars and revolutions killing over 180-million people. It was the bloodiest century in human history, by far!!

After WWII, a global philosophical shift occurred that allowed Christian persecutions to reemerged in predominately Muslim nations. This was almost immediately followed by the emerging darkness of Christian intimidation, persecution, and ostracism in the public and private sectors.

As we sit here in the Spring of 2024, let us look back to the Spring of 2020 and see what was unleased on the world by dark forces of evil. A global pandemic, daily riots and looting sprees across the country and globally as an expression of grievances. 

As the citizenry of the world surrendered most of their rights to governments and special interest groups, by January 2021 the riots and looting mysteriously stopped. Even though none of the grievances that were given for the riots and looting were ever addressed. It was as if it were all arouse to silence the opposition for what is coming.

I don’t know what is coming, revival or global persecution. The signs of the times indicate the latter. 

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