Faithful in the Worst of Times

Jesus told His followers that they should not worry when brought before governors and authorities. He promised to give them what to say in such times of persecution. Simon Peter urged the followers of Christ to always be ready to give an account for the reason of their hope in Christ.

These statements are not contradictory. Rather, they are complementary. Together they show how God wants us to react in times of opposition and persecution.

The Apostle Paul showed the power of these words as He spoke before Felix the Roman governor (Acts 24:1-27).

After Paul’s arrest at Jerusalem and imprisonment at Caesarea, the high priest Ananias, other elders, and a spokesman named Tertullus went to Caesarea to accuse Paul before Felix (Acts 24:1-2).

Paul gave a reasoned and masterful defense of who he was and how God had called him to faith in Christ. Paul refuted the accusations that he was an agitator, a ringleader of a sect, and the founder of a new religion (this was against Roman law).

Paul used this hearing to confess his faith in Christ, stating “this I admit to you” (Acts 24:14). What was Paul’s confession?

He gave them seventh confessions concerning who he was and what he affirmed.

First, he confessed to being a follower of the Way but not a founder of a sect.

Second, he worshiped the God of their fathers. Instead of being the founder of a new religion, he was a worshiper of the God which the patriarchs had worshiped.

Third, he believed and followed everything in the Law and the Prophets.

Fourth, he had hope because of Christ.

Fifth, his hope was in regard to the resurrection of the dead. He knew that to live was Christ and to die was gain (Philippians 1:21).

Sixth, he affirmed a resurrection and judgment of both the righteous and the wicked.

Seventh, he sought to always have a blameless conscience before God and before men.

Paul lived his faith and gave evidence of his obedience even as he faced opposition and imprisonment.

May we be faithful in good times and evil times as we seek to give an account for the hope we have in Christ (1 Peter 3:15).

 

 

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Verse of the Day

[The Birth of Jesus Foretold] In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” — Luke 1:26-28 (NIV)