Thursday, July 2, 2015

Preaching may get you killed

After his wilderness temptation , on the Sabbath day , Jesus preached in the synagogue of Nazareth where he had been brought up . He preached from Isaiah 61 : 1 and 2 and told the assembly that he was the fulfillment of that prophecy ; the physician and prophet who would preach the gospel to the poor , heal the broken hearted preach deliverance to the captives , give sight to the blind , to set at liberty those that were bruised , preaching the acceptable year of the Lord .
He told them that no prophet is accepted in his own country , and he recounted Israel's rejection of God's attempts to draw her to him , and reminded the Jewish congregation that a gentile , rather than a Jew had received God's healing by faith . Rather than accepting the truth that he uttered , all they in the synagogue when they heard these things , were filled with wrath and rose up and thrust him out of the city , and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built , that they might cast him down headlong . But he passing through them went his way going to Capernaum and preached there on the sabbath days . Stephen , whose faith enabled him to do great wonders and miracles among the people , was stoned to death after recounting the history of the Jews , properly denounced his Jewish detractors for their persistent stiffnecked resistance of God's leadership , adding that they had killed their Messiah as they had the prophets God sent them . Paul , who may have been instrumental in Stephen's murder would himself later experience similar mistreatment from perhaps former friends , who like him , had resisted the Holy Spirit , the Truth . Like Stephen , Paul also performed miracles through the forgiving grace of Christ . But the religious mafia of the day , the blind envious Pharisees , stirred up hatred for Paul in almost every town Paul preached in . Though they were of Abraham's seed , Jesus had earlier identified them as children of the devil . They rejected the truth and hated it because it pointed out their sin and required their allegiance to God through him . Like the demons , they thought they could attain greater pleasure by rejecting God's authority . Jesus told his followers that the Holy Spirit , the Spirit of truth would guide them into all truth and show them things to come . He said that the world cannot receive that Spirit because it does not know him . He said that by keeping his word they would be made free from the snare of sin . Christians are born by his word of truth . One of the many things Christians know that are to come is the death of Christ's last two prophets who will precede his return . Their powerful preaching will give birth to 12,000 Jewish believers from each of the twelve tribes . These 144,000 will also be killed because they believe the truth . Quite often , telling the truth may get you killed . But following Christ will be worth that price because that suffering is not worthy to be compared with those things that will later be revealed in them .                                                                                                                                        

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