“Left For Dead” By Kirk Hunt
Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. However, when the disciples gathered around him, he rose up and went into the city. And the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.
Acts 14:19–20 NKJV
Paul was not attacked by pagans or heathens. The Apostle was stoned to “death” by pious, religious folk. Their contempt and anger for Paul was so great that they did not bother with burying him. They simply dragged his “dead” body outside of the city limits and left him for rot or wild animals.
Paul was nearly murdered for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by kith and kin, not strangers or foreigners. Of course, Paul once had persecuted Christians in similar manner. The saddest fact is much of the persecution against early Christians came from their own kinsmen, not the pagan Roman invaders.
Too often, modern, Western Christians blame the unchurched for difficulties or resistance in building God’s Kingdom. Religious fratricide is the more likely reason saints and ministries struggle. Outsiders are easier to blame but insiders are the more likely culprits.
Consider how you respond and are responded to, by fellow Christians. Is there upset over differences of style or tradition? How does your disagreement or conflict look to outsiders and unbelievers?
You may not agree with other Christians. Still, there are Biblical ways to work through our differences in grace and love. Certainly, there are Nero-like folk (modern and ancient) who persecute Christians. Make sure, my Gospel brother or sister, that you are not one of them.
Think: Our greatest hindrances are too often religious folk, not the unredeemed.
Pray: “Lord, help me to approach other Christians in Your grace and love.”
Copyright © May 2018, Kirk Hunt
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