Wednesday, June 6, 2007

You may think I'm talking about today's culture but I am actually talking about the 1700's, otherwise known as The Great Awakening. It was during this time that the great English evangelist, George Whitefield, was persecuted for his faith.

2 Timothy 3:12 12 And indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

Matthew 5:10-12 10 "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 "Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. 12 "Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

At one point in Whitefield's life, while in London, a brutal attack came upon Whitefield in which he was nearly murdered. Whitefield noted:

"He [this accuser] suddenly rose up, uttering the most abusive language, calling me dog, rogue, villain, etc, and beat me most unmercifully with his gold-headed cane. But my hostess and her daughter hearing me cry 'murder,' rushed into the room and seized him by the collar; however, he disengaged himself from them, and repeated his blows upon me."

Furthermore, in 1757...

"On Sunday afternoon, after preaching...Whitefield narrowly escaped with his life.
In the time of sermon and prayer a few stones were thrown at him, which did no hurt. But when he had done and thought to return home the way he came, access was denied, and he was obliged to go near a half a mile through hundreds of papists. Finding him unattended, for a soldier and four preachers who came with him had fled, they threw vollies of stones upon him from all quarters, and made him reel backwards and forwards, till he was almost breathless, and all over a gore of blood."

The point here is this. What do we do when opposition, persecution and tribulation comes? Do we run? Do we apostasize? Do we stand firm on the truth of God's Word? We know what Whitefield did when this kind of persecution came. He stood strong, not even flinching once before his accusers, but continued to preach and herald the gospel truth of Jesus Christ.
Lest we think that we will have an "opposition-free" ministry, let us as preachers be prepared for the worst battles to come. However, we know that the closer we come to death in this age the closer we come to meeting our Savior face to face. May we take a stand for Jesus Christ in this age of "godlessness" (Eph 2:12) and preach truth to this culture that is so desperately in need of the merciful grace and saving blood of Jesus.


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