Sunday, March 08, 2020

Would I Be a Christian if I Faced Persecution?

Acts 21:26-22:3 & Acts 22:22-29 by Rev. Susan Lukey
Series:From Disciple to Apostle - A Journey through the Book of Acts

I don’t know if I would have chosen to be a Christian in the first century. I don’t know if I would have had the courage to claim Jesus as my Saviour and Lord in a context where, like Paul, I might have been jailed or martyred for my faith. I think about that sometimes. I think about the many times through the last 2,000 years when being a Christian, or a particular kind of Christian, meant putting everything on the line, including one’s life. I think of countries today where people of faith, be they Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Sikh or Hindu, are persecuted and driven from their homes because of how they worship. Would I be ready and willing to claim my faith in a situation where I could lose everything? I hope so. I want to say that Yes, I would. But I wonder. Living in 21st century North America as a Christian doesn’t give me much to judge myself by. It is relatively easy to be a Christian in this context. While some people might give me a strange look if I say that I’m Christian and go to church, and some might discount what I have to say because I am a Christian minister, I still have every ability to head to church without any worries. I’m not sneaking out of my house and watching over my shoulder to see if anyone is following me as I make my way to church on Sunday or any other day of the week. So I wonder, could I hold on to my faith in a situation of persecution? It is what fascinates me about the apostle Paul and the other believers whose stories we are discovering in the book of Acts. Paul went from hunting down Christians to throw them in prison to becoming a Christian and being jailed and later martyred for his faith in Jesus. Other believers were jailed for their faith as well, sometimes stepping up to be arrested while Paul snuck out the back door and moved on to the next town or city.
Duration:18 mins 22 secs