And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
Comment: Building on yesterday’s thought of the gospel going out into the whole world, we see that the gospel doesn’t always bring peace and unity. We have here listed several things –
- legal attacks – we tend to think of this in other countries where there is commitment to another religion, but we are seeing it now in what were considered ‘Christian’ countries in the past – people losing jobs, being taken to court, expelled from schools for believing in basic Bible principles of eternal judgement, for sexual purity, for there being a God ordained definition of marriage. We are told that the Spirit of God will stand with us in these difficulties and help with answers.
- Family divisions – this can lead to physical death but sadly often leads to rejection of the gospel and turning from God’s proffered salvation, which means eternal ‘death’.
- Personal rejection is highlighted as a real possibility, but perseverance to the end is highlighted. Sometimes I wonder if we avoid rejection by ‘watering down’ or even hiding our commitment to Jesus.
Prayer: Please daily strengthen my commitment and perseverance.