Persecution: A Powerful Tool for Evangelism! Don’t Fear!

Persecution of the early Christians after the Day of Pentecost was dreadful and bloody. But, the deadly encounter did not discourage the disciples from evangelism. I want to use this medium to share with you the significance of persecution in evangelism:

Is Persecution a Sin?

The meaning of persecution is to pursue Christian in a way to afflict or put to death for proclaiming Jesus Christ as the savior of humanity. Jesus Christ was persecuted when on earth and He told us it was a Blessing.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:10)

Jesus knew the pains and grief involved in persecution. So, He warned us to be courageous and faithful in Him when we go through such circumstances. He says: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Thus, persecution is not a sin, but it is a strong formidable “tool” for evangelism.

The Advantage of Persecution

My careful study of the Bible showed that the Lord wants the New Testament generation to be active on the ‘field for harvest’ (church evangelism). And, He did not promote the passive mode of the Old Testament ‘synagogue’ (church building).

The Lord wants the Christians to be Gospel Broadcasters and not ‘Bench Warmers’.

Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (Luke 10:2)

The Mandate the Lord Jesus gave to all believers before and after His resurrection was to spread the Good News to the world.

The early disciples abandon the mandate and they coordinated a ‘mega church’.

“…And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch…” (Acts chapter 5)

Hmm! It was synonymous to the story of the tower of Babel. God instructed the early parents to subdue the earth, but they chose to build a city and a mighty tower that would touch the heavens. Well, the Lord used languages to scatter them abroad. Read the book of Genesis chapter eleven for more of the story.

Similarly, the apostles were comfortable in Jerusalem until the persecution came to scatter them. The persecution facilitated the spread of the Gospel to other continents.

Historical Record of some Early Christians

Persecution is not a curse, but it is an avenue to proof to the world that Jesus is the only Savior for the world.

Around 34 A.D., Stephen was stoned to death at the perimeter walls of Jerusalem. And more than 2,000 Christians suffered martyrdom in the same year.

About a decade later, James the son of Zebedee was murdered by the Governor of Judea- Herod Agrippa.

Around 54 A.D., Phillip became a martyr at Heliopolis in Phrygia. He was whipped, imprisoned and crucified.

 Matthew, the tax collector preached in Ethiopia and was killed by the sword.

James, the brother of Jesus was stoned and the idol worshipers used a fuller’s club to hit his brain out of the skull.

Matthias was stoned and beheaded at Jerusalem.

Andrew, the brother of Peter spread the Gospel across Asia. But, he was crucified on a cross at Edessa.

Mark was dragged to pieces through a chariot by the people of Alexandria in Egypt.

Peter was crucified at Rome.

Paul was executed by the sword during the first persecution under Nero.

Around 72 A.D., Jude the brother of James was crucified at Edessa.

Bartholomew was crucified by idolaters in India.

Thomas spread the Gospel to Parthia and India. The pagan priests thrust him through with a spear.

Luke traveled to various countries and was hanged on an olive tree by idolatrous priests in Greece.

Simon Zelotes evangelized to Mauritania, Africa and Britain, where he was crucified in about 74 A.D.

Christian persecution did not hinder the growth of the Christian faith, because the Power of God sustained the evangelism. Many people who saw the horrible maltreatment of the Christians gave their lives to Jesus Christ. So, the more the persecution in Jerusalem and other countries, the more the Gentiles believed in the salvation of Jesus.

Don’t be scared of persecution during evangelism, because it will be a blessing to you. The second coming of Jesus is delayed, because you and I have not spread the Gospel to all the people in the world. Jesus says: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the entire world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14).

Presently, different forms of persecution are going on across the continents in the world; Syria, India, China, Arab, United States, Africa etc. But, preached the Gospel and don’t be scared of persecution, because the kingdom of God is your inheritance.

About Ekundayo

I am an evangelist in the vineyard of the Lord since 2000 moving from one place to another to spread the gospel of Jesus.

5 comments on “Persecution: A Powerful Tool for Evangelism! Don’t Fear!

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