KEY SCRIPTURE: Acts 14:22 ” Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulations enter into the kingdom of God.”
Apostle Paul confirmed or strengthen the souls of the brethren in various cities by teaching them the truth. He taught them that through much tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of God.
Many Christians have not been taught about the necessity to suffer for Jesus. This makes very weak Christians. This also makes them converts. The word church is from the Greek word ‘Ekklesia’. It is coined from two Greek words. These are:
1. ‘Ek’ which means “out of” and the second word is “Kaleo” which means ‘to call’. The word church as used in the scriptures means the ‘called out ones’. We have been called out of the world. This implies our lifestyle should not be as the world is, but rather opposite to the pattern and way of the world (Rom 12:2). This would make the world hate us. The prince or god of this world who is Satan would instigate the world to hate and oppose us. This is the essence of persecution. It is very normal for every Christian to suffer for Christ. This should be taught to all Christians. If the church majors on the teachings of comfort, wealth and pleasure then we are in for big trouble. Most Christians would then not make it to heaven if we continue this way. Persecutions and tribulations are definite, and the Christian must be aware and prepared for it. The Lord taught the following in John 15:20 “Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his Lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you, if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also”.
The Lord admonishes the church to know that if he was persecuted then we his servants would also be treated likewise, for the servant is not greater than his master. Apostle Paul taught in Romans 8:17 that “And if children then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together”. There is glory for the Christian and suffering as well.
Now living right involves not engaging in certain things. A Christian youth must delay sex before marriage. The Christian must not cheat in exams when everyone is doing so. The Christian must sacrifice his money for God’s work. He must speak the truth even at the peril of his life. The Christian lady must reject sex for favours from bosses. Those who oppose the message of the cross would surely attack us who project it. All these are sufferings that we must endure for the course of Christ. As Apostle Paul said, we must pass through many tribulations to enter into the kingdom of God.
Father open the eyes of all Christians, especially Christian leaders to prepare their members to stand for Christ in times of opposition and tribulations.
Romans 12:2 ” And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Revelation 2:10 ” Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”