I often wonder how the apostles remained so calm and peaceful when there was so much evil around them and their lives were on the line. Is it because they knew Jesus while he was on the earth? Is it because they had a deeper connection with the Holy Spirit? They didn’t have access to the New Testament because they wrote it. They did have access to the Old Testament and the Torah.
These questions cross my mind because of everything I see happening in our world. We were told what to look for, signs we would see, but how many of us were really prepared for what is going on? How many of us really thought that the Church in the US would see persecution and see how quickly it is increasing?
My soul longs for the peace of the apostles, because I see them as being so strong in the Lord. Even after Christ ascended back to heaven they were joyful!
And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:[Luk 24:51-52 KJV]
We are told that we are to continue to meet with other believers, and to not stop meeting, especially during the last days foretold.
not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as [is] the manner of some, but exhorting [one another], and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.[Heb 10:25 NKJV]
Given how stressful life is now, and that it is only going to increase, I can certainly understand why the author of the book of Hebrews (who to this day is unknown) told this to the new believers in in his day. Chuck Smith, in his sermon notes, wrote:
“The book of Hebrews was written for the Jews who had accepted Jesus as their Messiah. They were in danger of slipping back into the traditions of Judaism because they had not put down roots in the soil of Christianity.”
The messianic Jews of that day were, most likely, also outcast. Think of the pressure they must have received to deny Christ and return to the Jewish customs and religious practices. How much different is it for us today when the world tells us we are crazy, among other descriptions I won’t list so this post does not get banned or pulled.
God tells us times will be difficult. We can expect to be persecuted for the sake of Christ. He also lets us know that we’ll make it through, as we have our place in heaven waiting for us.
“Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great [is] your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.[Mat 5:12 NKJV]
I do not have the answers to all my thoughts, doubts, worries…but I know God does! God is my peace. God is our peace. God is the world’s peace. One day Christ will reign and the whole earth will have peace. Until then, we pray and do what we can to meet with other believers for strength.
|But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. [We are] hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; [we are] perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed– always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you. And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present [us] with you. For all things [are] for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.|
[2Co 4:7-15 NKJV]