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Summary: “That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; and your son and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall dream dreams, even on my bond slaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth my Spirit and they shall prophesy.”

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INTRODUCTION

The word “persecution” means the act of persecuting or oppression of inhumane treatment. The subject church persecution essentially deals with the very nature of legalize corporation of the early church. However there’s a greater gift to the world at Pentecost; “And you shall receive power after that the Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and you shall be my witness.”

Primarily persecution by the state began almost accidentally remained intermittent. Until 250 B. C. its extent was determined more by local feeling then imperial policy. The Roman government commonly tolerated such foreign religions as were no danger to morality and discipline; and through it did not recognized all religious bodies as legal corporations. Interesting enough Christian persecution was not evident outside of Rome.

There are countless martyrs’ throughout centuries of church history who has suffered violent deaths for the sake of Christ. Their testimonies sets the stage for a worldwide crusade for the gospel message, therefore without church persecution the expansion of the gospel would have lost steam, yet we can discuss church persecution in this present age. There are Christians in this present day that has saturated foreign country for the sake of Christianity. The purpose of this research paper is to preview how persecution played a role in church history, as it relates to; an ecclesiological perspective, legal perspective, and from the blood of martyrs’. Thus we can better understand how persecution impacts the modern church today.

ECCLESIOLGIAL PERSPECTIVE

The experience of ecclesiology and church history pertaining to persecution features the supporting ideas that are valuable of the past. Perhaps, the martyrs’ testimony is partially fulfilled by God’s promise of the Holy Spirit. In fact the core idea consists of the divine promise that the Spirit will be poured out over God’s servants . The point is proven with reference to Acts 2:17-18, And it shall be in the last days, God says, “That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; and your son and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall dream dreams, even on my bond slaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth my Spirit and they shall prophesy.” The interpretation is of this biblical quote follows prophecies of the vision of the past and the prospect of the present. This will be a testament to non-believers, and a blessing to the believers’ that the Holy Spirit is sent to the Church to give everyone the gifts of the Spirit. The message is clearly seen in Matt. 10: 32-33, “Whosoever shall confess me before men, him will I confess before my Father which is in Heaven.

This would be an impossible task without the power of the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:8, “And you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit come upon you, and you shall be my witness both Jerusalem, and in Judea and Samaria and even to the remote parts of the earth.” Suffering and tribulation belonged to the very nature of the primitive Church. The Christian, like the Jew, was expected to confess and if need be to suffer for His Name. The promise of the Holy Spirit empowers both men and women to spread the gospel to the world without fear, and encouraged those who are weak in faith to support the dignity of receiving visions of the past.

LEGAL PERSPECTIVE

The account of the first primitive persecutions provides a starting point with Nero in A.D. 67. Thus he ordered that the city of Rome should be set on fire. While the imperial city was in flames, he went up to the tower of Maecenas, played upon his harp, song of the burning of Troy. This persecution was general throughout the whole Roman Empire; however increased rather than diminished the spirit of Christianity. The barbarities exercised on the Christians were such as even excited the commiseration of the Romans themselves.

The second persecution under Domitian A.D. 81 was naturally inclined to cruelty. In rage he put to death some of the Roman senators, and commanded all the lineage of David to be put to death. Theses persecutions among the Christians increased the number of informers and many, for the sake of gain, swore away the lives of the innocent. Another hardship was, that, when any Christians were brought before the magistrates, a test oath was proposed, when, if they refused to take it, death was pronounced against them; and if they confessed themselves Christians the sentence was the same.

The third persecution under Trajan, A.D. 108 moved to pity certifying that there were many Christian put to death, of which none did anything contrary to the Roman law worthy of persecution. They were accustomed on stated day to meet before daylight, and to repeat together a set from of prayer to Christ as God, and to bind themselves by obligation not indeed to commit wickedness, theft, robbery, or adultery, never falsify their word, never to defraud any man; after which it was their custom to separate, and reassemble to partake in common of a harmless meal. It is said that when Ignatius who is famously revered among very many. Ignatius when passed through Asia, being under strict custody of his keepers, he strengthened and confirmed the churches when the Word of God was preached. Christian persecution was more political then personal, however wider persecution was not tolerated concerning the refusal to worship the Emperor.

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