Word for the World devotionals from Dr. Randy White

An Ill Wind Blows

“And [Herod the king] had James the brother of John put to death with a sword. When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. Now it was during the days of Unleavened Bread.” (Acts 12:2-3; NASB95)

After the death of Stephen, the church’s first Martyr, Christians began to flee Jerusalem and Judea for the safety of the Roman Empire.  In Antioch the new movement took place, and the gentile church was born.  It was at Antioch that a missionary spirit overtook the church, the care for hurting believers took root, and believers were first called Christian.

But back in Jerusalem, the disciple James was arrested and killed for his preaching.  This is the James that was one of the “Sons of Thunder,” along with his brother, John.   Herod received such political favor from this move that he arrested Peter also, who was later released by the power of God.

The persecution of Christians has often bought political points in world history.  Over and over the journals of persecuted Christians have been written in anguish.  While this has been happening around the world throughout our lives, America has been relatively free of Christian persecution.

I fear, however, that times are changing.  Political forces and personalities are arising that are not friendly to Christian standards and the Christian message.  I foresee the day when a Christian will be persecuted, and the politician doing the persecution will gain political favor among some, which will cause him to proceed to persecute more.

I fear that an ill wind blows.   

In His Grace,
Dr. Randy White

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