AS PERSECUTION INTENSIFIES, DON’T RUN

May 3, 2022
May 3, 2022

 “Peter said to Him, ‘Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!’ And so said all the disciples.” Matthew 26:35

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We celebrated JESUS’ resurrection all over the CHRISTian world in April. But do we also celebrate the crucifixion part that was the necessary ingredient for resurrection? Let’s go deeper. Do we celebrate the place where JESUS died to HIS human will to pickup the FATHER’s will, Gethsemane?

Food for thought.


Prior to Gethsemane, something very interesting occurred. Peter, as well as all the other disciples, pledged to lay down their lives with CHRIST, for CHRIST, in Matthew 26:35. Peter was the most outspoken, but they all said in unison: We won’t abandon YOU, JESUS; we won’t run.


A few hours later, when Judas, the temple guards, and a mob showed up with clubs and spears, their resolve melted away. Matthew 26:56-58 records that allthe disciples forsook HIM and fled. At least Peter followed at a distance. As we approach increased persecution in the Western Church, including:

 

…how many of the disciples in church today will run? When it’s no longer comfortable to be a disciple, how many of us will at least follow from a distance?


All the disciples fled. Their best intentions, their well-thought-out plans, did nothing for them in the face of persecution. I wonder what they thought about JESUS when HE told them in Matthew 26:1-2, that HE would be crucified in two days. All the disciples knew about the painful torture of crucifixion. It was their worst nightmare played out. Yet, JESUS expected it, embraced it, talked about it.

 

Are we afraid to talk about the hard stuff? Are we in the Western Church expecting persecution? How will we respond when it arrives? Will we run, give in, hide?

Eventually, all twelve disciples became witnesses (martyrs).

 

What changed them from runners into those who expected and embraced the reality of persecution? HOLY SPIRIT and the actions of the disciples.  

 

As persecution gets hotter, let’s follow their lead.

 

1.   They received the HOLY SPIRIT which gave them the power of GOD to become HIS martyrs. Their devotion to CHRIST was greater than their desire for self-preservation and safety.

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses (martyrs) to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8

 

2.   When the disciples received the HOLY SPIRIT, they didn’t just sit there. They acted. They took an example from JESUS’ life. When HE was about to go through the most difficult stage of HIS mission on the earth, HE spent HIS last hours in prayer. Gethsemane prepared JESUS CHRIST for Calvary. Consider spending at least one hour praying in your HOLY SPIRIT language (also called prayer language) everyday. If you don’t have one, ask JESUS to give it to you.

 

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” Jude1:20-21

 

“Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, ‘What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’” Matthew 26:40-41

 

3.   Even the SON of GOD has community – fellowship. The LORD is gathering HIS Remnant all over the world, joining us together in small and large prayer groups. Ask the LORD for the one you should join. Join a prayer group. If you are looking for one, WeRemnant has one, and we would love to have you. Shoot us an email if you are interested and use this link to request prayer.

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*All Scriptures are in the New King James Version of the Bible, unless otherwise noted.

 

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