Counted Worthy to Suffer for Jesus
When you start to think that the gates of hell are succeeding, and the church is being struck down, be reminded that God is still on His throne and Christ is still building His church.
The early church is:
1. Marked by INCREDIBLE MIRACLES - Jesus is alive and continues His ministry through the apostles who do miracles like He did.
2. Marked by POWERFUL REGULAR PREACHING - the whole story is full of preachings and the command to preach the Truth
3. Marked by PURITY - the story of Ananias and Sapphira is proof that the church should be pure and church discipline is an act of grace that enforces it.
JEALOUSY is a liar. It seduces you to sin. It tells you that God is limiting your joy and forbidding you to have something that you think you are entitled to have.
Truth is that restraint gives us direction towards maximum JOY!
MIRACLE IN PRISON
The reason that the apostles were freed was to preach the "LIFE". Life is found in the Word! Not even one day (even a day in prison) will the gates of hell prevail; in the absence of the New Testament, the apostles' preaching was needed or the church would not be built up!
"If it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them."
If only churches in the world believe in this, there will be radical change.
Think of how many worldly strategies and means that the church employs in order to "succeed". Sadly, this results in entertainment rather than edification.
God has intended a MEANS, and that is the PREACHING of His Word! God has intended specific means for the caring of His Bride the Church.
Why would the disciples want to suffer all the time?
They would like to be counted worthy of suffering for the name of Christ.
If and when suffering comes upon us, will we rejoice because God has counted us worthy of suffering for His name?