“The last century and a half have seen more converts, and more martyrs, than the first eighteen centuries combined.” –D.A. Carson
Let that soak in. Don’t miss the significance of martyrdom, and in particular, the increase of martyrdom. Why is this? Why are Christians harassed, tortured, and executed? Why are Christians hated with such vehemence? Why, from its earliest conception, did Christianity face persecution?
Jesus told us this would happen, so we shouldn’t be surprised:
“You will be hated by all for my name’s sake.” (Matt. 10:22)
All four gospels reiterate this. You will be hated because of your association with Jesus, because of your allegiance to Him, because of the side you stand on in this spiritual battle. For that . . . expect hatred.
Hostility toward Christians comes not from a physical enemy but from one who has stood in opposition to God’s plan and His children since the beginning of time. That’s why he opposes us—because he is God’s enemy. We are in a battle with the spiritual forces of evil (Eph. 6:12) . . . so conflict and hatred should come as no surprise.
Hostility toward Christians validates Scripture. But what I really want us to sit up and take notice of is the fact that hostility against Christianity proves Christianity’s threat to the kingdom of darkness. Persecution confirms God’s reality.
I mean, think about it for a minute . . . Does it even make sense that world powers, rulers, dictators, and religions would see Christianity as some kind of threat?
That little batch of fisherman—a threat?
A young schoolgirl sharing Christ—a threat?
Simple prayers lifted before sporting events—a threat?
Small groups meeting in homes to read Scripture and pray together—a threat?
Yes. A very real threat.
Christians are a threat because this God they serve is living and powerful, and His enemy knows He is no tame lion. Christianity is a threat to the kingdom of darkness because it is a visible testimony to the reality of the God of Scripture. It is a threat because one day it will expose the ruler of darkness for the fraud that he is.
How does this encourage you today as you experience opposition as God’s child?