“Hang the heretics!” the angry mob shouted, shoving my neighbor and me toward a makeshift gallows.
Image © Rolf Jansson from GoodSalt.com
Rough hands slipped a noose over my head and shouted, “Now will you repent?”
“No!” I said, and the noose drew tighter around my neck.
Months earlier I noticed a man reading a Bible on a bus. He saw my interest and urged me to buy a Bible and discover God’s truths for myself. Then he invited me to visit the [...]
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,” James 1:2
Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com
Have you ever considered how completely foreign that philosophy is to pretty much every other way of thinking on the planet these days? Most folks spend considerable time and money to avoid any kind of trial. Our lives (in the United States, anyway) are all about easier, better and faster – trials of any kind just don’t figure in. When a [...]
Can we modern-day computer-saturated Christians even imagine what communication was like in Paul’s day? Today we consider it a disaster if we’re without electricity for an hour or two. Once current is available, we can flash a message to a relative or friend thousands of miles away and in seconds the message is being read, and an answer arrives on our screen. Or think about the robot, Curiosity, that traveled 350 million miles into space on a trip [...]
As I sit here, comfortable, in my climate-controlled home, my glass of clean, drinkable water beside me, I cannot, in any way, describe myself as persecuted. I believe I could describe myself as “bothered” sometimes, but not persecuted.
Image © Janet Hyun from GoodSalt.com
I don’t believe I can think of anyone I know that could be described as being persecuted right now.
Persecuted is defined as, “to pursue with harassing or oppressive treatment, especially because of religion, race, or beliefs; harass [...]
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” 1 Peter 4:12. NIV
In the early 15th century, over a hundred years before Martin Luther opposed the Vatican, a Catholic priest named Jan Hus opposed abuses by the church and its clergy. He also advanced the cause of the Bible translator, John Wycliffe. Partly for the former, but mostly for the latter, he paid with [...]
“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” 2 Timothy 3:12, NIV
When I awake each morning, I can enter my den and open my Bible for morning Bible study with nary a thought that anything should prevent me from enjoying this time in the Word. I can also pray for my needs and the needs of others before an open window where the morning breezes may carry my words to heavenly ears. [...]
The following thoughts and questions are provided to help Sabbath school teachers and others in a small group discussion of the lesson for the week.
Image © Stan Myers from GoodSalt.com
[Thought Questions for Friends Forever August 8, 2012]
1. The bond of friendship. Is there any doubt about the affection Paul felt towards the believers in Thessalonica? What does Paul anticipate more than anything else in the prayer that opens this week’s lesson? Was Paul justified in his love for these Christians in Thessalonica? Were they all [...]
Whether we like it or not, someone is always watching us. Have you ever thought about that? Even when you think you’re completely on your own, in a place where you think you don’t know anybody and nobody knows you, people are watching. Being a Christian only increases the number of people watching.
Image © Rolf Jansson from GoodSalt.com
Why do people watch Christians so intently? Some folks would say it’s because they’re waiting for us to mess up. In a [...]
Image © Standard Publishing from GoodSalt.com
Read Acts 17:5-9. According to this passage, what was the primary motivation for the opposition to Paul’s message? What statements did his opponents make to get the city authorities interested in the case? How did those authorities respond?
When someone preaches new teachings and people get excited, the leaders and teachers of other religious groups may become jealous. Attention that was once placed upon themselves is now directed to others. As a result, they may [...]