“A Conspiracy of Darkness”
- Acts 17: 5-9 ..(5) “But the Jews who were not persuaded, becoming envious, took some of the evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. (6) But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too. (7) Jason has harbored them, and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king—Jesus.” (8) And they troubled the crowd and the rulers of the city when they heard these things. (9) So when they had taken security from Jason and the rest, they let them go.”
- Persecution from the legalists
- James 3:1 .. “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.”
- Teachers held to a higher standard.
- John 9:40-41 – (40) Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, “Are we blind also?” (41) Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.”
- Do as I say not as I do … doesn’t fly with Jesus.
- I Corinthians 11:1 – “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”
- Can they “walk” in your “shadow”?
- Expect persecution… BUT!
- Matt 5:10-12 ..(10) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(11) “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you,
and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
(12) Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward
in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who
were before you”.
- Luke 6:27-28 ..(27) “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, (28) bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.”
- BUT…. GOD EXPECTS THIS!
- Luke 23:33-34 – (33) And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. (34) Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots.”
- Acts 7:59-60 – (59) And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” (60) Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”
- Matt 5:7-9 – (7) Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. (8) Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. (9) Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.”
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