Bible Society of South Africa

Persecution of the church - 27 June 2023

By Ben Fourie

Bible text(s)

13When the dragon realized that he had been thrown down to the earth, he began to pursue the woman who had given birth to the boy.

Revelation 12:13GNBOpen in Bible reader

According to the vision that we discussed yesterday, there was war in heaven, and Satan and his minions were cast down to earth. When Satan saw that he was cast out of heaven, he changed his plan of trying to destroy the child and started to attack the mother, which is the church. We, as a church, in the twenty-first century are still feeling Satan’s wrath.

He started by trying to prevent the beginning of the church. It began with the persecution of the Christians by their own people, the Jews. Even Paul was involved in this, before meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus. Eventually, the persecutions by the Roman authorities started, but even this was not able to destroy the church. The church as we can see in the Acts started slowly, but then started to gain momentum. Soon, there were congregations in many towns, cities and countries. When Satan saw that this also did not have the desired effect, he started with an even more dangerous plan, a plan that is still in place today.

By spreading false doctrine and untruths, Satan tried to stop the growth of the church and he is still doing it today. Just read the letters of Paul as well as letters to newspapers and other publications, and even some church doctrine and so-called Christians’ ideas about the Bible. In Revelation 12:15, it is pictured as: “And then from his mouth the dragon poured out a flood of water after the woman, so that it could carry her away.”

Sometimes, it does look as if this stream of false doctrine would carry away the church until she is swallowed up by the world. Fortunately, we know that this would never happen. God is still safeguarding his church (Revelation 12:14).

When Satan realised that he could not destroy the church, he started to attack the individual believers (Romans 12:17). This is where we find ourselves today. Therefore, let us hold on to what Paul wrote in Romans 8:38: “For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future …”

Prayer: Our Father, we know that Satan is trying to persuade us every day to take the wrong road. Thank you for your Word that tells us that everyone who is obedient to you will not be led astray. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.15
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