Tag Archives: persecution


6. The Future of the Church

Looking through the prophetic eye in apostolic days, the future of our Lord’s church would be one of joy mingled with sorrows. There is the joy of promulgating the gospel to the ends of the earth, despite the sorrows of tribulations and persecutions to be encountered. Our Lord forewarned His people of the bitter crises they must face, John 16:1, 2: “These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues; yea the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.”

But despite such disturbing factors, the Lord assured His church of perpetual existence in this world throughout the centuries until He shall come again. This assurance is founded upon certain facts:

  1. Christ, who defeated Satan in the temptations, will not allow Satan to overcome His church, John 16:33: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world.”

  2. Christ assured His church that the “gates of hell” shall not prevail against it, Matt. 16:18: “Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,” that is, “against her,’ as the original word is in the feminine gender.

  3. The immovable foundation of the church, which is Christ himself, is a guarantee of the perpetual existence of the church in all Christian centuries, Matt. 7:24-27. The house built on a rock stood amidst terrific beatings of storms and floods because of its foundation.

  4. The apostle Paul declares Christ to be the “saviour,” that is, preserver “of the body,” here used abstractly of the church (Eph. 5:23). He has preserved not only the principles of the church, but the church itself – the “body” plus its principles.

  5. Our Lord’s promise to be with His church to the end of the world, that is, the age, is a comforting assurance to us, Matt. 28:20: “…lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

  6. God has ordained to receive glory through His church in all ages, Eph. 3:21: “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” If the church has not existed in all ages since Christ’s day on earth, this assurance has failed. But God’s promises are sure.

The world crises through which Christ has preserved His church across the centuries include:

  1. The crisis of scorn, ridicule and misrepresentation. As Christ faced it, so His disciples must also face it. Our Master endured this crisis in His life and on the cross. The name Christian was first applied to His disciples at Antioch in derision, and not until the second century did they accept and use it with any degree of pride (Acts 11:26). During the centuries after Christ, His people have been dubbed by various epithets in scorn and ridicule. The types of scorn and misrepresentation which Christians endured especially in the first three centuries may be summed up thusly:

    1. They were called a “sect of the Nazarenes” (Acts 24:5).

    2. Their teaching was labeled a “contagious superstition” by the Roman governor of Bithynia, whose name was Pliny. This was in the second century.

    3. They were charged with sedition and high treason, because they refused to render worship to the Emperor by burning incense on the altar before his statue.

    4. They were charged with atheism, because they refused to acknowledge the pagan gods. Theism denotes belief in God’s existence, but “theism” is negated, or denied, when the Greek letter “a” is placed before it – “a-theism.”

    5. They were charged with cannibalism, because they claimed to partake of the body and blood of Christ in a symbolic way in the observance of the Lord’s Supper, which had to be done in secret assemblies. The pagan spies twisted the truth by saying the Christians secluded themselves to eat literal flesh and blood of human beings. The bread and the fruit of the vine are only symbols of the body and blood of Christ, not His real body and blood.

    6. They were charged with arson at Rome, Nero had this charge placed against them to take the spotlight off himself, as he had come under suspicion of setting fire to the city. He said the Christians did this in order to prove their doctrine that the world would be destroyed by fire. But they proved themselves innocent of all such charges, and marched forward in a pagan world with the banner of truth unfurled. And the old Ship of Zion sailed on.

  2. The crisis of compromise. In every century since Christ’s day, the opponents of Baptists have proposed compromise – to spare their life, if they would give up their faith. Many a Baptist has been led to the stake to be burned, or put to death in some in some horrible manner with the crucifix held before their faces in a plea for them to surrender their faith and live. But great numbers of them went to their death praising God that they were counted worthy to suffer for Him. When the martyr Hooper was led away to his death, his persecutors said to him” “Mr. Hooper, why don’t you give up your faith, for life is sweet.” “Yes, life is sweet,” answered Mr. Hooper, “but eternal life is sweeter.” He left the earth for heaven amidst the flames of martyrdom. The Old Ship of Zion sails on!

  3. The crisis of heresy, or false teaching.Commencing with the efforts of the Judaizers at Jerusalem to conjoin works of the law with grace in order for the Gentiles to be saved (Acts 15:1-35), true Christianity has had to battle its way against the darkness of heresy to maintain its purity. Paul said in his day that the “mystery of iniquity doth already work” (II Thess. 2:7). and the main purpose of Peter’s writing his second epistle was to confirm the Jewish Christians in the faith against the onslaught of “damnable heresies” introduced by false prophets and false teachers (II Peter 2:1).

    The theory of baptismal regeneration arose by the end of the second century, and along with it came infant baptism. These twin heresies have proved all along as disturbing factors in Christendom. And in the first part of the third century episcopacy arose with its bold effort to break down the independence and self-governing aspect of the churches which the loyal ones claimed was inherited from the apostolic pattern. By prophecy Paul forewarned the followers of Christ that “in the latter times some shall depart from the faith” (I Tim. 4:1) as a system of doctrine (Jude 3).

    Those were the forerunners of a horde of heresies that have been introduced into Christendom since then, including the bodily assumption of Mary and prayers offered to her; the adoration of images in worship; the seven sacraments as means of divine grace for salvation; transubstantiation and the sale of indulgences for the remission of sins. But the old Ship of Zion sails on in the sea of the purity of the faith once delivered to the saints!

  4. The crisis of persecution. The church of our Lord Jesus Christ has survived in the purity of the original faith despite persecutions from the following sources:

    1. Worldliness in high official ranks. The first Baptist preacher suffered decapitation for denouncing the adultery of a king and his wife (Matt. 14:3-11). And in some way or other ever since then preachers have had rough sailing when they undertook to draw the line against the impurity of marriage.

    2. Jewish. Not long after the resurrection of Christ, Christians were imprisoned and whipped for preaching the doctrine of His resurrection (Acts 4:1-3; 5:18, 40). This was done by authority of the Jewish high court.

      Stephen was stoned to death for preaching the doctrine held by Baptists (Acts 7:57-60).

      With the exception of John, all the apostles suffered martyrdom, and John himself was sent into exile by Emperor Domitian. They all taught doctrines now held by Baptists.

    3. Pagan. At first the pagan rulers at Rome paid little attention to Christianity, considering it to be another sect of the Jews; but when its pattern was seen clearly and definitely divorced from Judaism, persecution by the pagans began to be waged against its devotees. Then followed ten major pagan persecutions, from Nero in A.D. 67 to Diocletian in A.D. 303. During this time some two million Christians suffered death for their faith.

    4. Catholic. Constantine the Great, claiming conversion to Christianity, and uniting his version of the church with the state in A.D. 313, set the pattern of persecution of his opponents by slaughtering many of the Donatists in North Africa. His successor in the latter part of the fourth century, Theodosius the Great, made it punishable by death for anyone found worshiping contrary to his decrees.

      Gregory the Great, who became a Romish bishop in 590, dispatched Austin to the British Isles to convert those people to the Catholic faith. He succeeded with many of them, especially the Saxons of England, but when he failed to convert the Welsh Baptists, he turned upon them with organized savagery and slew about twelve hundred of them. From these Welsh Baptists, who sprang up as early as A.D. 63, and many of whom sealed their testimony with their blood under the Austin persecution, came Baptists and even a whole church in organized capacity in the colonial days to America.

      After Gregory papal power was increased until it reached its zenith under Pope Innocent III, whose pontificate extended from 1198 to 1216.It was during his time when our forefathers in the faith, called Albigenses and Waldenses, were so severely persecuted. After Innocent papal power began to wane under the impact of moral corruption in the Catholic Church all the way from the priests to the popes, and soon the morning stars of the Reformation began to shine forth. During the time of the papal rule, from Constantine the Great to the Reformation, historians have estimated not less than FIFTY MILLION people were killed for their faith.

      Still the old Ship of Zion sails on!

    5. Prostestant. The Lutheran Reformation, known as the Protestant Reformation, was officially born on October 31, 1517, when Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, in stout denunciation of the sale of indulgences, that is, the forgiveness of sins from the pope, by john Tetzel, one of the hierarchy’s emissaries sent out to collect money for the Catholic Church under the fraudulent claim of granting remission of sins according to the amount of money expended in this manner.

Had it not been for John Wycliffe of England, John Huss of Bohemia, the Anabaptists, and others, all of whom labored before the rise of Luther, the Lutheran Reformation would never have materialized.

But no sooner had the Reformation gotten well under way, like a steam roller, it crushed under its impact many who had aided Luther in his efforts. Among these were Anabaptists whose lineage runs back to apostolic days and from whom came many Baptists to America in the seventeenth century.

Therefore the true Baptist in America have lineal descent from the church founded by Christ Himself during His personal ministry on earth. This is the true church line across the centuries back to Christ. Any believer in Christ, whether or not he is in this church line, may be saved, but without one’s identifying himself with this line he cannot receive Scriptural baptism, for the authority to baptize was invested in the church line beginning with the one in existence in Christ’s day (Matt. 28:19,20), and has been perpetuated in this line across the centuries. The disciples whom Paul found at Ephesus, who had been baptized without Scriptural authority, were baptized again after he had taught them the truth about salvation and baptism (Acts 19:1-5). You may have been baptized by someone, but unless you have been baptized by divine authority vested in a church whose lineage goes back to the days of Christ, you do not have Scriptural baptism. In this event, then, you should, if you are saved, submit yourself for Scriptural baptism.

So the old Ship of Zion sail on forever, despite fire, dungeon and the sword! Even the wholesale slaughter of the faithful witnesses of Christ failed to shove them into the “gates of hell.”

“Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matt. 16:18).

This is the last of the out of date pamphlet I have. I will post the complete pamphlet for those that would want to copy for their files.


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‘In the Name of Christ, stop!’

American Minute with Bill Federer

There were ten major persecutions of Christians in the first three centuries, and Emperor Diocletian’s was the worst.

When Diocletian had lost battles in Persia, his generals told him it was because they had neglected the Roman gods.

Diocletian ordered all military personnel to worship the Roman gods, thus forcing Christians either into the closet or out of the army.

After purging Christians from the military, Diocletian surrounded himself with public opponents of Christianity.

He revoked the tolerance issued a previous Emperor Gallienus in 260 AD, and then used the military to force all of Rome to worship pagan gods.

In 303 AD, Diocletian consulted the Oracle Temple of Apollo at Didyma, which told him to initiate a great empire-wide persecution of the Christian church.

What followed was an intolerant, hateful and severe persecution of Christians.

Diocletian had his military go systematically province by province arresting church leaders, burning scriptures, destroying churches, cutting out tongues, boiling Christians alive and decapitating them.

From Europe to North Africa, thousands were martyred.

The faithful cried out in fervent prayer.

Then Diocletian was struck with a painful intestinal disease and resigned on MAY 1, 305 AD.

Emperor Gelarius continued the persecution, but he too was struck with the intestinal disease and died.

Commenting on Roman persecutions was Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan, who was the Democrat Party’s candidate for President in 1896, 1900, and 1908.

He stated in his speech, “The Prince of Peace,” (New York Times, September 7, 1913):

I can imagine that the early Christians who were carried into the Coliseum to make a spectacle for those more savage than the beasts, were entreated by their doubting companions not to endanger their lives.

But, kneeling in the center of the arena, they prayed and sang until they were devoured…”

William Jennings Bryan continued:

How helpless they seemed, and, measured by every human rule, how hopeless was their cause!

And yet within a few decades the power which they invoked proved mightier than the legions of the Emperor, and the faith in which they died was triumphant o’er all the land….

They were greater conquerors in their death than they could have been had they purchased life.”

President Ronald Reagan commented on the Roman Coliseum at the National Prayer Breakfast, February 2, 1984:

This power of prayer can be illustrated by the story that goes back to the fourth century – the monk [Telemachus] living in a little remote village, spending most of his time in prayer…

One day he thought he heard the voice of God telling him to go to Rome…

Weeks and weeks later, he arrived…at a time of a festival in Rome…

He followed a crowd into the Coliseum, and then, there in the midst of this great crowd, he saw the gladiators come forth, stand before the Emperor, and say, ‘We who are about to die salute you.’

And he realized they were going to fight to the death for the entertainment of the crowds.

He cried out, ‘In the Name of Christ, stop!’

And his voice was lost in the tumult there in the great Colosseum…”

Reagan continued:

And as the games began, he made his way down through the crowd and climbed over the wall and dropped to the floor of the arena.

Suddenly the crowds saw this scrawny little figure making his way out to the gladiators and saying, over and over again, ‘In the Name of Christ, stop!’

And they thought it was part of the entertainment, and at first they were amused.

But then, when they realized it wasn’t, they grew belligerent and angry…”

Reagan added:

And as he was pleading with the gladiators, ‘In the Name of Christ, stop!’ one of them plunged his sword into his body.

And as he fell to the sand of the arena in death, his last words were, ‘In the Name of Christ, stop!’

And suddenly, a strange thing happened.

The gladiators stood looking at this tiny form lying in the sand. A silence fell over the Colosseum. And then, someplace up in the upper tiers, an individual made his way to an exit and left, and the others began to follow.

And in the dead silence, everyone left the Colosseum. That was the last battle to the death between gladiators in the Roman Colosseum.

Never again did anyone kill or did men kill each other for the entertainment of the crowd…”

Reagan ended:

One tiny voice that could hardly be heard above the tumult. ‘In the Name of Christ, stop!’

It is something we could be saying to each other throughout the world today.”


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Teenager in Prison


Posted: 17 Apr 2015 05:23 PM PDT

Yudintsev, Andrei

Teenager in Prison

  “But he’s just a kid!”  Surely those words could have been said of Joseph in Egypt, or of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Babylon. But that might also have been said of Andrei Yudintsev, who was eighteen when he and his friend, Vladimir Timchuk, were arrested during the Thanksgiving service at their Baptist church.  The lads thought they might spend a short time in the local jail or be fined, but soon they discovered they were going to be “tried” and the mandatory “guilty” finding would confine them for years in prison. They were given prison terms of three and a half years.  Following a brief incarceration in the local prison, the two were transported to different prison camps.  On April 18, 1982, Andrei arrived in his camp where he worked as a welder.  For two years, he had no Christian fellowship, but one day he was told that a fellow believer had been brought in.  He rejoiced to meet Pavel Zinchenko and to discover that they had many mutual friends.  The men continually encouraged each other which made the burdens of prison almost tolerable.  In the course of time, a third believer, Vladimir Blasenko from Nikolaev, was also transferred into their camp. Vladimir had suffered severely for his faith, but his captors could not break his spirit. Valdimir was thrilled to discover that Andrei and Pavel had a New Testament, and he read late into the nights.  Andrei reported:  “At first it might seem that this was a waste of my youth, but when it was over, nothing remained except gratitude to the Lord and gladness.  David says in Psalm 33, ‘For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy Name.’”  “He’s just a kid?”  Of Andrei we can say, he became a man, and a special kind of man, a man of God!

Dr. Dale R. Hart adapted from: “This Day in Baptist History III” David L. Cummins. pp. 225 – 226

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303 – Oct. 30 – This Day in Baptist History Past

Was met with violent opposition and persecution

October 30, 1753 – David Barrow was born into a plain farm family in Brunswick County, Virginia. After he received Christ at the age of 16, he was baptized by Zachariah Thompson and immediately began to exhort others to seek the Savior.

Though he had received very little education earlier, after he married he studied grammar under Elder Jeremiah Walker and became an excellent grammarian. Barrow was ordained in 1771 and traveled and preached extensively in Virginia and N. C.  He became the pastor of Isle of Wight Church in 1774. His ministry was interrupted when he shouldered a musket in 1776 and entered the army to defend his newly established country.

Barrow’s exceptional deportment rendered him popular with all classes of men except the baser sort of “church men” who opposed the gospel of God’s grace (Anglican). His successful ministry was met with violent opposition and persecution. On one occasion in 1778, Barrow and Edward Mintz were preaching at the home of a man who lived near the mouth of the James River. A gang of well dressed “church men” came up on the stage that had been erected under some trees. As soon as the hymn had been given out the “church men” began singing obscene songs. Then they grabbed Barrow and plunged him under some nearby water, twice burying his head in the mud to the point that he couldn’t breathe. Barrow barely escaped with his life. Within a few weeks, three or four of their persecutors died in a very strange manner. Barrow and the other men disregarded the threats and continued to preach without further problems. Many were saved, baptized, and a church was organized.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 450-51.

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301 – Oct. 28 – This Day in Baptist History Past

This is a day of apostacy that is as great as  what Spurgeon faced. Those that will stand will face anger, arrogance, and ridicule for standing faithfully for the express truths of the Word of God.



Controversy isolated Spurgeon

October 28, 1887 – Charles Haddon Spurgeon withdrew from the Baptist Union. During the height of the dispute before he withdrew he wrote the following that gives insight as to the condition of the Union at the time. “No lover of the Gospel can conceal from himself the fact that the days are evil. A new religion has been initiated, which is no more Christianity than chalk is cheese, and this religion, being destitute of moral honesty, palms itself off as the old faith with slight improvements, and on this plea usurps pulpits which were erected for Gospel preaching. The Atonement is scouted, the inspiration of the Scripture is derided, the Holy Spirit is degraded into an influence, the punishment of sin is turned into fiction, and the Resurrection into a myth, and yet these enemies of our faith expect us to call them brethren, and maintain a confederacy with them!” At the back of doctrinal falsehood comes a natural decline of spiritual life, evidenced by a taste for questionable amusements, and a weariness of devotional meetings. Spurgeon’s early complaints centered upon three problems; the decline of prayer meetings among the Baptist churches, the worldliness of ministers relating to entertainment, and doctrinal problems which stemmed from the inroads of the “higher criticism” of that day. This controversy isolated Spurgeon from many who refused to stand with him for the defense of biblical truth. Many believe that the grief and conflict of this battle hastened his death after a period of illness at Mentone in Southern France. He died on Jan. 31, 1892 at 57 years of age. In our day when apostasy abounds, God grant us men of God like him.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 447-48.             

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230 – August, 18 – This Day in Baptist History Past


first Baptist_Bostonmeetinghouse

First Baptist Meeting House

in Boston

Founded the First Baptist Church of Boston

On August 18, 1666  the Assistants’ Court of Massachusetts decided that Thomas Gould could be freed after him and Osborne, a fellow Anabaptist, paid a fine and costs, but if they refused, they were to be banished. On march 3, 1668 , Gould was brought before the court in Boston, and he was recommitted to prison. These godly men, along with other Anabaptists, Drinker, Turner and George had been “disenfranchised” and threatened with imprisonment for worshiping outside of the Congregational State Church. On April 17, 1666, Gould, Osborne and George were presented before the Grand Jury at Cambridge for absence from the Congregational church “for one whole year.” In spite of giving evi-dence that they attended a gospel church regularly, “they were convicted of ‘high presumption against the Lord and his holy appointments,’ and were fined £4 each, and put under bonds of £20 each; as they would not pay their fines, they were thrown into prison.” The name of Thomas Gould was revered by early Baptists in Mass. because of his adamant but gracious refusal in 1655 to have his infant sprinkled in the church of the standing order. During a period of five years Gould was put in “seven or eight courts.” His answer was, “I did not see any rule of Christ for it, for that ordinance belongs to such as can make profession of their faith, as the scripture doth plainly hold forth.” On March 3, 1668, Gould was brought before the Court of Assistants in Boston, and he was re-committed to prison. From the trials of Gould and these men the First Baptist Church of Boston came into existence. The members suffered fines and jail but they prevailed.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 340-41.

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227 – August 15 – This Day in Baptist History Past



One of the Leaders in the Fight for Liberty”        

William Webber was born on August 15, 1747, to parents of moderate means and received only three years of formal education, and yet he was considered one of the spiritual fathers and pioneers of the gospel in Virginia. He became a carpenter and worked at that trade until he was converted to Jesus Christ under the preaching of John Waller and quickly became an exhorter.

Few men in Virginia suffered more persecutions than Webber. He was among those who preached through the grates of the Chesterfield County jail, spending three months there. In the same year of 1771 he was taken from the platform where he was preaching to the Middlesex County jail for forty-five days, where he, along with several others, preached twice a week, through the bars to those that would hear.

He was also roughly treated on many occasions. In spite of these things, the gospel prospered, and Baptist principles were embraced by many. Many strong and fruitful churches were planted such as the Powhatah church, out of which no less than fourteen preachers were called early in its history.

Early on , Webber became pastor of the Dover Church in Goochland County, VA, and in spite of his poor circumstances, he gave a great deal of time in his youth to preaching. But as his family grew, he found it necessary to limit his labors to his own area. Semple says, “He was very successful in turning many to righteousness; and in confirming the souls of his disciples. He was a man of sound and correct judgment…well versed in the scripture, and ingenious in defending them against error. He was one of the leaders to represent the Baptists in the fight for liberty.”

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 335-36.

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Great Is Your Reward  


Matthew 5:10-12

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you,” Matthew 5:12.

I never want to take for granted the salvation that I have received from Jesus. In a culture where being a follower of Christ is becoming less “hip”, I pray that I never abandon the Lord who will never abandon me. Sure, there may be some hate that comes because I chose to follow the ways of the Scriptures, but I pray that it never causes me to waiver in my walk for the Lord.

We are all called to place God in a position of significance in our lives. This calling requires believers to value God above all else in this world. One of the greatest ways we can show God how much we value Him is through our response to persecution.

Persecution is simply being mistreated because of one’s faith in God. It can come in many forms. It can be as small as one person ridiculing another because of their belief or it can be as serious as a martyr dying for their faith. This is not something that we would call a blessing, but that is exactly what God tells us that persecution is in today’s passage.

No matter the severity, God rewards those who suffer for the cause of righteousness. Jesus told His disciples here in the gospels that they could count on persecution. We can count on it as well, but we can also rejoice in the truth that God has a great reward waiting in Heaven for those who experience it.





When persecution comes, will you see it as an opportunity for blessings and rewards?

Nathan Rogers

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Oliver_CromwellOliver Cromwell

Some who want liberty only want it for themselves

Thomas Patient migrated to America as a Congregationalist preacher after graduating from either Oxford or Cambridge University. Meeting Baptists he re-examined the Scriptures concerning Baptism and concluded that “infant baptism” had no foundation in Scripture.” However, because of severe persecution from his church he was forced to return to Great Britain. The Pilgrims had come to find religious liberty but there was not liberty for others. He  served as co-pastor with William Kiffin in London in 1640 and was one of the  Baptist leaders who signed the Particular Baptist Confession of Faith by seven Baptist churches in London in 1644. This was during the Commonwealth under Cromwell and the English Parliament voted to appoint six ministers to preach in Dublin, Ireland, and Patient accepted one of those positions. He spoke to large audiences and he acted as chaplain for Colonel John Jones, who was actually the Gov. of Dublin and Patient was invited to preach each Lord’s Day in the Council of Dublin and thus the aristocracy of the Anglo-Irish society heard the living gospel. Patient baptized a large group in Dublin and it is believed that he founded the First Baptist Church in Ireland following the Reformation in Ireland. He apparently assisted in establishing the Baptist church at Cloughkeating. All the congregation were tried for their lives, but in God’s providence the foreman died, and they were all acquitted. Because Patient was willing to accept government remuneration for preaching, it is evident that the Baptists of London distanced themselves from him. But to him is the honor of building the first Baptist meetinghouse in Ireland.  The man of God fell asleep in Jesus on July 30, 1666 having paid the price for his convictions on Baptism.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 312-13.

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Persecution Is Normal

Persecution Is Normal

2 Timothy 3:12

“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution,” 2 Timothy 3:12.


A promise that Christians can count on is this, “Live godly . . . suffer persecution” (verse 12). This promise makes one wonder, where’s the incentive to be good? The Christian, working hard to be good, changes Christianity into just another religion. On the other hand, if we are surrendering our body to God as a tool with which He can do good works, then, it is Christ’s righteousness, God working out through us. That makes Christianity a lifestyle which Satan and his advocates disdain (Matt. 5: 10-12).

People living godly are lights that expose those who are walking in darkness and causes them great discomfort. “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness” (1 Thess. 5:5). Normal means “a common event that usually occurs.” Persecution is normal for the Christian. Peter taught that, if we do well and are persecuted for it, great is our reward.

I once heard David Ring, an evangelist who has muscular sclerosis. It was difficult to understand his speech as he told of the many accomplishments with which God had blessed him. Someone told him he was not normal. He replied, “Normal! What’s normal! I’ve got muscular sclerosis, and I did all these wonderful things. What’s your problem!” Christianity is like a hard working Helen Keller amidst a group of judgmental finger-pointers.




I’ve got muscular sclerosis! What’s your problem? I’m a Christian doing the best I can, and God has blessed me. What’s your problem?—David Ring

Robert Brock

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