Persecution And Hope (Part Two)

Persecution And Hope (Part Two)

Wednesday’s Column: Third’s Words

Gary III

Gary Pollard

Last week we looked at an account from Tacitus describing the brutality of Nero against Christians who lived during his reign. Here are a few points to take away:
  • Jesus was a historical person.
  • Early Christians suffered immensely. If we want an idea of Christian endurance, we should look to this as an example. We do not really face persecution in the modern world.
  • That account makes inspired passages like I Peter 1.13-2.2 and I Peter 4.7 more personal. In 1.13-2.2, the Spirit tells Christians how to live while dealing with persecution with five commands:
    • Fix Your Hope (13)
    • Be Holy (15)
    • Conduct Yourselves in Fear (17)
    • Love Each Other (22)
    • Long for Pure Milk of the Word (2.2)
  • It gives more context for the desire to be in Heaven that early Christians had (II Peter 3.13; Romans 8.20-24; II Timothy 2.12).
“If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied” (I Corinthians 15.19).
Tombstone of Tacitus (via Rome Museum)

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