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Who Are These Peculiar People? (5 of 13)
THE BOOK OF I PETER
I Peter 2:9-12
INTRODUCTION: Let's once again remind ourselves of Peter's reason for writing this letter. The early Christians had come under attack because of their faith. They were being persecuted both by their own people, the Jews, and by the Roman Government. Once Rome became aware that ‘Christians' were not just another part or ‘sect' of the Jewish religion, they had little tolerance for them. They were sought out and killed, beaten, stripped of their belongings, separated from loved ones, imprisoned—you name it, it happened to them.
And let me say, Christian persecution is not too far away for us. Remember the old saying, "It's coming to a town near you." Christian persecution in America has always been thought of as something that takes place in the darker parts of the world—communist and atheistic countries—places where people either do not believe in God, or if they do, they have a twisted concept of God. Things are quickly changing in this country. People are being fired from their jobs for sharing their faith, wearing Christian jewelry, for something as simple as having a Bible in their work place. Just two weeks ago, two Gideons were arrested in Kentucky for passing out Bibles on a sidewalk near a public school. Remember what happened at Columbine? The last words spoken by Cassie Bernall, a Columbine student, were, "Yes, I believe in God." These were her last words just before she was shot and killed during a murderous rampage in which several other Christian students were stalked and executed by fellow classmates.1
QUOTE: This may come as a surprise to you, but it should certainly be a "wake-up call" for all of us. According to Voice of the Martyrs, a Christian organization dealing with world-wide persecution, "More Christians have been killed for their faith in the 20th century than have been martyred in the total history of Christianity."2
Thus f ...
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