by John Barnett

This content is part of a series.

Love That's First (58 of 58)
Series: Revelation - From Now to Forever
John Barnett

From the depths of the catacombs by dim and flickering light the sea of faces upturned sang praises to the Lamb that was slain. Above ground just 30 feet over their heads a chariot clattered along the Roman road, heading to the Coliseum. Inside this magnificent structure nearly 80,000 already strained to get a good view. The preliminary activities of fighting beasts drew only partial approval from the crowd. Soon blood would be seen, and that is what they came to see. Human blood from helpless Christians herded into the red stained sand always drew rapt attention. As gladiators jabbed the unarmed participants rounded up from various raids on the fledgling church and herded them into the pit, hunger crazed predators circled in their cages awaiting a meal. Then with a trumpet sound the defenseless men, women and children looked at the attacking wave of claws, fangs and roars.

Soon it was over. Blood and some bones were all that remained. The crowds would leave mesmerized again until the show started over again tomorrow. The next attraction was the torch lit gardens of the forum. At dusk the Emperor would raise on wooden poles those strapped down and pitch covered human torches. Again they were Christians. Again they suffered, burned alive to light the path of the citizens of the persecuting empire.

As night mercifully fell the worshipers of the catacombs crept up the city storm sewers to risk their lives in a search for bones from the arenas blood soaked sands, and body parts
from the smoldering stakes. They reverently carried them down and buried them with tear filled songs of praise to the God of Hope and comfort who alone could give them courage to go on.

This is late first century Roman Empire life for followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. What was it that made them behave so well in such trying times? They believed truth about God. And if you believe right you behav ...

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