A Challenge To The Church

Christians have been commanded by God to preach the gospel to every person on earth (Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:18; Luke 24:46,47).

Some countries have laws which prohibit or restrict the preaching of the gospel or the making of converts. Sometimes these laws are directly opposed to Christianity. In other cases, they are only intended to prevent religious fraud and enslavement as practiced by certain sects and radical groups.

In the early days of the church, Christians were forbidden to preach about Christ and His resurrection. "But Peter and John answered and said to them, 'Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard'" (Acts 4:19,20). The command to stop preaching was repeated and it was answered the second time: "We ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29).

As in this example, opposition to Christianity is usually for religious reasons, rather than for political reasons. Rulers have nothing to fear from true Christianity because we are dealing with two different kinds of government. Jesus said: "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here" (John 18:36). Pilate was the Roman governor who tried Jesus, but after he heard this statement he said: "I find no fault in Him at all" (John 18:38).

It is in the hearts of men that Jesus rules. "Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, 'The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, "See here!" or "See there!" For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you'" (Luke 17:20,21).

When Christ rules in the hearts of men they are better citizens of any country. Paul writes: "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God" (Romans 13:1); "Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good" (1 Peter 2:13,14).

Governments have nothing to fear from true Christians. They are a blessing to any nation. They do good to all men (Galatians 6:10).

J. C. Bailey

Published in The Old Paths Archive (http://www.oldpaths.com)