Text: Matthew 10:16-33
16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;
18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.
19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.
20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.
21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.
24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.
25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.
28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
KEY VERSE: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” – (Matthew 10:28)
A study reported that eleven Christians die every day worldwide for their uncompromising decision to follow Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. According to the in-depth investigative research documented in Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List, these principled believers experience intense persecution before passing on to be with their Redeemer in heaven. The report ranks “ten most dangerous places where saying ‘yes’ to following Jesus is truly a life-or-death decision”. There are altogether fifty such nations where there is communal and official hostility to true biblical Christianity.
Has that stopped the spread of the gospel of our Lord Jesus? Has it held back new converts? Has it prevented believers from open evangelism? It cannot because sincere followers know the infallible teachings of the Master with regard to martyrdom.
The case of the hunted and pestered Christian is akin to what Moses beheld in the desert of Horeb: the fire burned the bush but the bush was not consumed. Later, the early Church under the apostles in Jerusalem flourished despite unmitigated oppression resulting in beatings, denial of rights, imprisonment and death.
Today’s Christians cannot escape similar hostilities as predicted by our Lord. His word will always come to pass. But as we must “through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God”, so are we to enjoy the commendation of Christ before men through holy living, winning souls and men through holy living, winning souls and focus on heaven, we will not tremble at threats of death. Instead, we mock death and those threatening us.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: The true believer mocks death when his faith is threatened with the sword.
THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Numbers 33-34
DCLM Daily Manna was written by Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi; is the founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church situated at KM 42 on the busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Nigeria.