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Persecution vs. "Evil along the Road"
September 16, 2016
Christian, in wisdom, please understand that there is a real and tangible difference between facing biblically-defined persecution and what we could characterize as "evil along the road."
Facing death from evil along the road is not the same as facing a martyr's death from persecution.
An example of this would be the man who fell under robbers on the road in the parable of the Good Samaritan. This man was robbed, stripped, beaten, and left for dead in Luke 10. This man was vulnerable and clearly taken advantage of by thieves. This example is in clear contrast to the persecution and death of James, brother of John (the first death of one of the 12 Disciples) in Acts 12, which is a terrible but powerful example of martyrdom from persecution.
The takeaway: In God's sovereignty, and if we can help it, we should want to live our lives in such a way as to have the honor of dying for our Lord due to faithful displays of the Gospel; not merely dying due to foolish vulnerability to evil along the road.
Thus, may Matthew 5:16 (“… Let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”) be manifest in our lives from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth!