Pentecost Four – Presentation of the Augsburg Confession


From its birth the New Testament Church has been persecuted. The religious leaders in Jerusalem tried to stamp it out, but they only succeeded in spreading Christianity throughout Judea and Samaria. The Roman Empire persecuted Christians with stakes and lions, yet God’s Church exploded with growth in those early centuries. In Martin Luther’s day, both pope and emperor sought to stop the gospel movement that was spreading from Germany. But God was a mighty fortress for the Church. Still today the Church is persecuted. Every day thirteen Christians worldwide are killed because of their faith. Another twelve are arrested or imprisoned simply because they profess faith in Christ Jesus. In the U.S. we have freedom of religion enshrined as a constitutional right, but that is no guarantee for a life free of persecution. Until Judgment Day, some will attempt to shout down the truth of Christ. We will be persecuted. That won’t stop us. The holy ministry preaches Christ despite persecution. Christ never promised his Church that ministry would operate unopposed. But he did promise to give courage to his witnesses.


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