Church History, Lesson 6: Christianity becomes Illegal

The Great Fire of Rome, 64 AD Backdrop The Roman Empire enabled Christianity to spread without the effort needed in earlier centuries.  The Empire’s unifying infrastructure aided the Gospel’s expansion of the Gospel: well-laid roads made travel easier, most people spoke Greek, and a mighty army kept the peace.  An Empire runs on unity and […]

Acts, Lesson 13: Persecution Begins From the State

Last week, we had a look into the church at Antioch, the first place where Christians were labelled with the disparaging term, “Christian,” one belonging to Christ. Today, we find such disparaging words grow into an even greater persecution.   Martyrdom and Imprisonment Read Acts 12:1-5 Herod and his descendants, also called “Herod” ruled Judea […]

Making a Faithful Confession

Instead of an article that I normally write, I put in its place an article written by Pr. Matthew Harrison, assistant pastor at Village Lutheran Church in Ladue, Missouri and also Synod President of the LC-MS. This is a short article that he wrote about what we can do concerning the specific and targeted Christian […]

Acts, Lesson 8: The Gospel Spreads

In the last lesson, Luke introduced us to Saul, a Pharisee who held the cloaks of those who stoned Deacon Stephen to death. After that introduction, Luke continues to tell us about that man named “Saul.” Luke also tells us about another ordained deacon, Philip.   Persecution Begins Read Acts 8:1-3 What began the same […]

Acts, Lesson 6: Persecution from the Jewish Leadership

In last week’s lesson, Ananias and Sapphira had decided to deceive the Apostles and congregation in Jerusalem by stating they sold property for a certain amount, deliberately understating the amount they had received. After that fear-inducing event, Luke takes us to see what is going on with the Apostles in Jerusalem, in particular, Peter.   […]

John 15:26-16:4: Christian Persecution

If historians are correct, the 20th century was the bloodiest century in human history.  Of course, we understand that conclusion while the 21st century is still in its childhood.  The 20th century saw the rise of three evil “isms”: Fascism, Nazism, and Communism.  All three of those movements wanted to set up an ideal culture […]

Revelation, Lesson 12: The Two Interludes after the 6th Seal

After the Apostle John observed heavenly worship, he saw Jesus, represented as a wounded but victorious lamb, receive a double-sided scroll with seven seals.  Revelation then moved into four successive visions of each seal as Jesus breaks each one.  And, for the most part, we also see a fairly linear chronology.  Seal 1: Mary gives […]

John 15:26-16:4

Jesus says that whoever confesses Him before others, He will confess before His Father in heaven (Matthew 10:32).  The Apostle Peter says, “Always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15).  So, every Christian in his everyday life is to point others to Jesus.  […]