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Peter’s warning

RomeThe book of First Peter is built around the idea that persecution was shortly to come to the early Christians.  This is stated straight-out in 1 Peter 4:12, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.”  Peter told them they were going to take a big hit, and he told them how to survive it.

The survival strategy was to do basic Christian living, trusting the Lord, believing the Gospel and being prepared to spread it, having good homes and families, obeying properly constituted authorities, and not returning evil for evil.

Think about those last two in light of the fact that the Romans were, quite literally, the first fascists.  If the early Christians had resisted the authority of Rome, or if they had tried to fight persecution with force, the remorseless Romans would have exterminated them outright.  The only reason the church survived those first few centuries of Roman dominion was because they were obedient to the Lord’s command to be a people of peace.

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