The Lions Are Eating the Prophets

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The birth of the church resulted from the work of Jesus. God had prepared the way so that the disciples through the power of the Holy Spirit could be witnesses “in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) (Gonzalez, 7) The first century church was plagued with persecution, torture, and martyrdom. The stamina, staying power, and survival of the Christian community during the early days may be the greatest “miracle” beyond the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Attempts to eliminate them by emperors, by opposition from the religious leaders, and from false teachers and doctrine within the Christian community merely strengthened the resolve and faith of the Christians. All this established and spread the Christian church throughout the then known world. Christianity has always faced both external and internal problems even in the very beginning. The Early Church had to face serious internal problems and at the same time, had to deal with the external problems and persecution. During the first few years, Christianity, like Judaism, enjoyed the protection of Roman laws. The church endured little persecution so long as it was perceived as a part of Judaism that was a legal sect (Dowley, 71) When Jewish religious leaders started rejecting Christianity, then Christianity was distinguished from Judaism as a separate religion. At that point, it came under the ban of the Roman state and was considered a threat to the Roman state. Then persecution started and people suffered hardships for their faith. People were mistreated, tortured, and even killed for their faith though stoning, crucifixion, burning at the stake, and being thrown to lions. The martyrs, who felt honored to share a death like ... ... middle of paper ... ...obert (1984). Church History. Revised and Expanded Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House. Print. Cairns, Earle (1976). Christianity Through the Centuries. Revised Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House. Print Dowley, Tim, Briggs, John, Linder, Robert, Wright. Eerdman’s Handbook To The History Of Christianity. Carmel, New York: Wm B Eerdmans Publishing Co. Print Gonzalez, Justo L (1884). The Story of Christianity Vol 1. New York, NY: Hapercollins Press. Print. Hahn, Roger. Neale, David, Serrao, Jeanne, Spross, Dan, Tashjian, Jirair, Varughese, Alex. (1989) Discovering the New Testament Community And Faith. Kansas City, MO: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City. Print. Walton, Robert (1984). Church History. Revised and Expanded Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House. Print.

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