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by Mikel Del Rosario
Living in Troubled Times
Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, I seem to recall some Christians who saw engaging the culture more like fighting a “culture war” for Jesus. But things have changed over the past few decades. Today, we find ourselves in the position of a cultural minority in our country. The question is, “How should we engage with a culture that’s getting more and more hostile to Christianity?”
In this post, I’ll share three lessons from the New Testament about being an ambassador of Christ in troubled times. The big idea is that we need to honor the Lord though our message and tone as Christian ambassadors and apologists–even in a world that pushes back against the gospel. I learned these lessons directly from Darrell Bock, who pointed me to the examples of the early church, Peter and Paul.
The Early Church’s Example
Did you realize the early church grew up in a skeptical context? Check out their example in Acts 4:24-32. Here, the Apostles Peter and John were just jailed and threatened by the Jewish authorities after healing a crippled person and preaching in Jesus’ name. Was the church caught off guard or surprised when they heard about this kind of persecution? Nope. They realized Jesus said this kind of thing would happen.
The church’s response is a good example for us: They didn’t freak out and act like the sky was falling. They didn’t withdraw from the world and hide in a hole somewhere. Instead, these early Christians prayed that they’d keep speaking with boldness and keep ministering to the very people who were opposing them.
Check out Luke’s account of their prayer…
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