Friday, January 20, 2017

Who Is Lord: Christ or Caesar?

Someday, we will be like Him. That’s our hope. But it’s not a hope that we put on the shelf, and it’s not a hope that sends us into a cave. It’s a hope that sends us into the world with confidence. We can be confident in God, confident in His Word, confident in Christ, confident in the gospel, and confident in hope. In the AD 90s, Domitian ruled as emperor over Rome. His cruelty rivaled that of Nero. He insisted that he be worshiped as a god. Christians, of course, could not participate in the rituals of this emperor cult. That left them vulnerable, and that vulnerability led to persecution. It is likely that John’s exile to the island of Patmos directly resulted from Domitian’s edicts. John refused to bow.

John wrote Revelation during this time, many scholars believe. Also around this time, an early church figure named Clement, serving as bishop at Rome, sent a letter to the church at Corinth. Clement opens his letter by referring to “the sudden and successive calamitous events.” Persecution rolled over the church like wave after relentless wave. Clement wrote to comfort them and to exhort them to stand firm. Near the middle of his letter, he simply reminds the believers at Corinth that Christ is our leader and we are His soldiers. Read More

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