Dale Appleby

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Weekly Reflections

What Hope?

What Hope?

Will the church in Syria disappear? Has the gospel been silenced in Iraq and Iran? Are we in another period when things look black for the Christian church? What are we to make of these pressures against the gospel?

One thing to do is to look back at times when this kind of thing has happened before. Any time will do since this kind of thing has been happening from the beginning, and before the beginning.

What we see, both in the pages of the Bible, and in the history of the church, is that God keeps on working.

He keeps on sending out his messengers and calling people from all the tribes of the earth into his new humanity. Making friends out of enemies by reconciling them to himself in Christ. Against what seem to be enormous odds. As the 2nd-century church leader Tertullian wrote "the blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church."

Generally the church grows when it is persecuted. Because God is the Manager of the Mission, the Chief Evangelist, and the one who has set his Messiah as head over all powers for the sake of his church.

And that is cause for thanksgiving and encouragement. At a time when biblical Christians in Australia seem to be under pressure to conform to the beliefs and practices of the culture, we see that God is still at work in his church and through his word. Despite a culture that seems to have banded together against the Lord and his people, the Lord may still be laughing at their futile efforts (Ps 2).

Is still laughing. And sending out his word and messengers. Building up his church. Strengthening and empowering his servants. Bringing his elect from all the nations into the body of his Son.

How wonderful.


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