Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed. Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people all about this new life.” At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people. Acts 5:16-21a NIV
When people are jealous and envious of those who obey The Lord, they concoct all manner of complaints against them. We know because of what happened with Jesus the night He was arrested. That was all part of God’s plan–the sacrifice for our sins–by one who had not committed any sin.
Jesus also told us that if people hated Him–the Son of God–they would also hate those who followed Him and loved The Lord with all their heart and soul. Since Jesus could not lie, we should not be amazed at the treatment of Christians today. They were treated horribly by those who did not understand the force of their faith. They were set on fire and used as lights in the night for the games for the cruelest man on earth–Nero. They were wrapped in animal skins and attacked by other vicious animals for sport. They were killed because of their stance–remaining faithful to God–and in obedience to His Word.
Are we worthy of the same hate displayed towards those who came before us? Are we obeying God in all we do so lives will be changed? Has He spoken to us in the middle of night and we arose and obeyed? Are we hated because we refuse to back down from those who choose to follow Satan? Are we tormented because we obey God in all things and teach others to do the same?
What we have to realize is that when Believers obey God, the enemy will hate us and do everything they can to destroy us. With God on our side, nothing the enemy does will matter. No weapon formed against us shall prosper. And even if it seems that all is lost, we must maintain our stance–our faith must be unshakeable–as we move forward in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Satan has tried to stop the move of God for centuries and has never been successful and he won’t succeed now. We must remain steadfast, immovable in the face of the persecution, belittling and mockery demonstrated by the ungodly who are actually fearful of us. When there is a possibility that lives will be changed for the better, the enemy is afraid of losing his influence on the masses so he influences those with either weak faith or no faith in God to hate those of us who love God.
Today, just like so many years ago, the unbelieving are jealous of our obedience to God and they hate it when lives are changed for the better because of the faith instilled in them by our teaching God’s Word. We need not fear the enemy, but maintain our faith in teaching The Word and let the enemy fear us!