The Church "Under the Cross"

Douglas VanBronkhorst

READ : Acts 8:1-3

“They said they’d break my legs if I came back.” “They took my Bible and literature.” “They printed leaflets with horrible lies about Christians and our ministry.” “They beat me and stole my bicycle.” I heard these remarks by Christians in India during a visit last year. Similar reports and worse are voiced in many other places today.

When Stephen became the first martyr, persecution broke out against the church. Persecution has continued in one way or another ever since that infamous day. Sometimes the opposition is open, direct, and cruel. Sometimes it is subtle, behind the scenes. It can range from the torture and murder of a missionary and his children to the unfair grading of Christian students by a university professor.

This should not surprise us or cause us to complain. Jesus himself said it would happen. But when it comes with the territory, we can do the following:

  • Rejoice that we are worthy of opposition.

  • Pray that God will demonstrate his power in our weakness.

  • Pray for and intercede for fellow Christians who suffer for their witness to Christ.


Holy Spirit, give persecuted believers “under the cross” your comfort and the courage to be faithful.