TOPIC PERSECUTION AND THE EARLY CHURCH
TEXT Acts 8:1-4; 14:22; 16:18-24; Matthew 5:11, 12
MEMORY VERSE Acts 14:22; 2 Tim.3:12
Persecution in the Scriptures is presented as an integral part of the Christian’s life (2 Tim. 3:12) as the Church relates with and reaches out to the world. Jesus also taught His disciples to expect persecution (John 15:18-20). The NTC began and grew in persecution. Indeed the scattering of believers by persecution was instrumental to the rapid spread of the NTC throughout the surrounding regions (Acts 4:1-4; 8:1-4). The contemporary Church has had her own share of persecution and is still going through it especially where Islamic extremism has take root.
1. When is a believer said to be persecuted? Matthew 5:11, 12; Luke 6:22, 23; 1 Peter 4:12-19.
2. Discuss the following passages on the degree of persecution vis-a-vis making disciples of nations.
(a) Acts 4:1-21
(b) Acts 9:15, 16
(c) 2 Cor.11:23-30
3. Discuss the nature of persecution in the following passages
(a) Acts 4:1-23
(b) Acts 17:2-9
(c) Acts 19:23-41
4. Discuss the believers’ response to persecution in the following passages.
(a) Acts 4:23-31
(b) Acts 16:24-32
(c) Acts 24:26, 27