Acts

The Persecuted Church

Being a Christian is not for the weak and cowardly. We will face conflict, so how do we do this with an unshakeable assurance that Christ will win?

The book of Acts shows how God fulfilled His ancient promises to restore His blessing to all the nations through the offspring of Abraham: Jesus of Nazareth. In this 10-week series, we'll explore how Jesus and the Spirit renew the people of Israel and prepare them to announce the good news to the nations.

April 25, 2021
by
Craig Walker
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Introduction

Being a Christian is not for the weak or cowardly. We will face conflict, so how do we do this with an unshakeable assurance that Christ will win? It did not take long in the history of the early church before it fell under persecution and assault.

Discussion Questions

(The goal is to grow in our relationship with Christ and each other. It is ok if you don’t cover every question.)

1. What image comes to mind when someone talks about the persecutions of the church?

2. Do you think the church is more or less persecuted now than in the early church? Why?

3. What does persecution look like in your life? What ways are you persecuted for your faith?

4. Ask a volunteer to read Matthew 24:4-8.

What were some of the signs Jesus mentioned? How might the disciples have experienced any signs?

5. Do you think we see or experience any “signs of the times” today? If so, which ones?

6. Ask a volunteer to read Matthew 24:9-14.

Beatings, imprisonment, and seizure of property are common experiences for followers of Christ in some parts of the world today. How should we respond to this persecution?

7. How do you think our church would be affected if this type of persecution against Christians came to our region?

8. What things in our culture make it difficult to persevere in Christ above everything else? How can our group help each other?

9. What does it look like to be conscious of the world’s attitude toward the Christian faith?

10. How does the Spirit help you remain constant in difficult times? What might that look like in a situation you are facing right now?

Moving Forward

"He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him."  Colossians 2:15

Changing Your Mind

Jesus told His disciples in John 16:33 “You will have suffering in this world. Be Courageous! I have conquered the world.”

Prayer

Praise God for the saving work of Jesus Christ. Ask that God would open your eyes to the opportunities to testify about Him to others. Pray for our church, that God would lead the church to be a source of stability for followers of Christ, a place where they can come and receive comfort as they go out into the world. Pray that God would place names of people on the hearts of the members of your group and that they would feel called to go and share Christ with them.

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