Roman authorities seized Ignatius of Antioch in AD 107. They carried him to the Coliseum where soldiers fed him to wild beasts. His crime? Ignatius refused to turn his back on Christ and burn incense to the emperor.
When the new Rome comes [the US Government] and demands you burn incense [turn your back on your faith and affirm what they say you must affirm] how will you stand?
If your faith is as shallow as your conversion you will not stand. You will be tossed about, to and fro.
How is your faith made firm? How are you strengthened to stand in the day of trouble?
While on the journey to martyrdom Ignatius wrote several churches in the region. “Do your best,” he told the church in Ephesus, “to meet more often to give thanks and glory to God. When you meet frequently, the powers of Satan are confounded.”
Ignatius knew the Spirit worked when God’s people gathered to sit under the preached Word and then obey it!
There is power in the gospel, there is power in the preaching, teaching and hearing of the word. There is power in the lives of Holy Spirit filled Saints as they impart grace, wisdom and sound doctrine to each other.
Where do these powers most often get displayed? In the Spirit filled, bible believing and teaching local New Testament church.
Guess what? If your not here, you miss out on one of God’s main ways we strengthen our faith: by hearing, believing and obeying the word together in community.
Credit: Ken Ramey. Expository Listening, for the ideas for this post.