"Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen. But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking." - Acts 6:9-10
Opposition rose up against the Church early on. The book of the Acts of the Apostles talks quite frankly about it.
People who have opposed the Word of God always have their reasons. Sometimes the motives are political: they are afraid of losing power. Sometimes they are financial: they’re afraid of losing business as the Gospel takes hold. Usually it’s one or both of these motives, but they often hide behind pious-sounding religious causes. Through the centuries, Christians have been accused of blasphemy, atheism, racism and even cannibalism in order to get the masses riled up against them.
In Acts chapter 6, the opposition opposed Stephen‘s preaching “But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.” They couldn’t argue with his words, led by the Spirit of God and based on God’s Word. So they resorted to violence, and so it has gone ever since.
Beloved, don’t be surprised when opposition comes. “Be not surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you” (I Peter 4:12). “Count it all joy when you meet various trials...” (James 1:2). It’s inevitable; the trials will come, and God will faithfully fulfill His good purpose in your life through them.
Lord Jesus, You have given me the example, that I should walk in Your steps. You have shown me saints who went before me and You have warned me ahead of time what to expect as I follow You. Keep me close, keep my eyes on heaven, and fill me with joy in knowing You. Be glorified in my life. Amen.
Pastor Dan Giles