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  • Bishop Keith Butler

Popular-Culture Persecution

And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers, And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans. (Acts 16:19-21)


Some people don’t want you to succeed. That sounds harsh, but you know it’s true. Maybe they feel better about themselves because of your lack or problems. Another motivation could be that they don’t want you to follow God because when you follow God, it convicts them.


The demon-possessed girl in Thyatira had several people in her life that used her pain and suffering for their selfish purposes. They made money by using the familiar spirits that possessed her, and this isn’t just an ancient practice. There are people today who call themselves fortune tellers or palm readers who connect with evil spirits to reveal things about people. When the girl’s masters saw that she was delivered and set free, they immediately brought Paul and Silas to the leaders of the city with a complaint against them.


Notice what their claim was: “These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city.” Anti-Semitism was growing in the Roman empire at the time, and there was an increasing distrust of Jewish people in Roman-occupied cities. They complained that Paul and Silas talked about religious things that were against the Roman way of doing things. Similarly, in our society today, an increasingly bold minority is trying to silence Christians so that they won’t feel guilty about their sins. Popular culture considers it unethical for Christians to share their faith or to teach biblical morality, and they persecute those who do.


Practical Application – As the end of days continues to approach, expect more opposition to the Gospel along with more miracles manifesting for believers.


Deuteronomy 18:10; Acts 17:6

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