Thinking Out Loud - Ms. Green

Commentaries from a female, conservative Christian worldview. Intermittent observations on human behavior and current events. Occasional bursts of personal tirades,confessions, and discoveries. Frequent discussions about my "Narrow-Minded Faith".

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Nero and the Haters

In a book I’m reading by F. F. Bruce called New Testament History, there are a few paragraphs about Nero, the emperor who most historians believe was responsible for the great fire in Rome on July 19, 64 AD. Nero didn’t like the Christians, so he blamed them for the fire and had them captured and tortured as punishment. Most Romans did not like Christians – they were called “haters of the human race” and were seen as “anti-social” because they did not participate in the hedonism of the day and did not recognize the Roman gods. Much of the Roman way of life was seen as immoral by the Christians and they refused to participate in immorality or to worship the Roman idols. Nero’s persecution was done in an almost carnival atmosphere. He opened up his gardens for the occasion, and Christians were tortured in various ways, including crucifixion, being burned alive, or being sown up in animal skins and let loose to be hunted and mauled by dogs. Others were covered with pitch, torched alive and put up on poles to help light the city at night. Many of the women were used as sexual slaves.


“Haters”.
“Anti-social”

Sound familiar? Christians are still being called these things today. Somehow, calling someone a “hater” seems to justify name calling, personal attacks, cruelty and persecution, at least in the eyes of the true haters.

The Bible says that during the Tribulation, there will be two Jewish Christian Witnesses at the Wall in Jerusalem that will be warning the people of God’s judgment. It also says that they will have supernatural protection for a time, but then eventually , they will be killed. It says the whole world will rejoice at their deaths and actually declare a holiday and exchange gifts in celebration of their deaths.


And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth…And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified…And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth." Revelation 11:3-10


they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice [at their deaths].

Doesn’t seem too unbelievable these days, does it?

But then something astounding is going to happen… Revelation 11:11-13:

And after three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.”


Those of us called “haters” have nothing to fear. Our God is in control. We are not the haters. We are the hated.

Sad. We are hated for following the God of love.

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1 Comments:

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