Acts 21:1-16 Willing to Suffer for the Name of the Christ

Many desire to follow Christ, but are afraid to bear his cross. But, brethren, you must have a cross to bear. Though I am no prophet, like Agabus, yet I can tell you, by the Spirit of God, that “all who will live godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution.” You may not be called to suffer imprisonment and death; but you must be prepared to welcome them, if they should be allotted to you for the sake of Christ. You must expect that your friends will dissuade you from exposing yourselves to the contempt of some, and the hostility of others: and, if your dangers should be great and imminent, they will even try to prevail upon you by their entreaties and tears. But beware how you listen to any advice which may divert you from the path of duty. Even good people will sometimes be crying, “Spare thyself,” when they see you “abounding” with more than ordinary zeal “in the work of the Lord.” But, whilst you tenderly reprove their weakness (as Paul did,) be firm and steadfast to your purpose: for “if once you put your hand to the plough, and then look back, you are not fit for the kingdom of God”; “Be faithful unto death, and God will give you a crown of life.”

Blessed be God, there are some who have already begun the employment of heaven, and are singing, “Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, be glory and dominion for ever and ever.” And, as in heaven there are multitudes who “loved not their lives unto the death,” so amongst us, I trust, there are some who would willingly die for the name of the Lord Jesus. Happy, happy they who feel this readiness of mind to do and suffer whatever they may be called to; for great is their reward in heaven. Go on, beloved, steadfast in the faith, and never giving way to terror on account of any adversaries. Are you advised to shrink from trials? reply with Nehemiah, “Shall such a man as I flee?” But remember, that your sufficiency for this proceeds from God alone: if not upheld by him, you will, “as soon as tribulation and persecution arise because of the word,” be turned aside, and make shipwreck of your faith. Live nigh to the Saviour then, and maintain sweet fellowship with him : then you will find his service a delight; and whatever sufferings you are called to endure for him, you will easily sustain. But, if once you decline from Christ in your heart, his commandments will become grievous to you, and every cross a burthen. The true way to meet even the most formidable death with joy, is to “die daily,” and to be continually “looking for, and hasting unto the coming of the day of Christ.”

Charles Simeon

Heart Preparation
Read Acts 21:1-16. Are you, like Paul, willing to die to self and to seek to glorify God rather than preserving yourself? What is it that stops you from doing this? How does Paul’s testimony inform these desires?

Posted on: April 10, 2014 - 10:00PM

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