Q1: Would he put someone in prison? Q2: Would he put a Christian in prison? Q3: Would he require the life of a Christian? (Note: Picture by Serge J-F Levy).
Q1: I recently read an article titled “Finding God In Maximum Security Prison” by Jordan G. Teicher. While not one who describes himself as a believer, I found what he wrote interesting. He wrote, “In an environment often characterized by machismo, Levy said, religious experiences, full of emotion, warmth, and brotherhood, often bring out the softer side of inmates. There was even genuine joy on display, especially during a group baptism in a laundry cart.” Who would ever thought prison was God’s way for some to be free for eternity in Christ? God will go to extremes to save the lost!
Q2: Paul was often in prison. In one instance it seems God put him there so that the guards would hear the Gospel and be saved. Consider the guards weren’t the kind to go to church… especially to some new upstart religion which was viewed as a cult in that day. So God put one of his people in their work place to hear the Gospel. It is written in Philippians 1:12-13… “I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard…” God will go to extremes to save the lost!
Q3: Steven was one of the first of what we call deacons. He preached one message (Acts 7:2-52) and before he finished he was forcibly removed and stoned to death. And there was one person in particular who was there… Saul, later known as Paul (Acts 7:48). At Saul’s conversion Jesus said, “It is hard for you to kick against the goads” (Acts 26:14). Many commentators say this is a reference to Saul seeing Steven die in a glorious manner (Acts 7:55-60). God will go to extremes to save the lost!
Jesus. How far will God go to save the lost? To the point of His Son’s death at the hands of evil people.
YOU. Do you work in a tough environment of unbelievers? God is using you to be salt and light. Have you found yourself in a difficult situation? God placed you there to glorify Him. Does it seem your life is harder as you seek to honor Christ? He is going to an extreme to use you to spread the Gospel.
REJOICE! You are in good company. Count it all joy when you encounter various trials… God is going to an extreme for someone to hear the Gospel!