Letter To Our Children

by Pastor Joe | February 1, 2023 | Letters To Our Children


February 1, 2023


Some Christians stayed at home, burned incense to the emperor, and survived; others refused and were imprisoned. A few were executed. Tension between believers who had suffered and those who had lapsed was intense.


The Patient Ferment of the Early Church P.25



You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written:

“‘I will strike the shepherd,

and the sheep will be scattered.’

But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”


Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.”


“Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “today—yes, tonight—before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.”


But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same.


Mark 14:27-31


Hello friends.


Christianity teaches there is a perfect righteousness required to become right with God, and God has only provided this righteousness in the person and work of Christ on the cross. History bears witness to why this must be true.




Claudius became the fourth Roman emperor in 42 A.D. At first, he issued laws that were favorable to Christians and Jews. However, later in his reign, he expelled the Jews from Rome for two reasons.


The first was they were growing so fast in number he thought they were becoming a threat.


The second is a historian named Suetonius wrote that Claudius expelled them for constant rioting at the instigation of Chrestus (a common misspelling of Christ).


During this terrible time, the Christians of Rome retreated to the catacombs. Catacombs were the underground cemeteries outside Rome's city walls, much like mazes in design.


In Ancient Rome, for reasons having to do with hygiene and health, bodies could not be buried inside the city walls. In time, catacombs were not only where Christians buried their dead but also where they would secretly hold their worship service.




Burying the dead was seen as an act of mercy to the body. It was extremely important to the early Christians for everyone to receive a proper burial. The Christians were the first to label each body solely by name - no mention of class, status, or title - which backed up the belief that all men and women were made in God’s image and were equal.


Yes, many bad things happened to Christians during this persecution. Christians even argued among themselves when some burned incense to the emperor (a religious act of devotion) and others did not. It was a confusing time. But we can never forget there were also good things happening. There are always good things happening.


Two Christians expelled from Rome were a Jewish couple named Aquila and Priscilla. They went to the City of Corinth, setting up a trade as tent makers (Acts 18:1-3). It was there they met Paul, the Apostle. Paul was also a part-time tentmaker. They helped Paul in his ministry and moved with him to Ephesus.


Ephesus was where they met Apollos, who was an excellent public speaker but only knew part of the Gospel story. Priscilla and Aquilla invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately (Acts 18:26).


You see, amid all the persecution in Rome and the confusion with some Christian’s responses to it. God was doing all things well. He was working out His purposes and expanding the Gospel’s reach. Apollos would take the Gospel to many others, Paul, Aquilla, and Priscilla, as well who risked their lives for him (Romans 16:3-5).

When I fear my faith will fail
Christ will hold me fast
When the tempter would prevail
He will hold me fast


I could never keep my hold
Through life's fearful path
For my love is often cold
He must hold me fast


He Will Hold Me Fast – Verses One and Two

Take heart in all things, and God bless you this week in all things great and small.


Pastor Joe