‘Behold, you scoffers, and marvel, and perish; For I am accomplishing a work in your days, A work which you will never believe, though someone should describe it to you.’” – Acts 13:41
There has always been, and will always will be a spirit of persecution in wicked hearts. And even as Satan researched Job before he laid hands on him, persecution is working now in the spirits of the ungodly. Engines of death continually grind out the thoughts of Satan against professing believers of truth. They already know exactly what they will do if power and opportunity are provided for them to carry out their sinister desires.
Satan first comes with a spirit of error and then of persecution; he poisons men’s minds with error and then fills their hearts with anger against believer’s. It is impossible for error to bring any kind of peace; it is a brat of hell that must favor it’s father. Whatever comes from below can neither be pure nor peaceable. God has let this sulfurous spirit of error remain but He has given us a girdle of truth for protection.
But not everyone who applauds truth will follow it when it leads them to prison. And not everyone who preaches it is willing to suffer for it. Arguments are harmless things – blunt weapons which bring no blood. But when we suffer we are called to fight with the enemies of truth. And this requires more than a sharp tongue and logical brain. Where will disputers be then? They will appear like cowardly soldiers, who, in basic training when no enemy was in sight, seemed to be brave as decorated heroes. To be on truth’s side then meant only recognition and reward, not danger and death. But God has chosen the foolish to confound the wise in this service – the humble Christian, by his faith, patience, and live for truth – to shame men of high standing and no grace.
– William Gurnall ( The Christian In Complete Armour)