I opened my Bible to Acts 12 this morning and began to read about how the apostle James had been killed by King Herod Agrippa. His reasoning for doing so was because it pleased the Jewish religious leaders of that day because of their animosity towards Christians. When he realized how much this pleased them, he had Peter arrested with the same intended fate in store for him. My first thought as I read about how the church came together to pray for Peter was how this must have devastated the moral of the early church. The first century church was only about ten years old at this time. It was just getting started and now one of the top three leaders had been killed and another one had been arrested awaiting execution. The question of the churches future had to be foremost on their minds. What would they do? Who would lead them? Would the message of the cross and the hope of salvation be silenced forever?
Questions and concerns like this would be only natural. Fear would easily set in and halt any chance of spreading the good news of the gospel. But God hadn’t weighed in yet! Yes, it was true that James, being one of the prominent three had died and Peter was apparently next but God hadn’t had his say in the matter yet. While the church was praying, God was working to secure the release of his servant Peter. But God wasn’t done there. Days after Peter’s rescue, Herod would lose his own life. The very thing that man thought would silence the church only emboldened the church. History is riddled kings, nations, philosophers, and even Nobel Peace Prize winners that have fought against and mocked God and his message only to see their lives and countries end in tragedy.
The church will not be silenced. God will always preserve a remnant of people who are true to his word and willing to speak truth regardless of the consequences. This brings great assurance to those who are true followers of Christ because we know that no matter what the world may do or say to silence the church, God will always weigh in on behalf of his message and his people. May God always give His Church a voice in a world full of opposing noise!