Santa Paula Church of Christ
Santa Paula Church of Christ (SPCC)
Easier said than done
The beasts of Revelation are the dragon’s (Satan’s) pawns. In this case, it is Rome. In our 2021 case, Revelation 13 is a reminder that Revelation is a symbolic vision for every generation that reveals history’s pattern. “All kingdom’s of the world become Babylon (the beast) and must be resisted.
Resisting oppressive regimes is easier said than done. In an early ancient Roman document, the “letters between Pliny the Younger and the Emperor Trajan (AD 109-111),” the tactics used by Pliny to entice Christians to renounce their faith were as follows. Oh, Pliny was considered a nice guy.
[I]n the case of those Christians who have been brought before me. I ask them whether they are Christians, if they say "Yes," then I repeat the question the second time, and also a third -- warning them of the penalties involved; and if they persist, I order them away to prison. For I do not doubt that -- be their admitted crime what it may -- their pertinacity and inflexible obstinacy surely ought to be punished. There were others who showed similar mad folly, whom I reserved to be sent to Rome, as they were Roman citizens. ... Those who denied that they were or had been Christians were asked to do three things:
They were asked 1) to call upon the gods [of Rome] by reciting the words after me. 2) They were asked to offer incense and wine before [a certain] image ... along with the regular statues of the gods -- all such I considered acquitted – and then 3) They were [finally] asked to curse “the name of Christ, which it is said bona fide Christians cannot be induced to do.”
The above scenario gives a possible understanding as to why John wrote years earlier, “’If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity they will go. If anyone is to be killed by the sword they will be killed.’ This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people” (Rev. 13:10). In other words, don’t deny your faith, no matter what the cost. Could you do that?
The SPCC is located at 276 W. Santa Paula Street. Our services begin at 9:00 a.m. in Spanish and 10:45 a.m. in English. Our also we have a Wednesday 6:30 PM Revelation Zoom Bible Study. Call us for the ID and password (805-525-3645).
God Bless you,