Peter is my favorite disciple of Jesus. He denied knowing Jesus three times and the rooster crowed. You can read about that in Matthew 26 and Luke 22. He was ashamed and wept. However, Peter is so transformed in Acts 5:15 that his shadow passing over a sick person brought healing! People placed the sick on the streets in hopes that Peter would walk by. Peter went from being ashamed to to a powerful agent of the Gospel message. We can too.
Persecution is becoming more and more rampant around the globe. Nik Ripken’s book, The Insanity of God, can help us learn more about that. Nik traveled the globe learning from Christians who live under great persecution. The nominal Christian, the kind who only acknowledges God and then does their own thing thinks they’re a Christian. This kind of person doesn’t understand. They would quickly run away from their faith in a time of persecution. I’m not even certain this kind of person will cross over into eternity. I think some are deceived. The one who has trusted God with their life will stand firmly no matter what.
I love how this verse speaks that The Gospel, what Jesus did on the cross, bearing the sin of the world and defeating death and sin through resurrection is for everyone! The Gospel is for the Jew and the Greek alike! Nobody is left out!
Am I ashamed? No! However, I’ve not stood the test of violent persecution. In China, they say going to prison for your faith is their seminary. This suffering grows faith. We Americans think we know it all. We think all our opinions are right. We have a lot to learn from the global church.
“The blood of the Martyrs is the seed of the church” – Tertullian, an early church father.