“And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” Acts 2:47
There is no book that has been more viciously attacked than the Bible, and there is no institution that has seen greater assault in this world than the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Nero sought to stamp out Christianity by using Christians as torches in his gardens. Many brutal regimes have since persecuted and murdered millions of believers. And in the 20th century more believers were put to death for their faith than in the previous nineteen centuries combined. In the 21stcentury, persecution has only escalated to the point where, according to Open Doors, 1 in 12 Christians worldwide live where Christianity is “illegal, forbidden or punished”.
And yet the Church of God continues to grow! John MacArthur says it this way: “Never in the history of the world has Christianity had the global influence that it has today. It is staggering to think about it. Christianity begins with such obscurity, a handful of individuals, to the proportions that we know it today.” And we rejoice to witness something of this growth here this morning in Newcastle Fellowship Baptist Church.
Some of those being baptized and coming into membership today have been believers for some time. Others are more recent converts. But we welcome all of you, and join arms in the cause of Christ. Together, we face a spiritual enemy, who is armed with cruel hate – and the battle will rage fierce at times and may cost us everything – even our lives – but make no mistake – the victory is ours! “The body they may kill, God’s truth abideth still, His Kingdom is forever.”
Nearly 2000 years ago, Jesus said, “On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” And today, He is still building His church, in spite of every attack levelled against it by this world and by Satan himself! Jesus Christ will continue to build His church, until the last soul is saved, and His bride is complete! And then, together with his church of all time and all places, we will be ushered into the marriage feast of the Lamb! What a day, glorious day that will be!