J.N. Darby on Persecution
John Nelson Darby, commenting on Acts 14, wrote:
"They gave them to understand that Christ was not come to bring peace on the earth which would meet with the opposition and enmity of the world, but that through much tribulation they must enter the kingdom of God. It was a warning for all times to make men understand that persecution was not a strange thing. "All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" -not, however, all Christians. If a Christian conforms to the world, he will avoid persecution; but he will lose the joy of the Holy Ghost and communion with God; he will be saved as by fire, and an entrance into the eternal kingdom shall not be abundantly ministered to him. If we walk with God, we shall not be barren in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus.
I speak thus, because for many the time of open persecution has passed away; but if we are faithful, we shall most surely experience persecution both from the world and from our own families. The world cannot tolerate faithfulness. If the Christian walk with the world, instead of winning the world to Christ, he himself gets a distance from Him, and will lose, I do not say life, but his spiritual privileges, his joy, and the approval of Christ; and his testimony is against Christianity. By his ways he declares that the friendship of the world is not enmity against God. The Christian whne with the world is in no respects at ease; and when in the compnay of spiritual Christians his conscience reproves him because he is walking badly, and that which is the joy to them, he cannot enter into. May all who are disposed to or in danger of being let to mingle with the ways of the world give heed to this exhortation!"
Taken from Meditations on the Acts of the Apostles in Collected Writings of J.N. Darby, vol.25, p.374-375
Key words: J.N. Darby, Plymouth Brethren, Perserverance, apostasy, discipleship, carnal Christians, falling away, Lordship Salvation