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A Hundredfold . . . With Persecutions

A Hundredfold . . . With Persecutions

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Published by glennpease

BY DAN CRAWFORD, F.R.G.S.

Mark x. 30

BY DAN CRAWFORD, F.R.G.S.

Mark x. 30

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Published by: glennpease on Mar 26, 2013
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A HUNDREDFOLD . . . WITH PERSECUTIONSBY DAN CRAWFORD, F.R.G.S.Mark x. 30A FEEBLE age is the mother of feeble conceptionsof truth. The royal words of the first centuryfound in Gospel and Epistle, need a royal age tointerpret them. Truly this record cometh downto us wearing a thorny crown! It is royalty inexile ; kinghood in Adullam. And we, indeed, whohave neither thorns, nor exile, nor Adullam, instead of frankly averring that we are too straitened to receive a Kingly One, we, forsooth, takeHim into our mouths, but have no place for Himin our hearts.Because "persecution" was in my Bible portion this morning, was it therefore in any hole orcorner of my life 1 It was a hard, rugged path of olden time along which saints fled from city tocity: am I in such a path? Ah, beloved, thatvery first century so much befondled by us howmay it not rise up in judgment against us? Weborrow glowing imagery from it, but do we glow?1112 APOSTOLIC CHRISTIANITYiLet us now note well the immediate root of thiswonderful promise as to receiving " a hundredfold. . . with persecutions." For faith will have noemphasis other than on the seemingly incongruous word in the sentence. Now note this. Richesis the keynote of Christ s theme and promise.The context of this text is that the rich youngman had just gone away sorrowing, for he hadgreat possessions. And now Peter s breast swellswith a holy pride for he too was (0! yes) wasrich. Fisherfolks, indeed, were his northernkinsmen; but what, after all, are the true richesof life, if not the old cottage and the dear, if humble, fireside, with those who gather there?"Lo, we have left ALL!" cries Peter a contrastindeed to the rich young man s all, whose richeswere mere things, not beings. And Christ, whoknew what heartburnings and wrenchings wereincluded in Peter s actual "all," chideth him noton the poor old fishing-smack, or poor old anything else, but gladly gathers up every humandiamond known to man the man, and not man the
 
miser.And these He sets in His own circlet of gold,a crown above all the crowns of earth. Diamonds,"A HUNDREDFOLD" 13indeed! Yes, saith the Lord, I know what eventrue earthly riches are. What so precious as amother, Peter? A wife, sister, or brother, Peter?Yes, you (not that other one!) were "the richyoung man," Peter, and I, yes, I know all aboutit. It was for "My sake and the Gospel s" youleft all. Then, Peter, your debtor am I, saithChrist ; and forthwith came the wondrous promiseof "a hundredfold . . . with persecutions."nNow let us see why this saving clause as to"persecutions" is wholly necessary to the veryexistence of the things promised. Note thenand here is the whole pivotal point that this oldBible word "persecute," whether in Old or NewTestament, can best be Englished by the word"pursue." And, truth to tell, words then hadmore intimate connection with deeds than now.For "pursue" surely is the word that best tellsof those early days when cities were left undercover of night, and entered as often under coverof disguise. When the bishop rolled not underthe city arches in a chariot, but was perforce togo over the wall in a basket! When, if throughthe gateway he must leave the town, it is to be14 APOSTOLIC CHRISTIANITYstoned through it, aye, and left for dead outside!Ah, beloved, we who tremble to spiritualise anOld Testament prophecy, behold how we spiritualise the Book of ACTS! "Words regardingDEEDS/ is the heading we give this Book inCentral Africa; suggestive, indeed, to us whoabound in windy words.Persecuted in one city, they fled to another;yes, fled for His sake and the Gospel s. And ineach city that old promise gets fresher and fairer.Who is this sixteenth-of-Eomans beaming matrongreeting the weary one? Whose those sixteenth-of-Eomans children who clamber to the knee?Who, indeed, if not those of the " hundredfoldwith persecutions "*.
 
At this rate the promise has no existence butin the persecutions or pursuings. Satan stonesthem out, hoots them on, only to further God swork in the making good of that grand roundnumber, "a hundredfold." The " brothers" andthe "sisters" are all there, weary one, lining yourpath of pursuit, ahead. Yes, further yet, for thebetter "mothers" and the better "fields" theyare all there to succour you! "He shall receive ahundredfold now in this time, houses, andbrethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children."A HUNDREDFOLD" 15and lands, with persecutions, and in the world tocome eternal life." Ah, here Peter and hisbrethren get what the so-called rich young manlost! They get the "great possessions" plusthe eternal life. God never was in any Peter sdebt yet. But His loyal loving law is : Move on !And if we will not move on, He in love mustshove us on. It was only when the fixed-in-one-spot saints at Jerusalem proposed to dispense theGospel elixir from headquarters only that Godpermitted the rod of persecution to scatter them.Then, we read (blessed then!), the disciples wenteverywhere preaching the Word.Yes, and things got better in the precise proportion that things got worse. Even when theyhad chased Paul into prison, it was only that Godwent one better. Things get deeper and deeper,sweeter and sweeter. For they are not mereplebeian friends this time: "They of Caesar shousehold!" Yes, the man on the chain gotentree into "all the palace." "I would ye shouldunderstand," quoth Paul, "that the things whichhappened unto me have fallen out rather unto thefurtherance of the GospeL"16 APOSTOLIC CHRISTIANITYin"He shall receive now in this time . . . andin the world to come." This mention of the"world to come" shows that the enemy s chasecontinues right on to the frontier ! All along theline of the pursuit, devils hue-and-cry notwithstanding, the saint has been the gainer, here finding a fresh mother, and there a whole Bethany of sisters and brothers. Eufus may have a mother,yes, but Paul says she is "his mother and mine."One of Paul s twenty thousand mothers! Is not

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