Tried but Loved

By Rev. Colin Mercer - Posted at thinkGospel.com:

"As Nero’s persecution of Christians increased, many of them were made to wear animal skins and were then torn to pieces by dogs. Some were smothered in oil and set on fire to serve as light for his garden parties. Others were nailed to crosses and many of them were simply done to death to please the emperor. ..."

It’s impossible to read Peter’s doctrinal and dynamic epistle and not be struck by the fact that he sought to encourage, comfort, and minister to believers who were going through a time of incredible suffering! This letter was written in and around that period in history when Christians were particularly hated.

During the reign of the Emperor Nero, things became almost intolerable for the followers of Christ. Nero has been described as a “monster of wickedness and one of the vilest men ever to occupy a throne.” He is probably best remembered as the man “who fiddled while Rome burned.” But there is much more to his callousness than that. That great fire that almost destroyed Rome broke out in 64 AD and Nero was immediately suspected of causing it. But when anger started to mount against him and people started to lay the blame at his feet, he looked for a scapegoat. He chose the Christians. They were already a despised people and therefore they were an easy target and an easy option.

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