Never for a moment quail before your antagonists. Your fearlessness will be to them a sure token of impending destruction, but to you it will be a sure token of your salvation--a token coming from God.
"Blessed are those who have borne persecution in the cause of Righteousness, for to them belongs the Kingdom of the Heavens.
"And do not fear those who kill the body, but cannot kill the soul; but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.
"But to you who are my friends I say, "'Be not afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do nothing further.
"But before all these things happen they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you up to synagogues and to prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my sake.
But Peter and John replied, "Judge whether it is right in God's sight to listen to you instead of listening to God.
His advice carried conviction. So they called the Apostles in, and--after flogging them--ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then let them go.
"Be fully assured, therefore, that this salvation--God's salvation--has now been sent to the Gentiles, and that they, at any rate, will give heed."
and if children, then heirs too--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ; if indeed we are sharers in Christ's sufferings, in order that we may also be sharers in His glory.
But, as you will remember, after we had already met with suffering and outrage at Philippi, we summoned up boldness, by the help of our God, to tell you God's Good News amid much opposition.
For these are a plain token of God's righteous judgement, which has in view your being deemed worthy of admission to God's Kingdom, for the sake of which, indeed, you are sufferers.
For the Spirit which God has given us is not a spirit of cowardice, but one of power and of love and of sound judgement.
Faithful is the saying: "If we died with Him, we shall also live with Him;
So that we fearlessly say, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid: what can man do to me?"
Dear friends, do not be surprised at finding that that scorching flame of persecution is raging among you to put you to the test--as though some surprising thing were accidentally happening to you.
Dismiss your fears concerning all that you are about to suffer. I tell you that the Devil is about to throw some of you into prison that you may be put to the test, and for ten days you will have to endure persecution. Be faithful to the End, even if you have to die, and then I will give you the victor's Wreath of Life.