But when Gallio became governor of Achaia, some Jews rose up together against Paul and brought him before the governor for judgment. They accused Paul of “persuading people to worship God in ways that are contrary to our law.” But just as Paul started to make his defense, Gallio turned to Paul’s accusers and said, “Listen, you Jews, if this were a case involving some wrongdoing or a serious crime, I would have a reason to accept your case. But since it is merely a question of words and names and your Jewish law, take care of it yourselves. I refuse to judge such matters.” And he threw them out of the courtroom. The crowd then grabbed Sosthenes, the leader of the synagogue, and beat him right there in the courtroom. But Gallio paid no attention.
(Acts of the Apostles 18:12-17 NLT)
It is amazing what some people will do in the name of religion. False accusers, trouble makers, brawlers, and even murderers. The one thing we must always remember: God is in charge! We can rest assured that He is aware of everything the enemy is trying to do to us. Just because someone claims to be a follower of God doesn't make them godly. Religion is most certainly a far cry from a relationship with God. Religion only masks the true nature of sinful man. A relationship with God through Jesus Christ will expose and remove our depraved nature (see 2 Corinthians 5:17). Jesus warned the disciples in John 16:2 that the day would come that religious people will kill you thinking they are doing so in the name of service to God!
God will take care of us even when others want to kill us. Let's not fear man. Let's fear God! (see Matthew 10:28). Preach the truth and leave the results to Him. He is able to defend us. We are invincible when we are in His will, until the time He calls us home. Greater is He in us than he that is in the world! (I John 4:4). Jesus was killed by religious people.
May God grant us the grace like Jesus and Stephen to forgive our accusers and attackers. (see Luke 23:34 and Acts 7:60).
Rev. Curtis Norris