John 16:2 “They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God.
It is interesting that in these days of increasing militant Muslim activity that the godlessness of their so-called worship of Allah should take the form of murdering the followers of Jesus Christ. Certainly this verse from John was most immediately fulfilled in the early days of the church, when believers in Christ were manifested by true spiritual conversion, resulting in a very vocal declaration of the grace of God in their lives. This exuberance being conspicuous among the inhabitants of the Roman world would make them an easy mark for the State to persecute. And persecute they did, first by the Jews themselves, then by the Roman Caesars. First by Nero when Rome burned in the sixth decade A.D., then through Trajan, (A.D. 98-117); Hadrian, (A.D. 117-138); Antoninus Pius, A.D. (137-161); Marcus Aurelius, (A.D. 161-180) and on through the Diocletian Persecution, (A.D. 303-311). note And horribly and unthinkably, persecution was notoriously practiced against the Protestants during the Reformation by the Roman Church itself, in direct contradiction to Jesus declaration of the believer’s unity in Christ: “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.” John 17:22-23
So while not the originators of Christian persecution, the followers of Islam today have inherited the Satanic drive to protect and perpetuate their own errors by destroying any who offer the saving message of Christ. It is still reported of individuals in Muslim societies of the Middle East being persecuted, killed or outcast if belief in Christ is maintained. And just as Jesus warned the Jewish leaders that because they wished Jesus dead, that they really did not know God, and in fact were doing the deeds of their father, the devil. See John chapter 8.
But make no mistake, the well known and documented view of Muslim society to quell Christian gathering and sharing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is directly antithesis to true spirituality, and of knowing the real God, regardless of how often and of how loudly they may proclaim, Allahu Akbar, God is Great! No, instead they will be the ones who will be hearing “I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.” Matthew 7:23
History of the Christian Church, Volume II: Ante-Nicene Christianity. A.D. 100-325, pp. 36-49. Philip Schaff, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1907, 1910, reproduced by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
[Scriptures taken from the New American Standard Bible © 1995]