Photo by Kirill Pershin on Unsplash
By Mike Chaffin
I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you. Colossians 4:18
In the last words of Colossians, Paul reminds us of his imprisonment. Paul was imprisoned a few times however we mostly remember his two major confinements. The first occurred when he appealed to Caesar and was sent to Rome. While there he wrote Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. In his last imprisonment, while awaiting execution, he wrote 2 Timothy.
Paul was not in prison for any crime he had committed, but for what he said. In fact, when the Roman authorities sent him to Rome the first time, they had no charges against him. Even so, he was under house arrest for two years while waiting for a hearing with Caesar.
His second imprisonment was during Nero’s reign. Nero had declared war on Christianity and was killing Christians in hideous ways. He used them as human candles, sent them to the arena to be killed by wild animals, crucified them, and in Paul’s case, beheaded some.
The only crime Paul had committed was telling people the truth. People who didn’t want to hear the truth, who had the power to hurt him, did so. This type of wickedness has continued through the centuries and has gotten much worse over the last few years here in America.
Paul never feared for his life for as he said, “to live is Christ, to die is gain.” No matter what the consequences, we are to stand firm on Biblical Christian principles. Primary of all is Christ died for our sins, was raised on the third day, and is seated at the right hand of God. He will return one day to reward His people and to judge the rest. Further, as Jesus said in John 14:6,
“I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
We are to tell everyone about the love of Christ and the free gift of salvation. People will reject that message because they don’t want to hear it. They want to silence you and call you intolerant. But they are wrong. Loving someone enough to extend the opportunity of eternal life is not intolerance. Intolerance is keeping the message to yourself and letting the sinner go to hell.
Can we be as bold as Paul? Pray that we can. Chains may be making a comeback.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you that you didn’t give me a spirit of fear, but of power, and love and a sound mind. You warned us about days when we will face opposition to your message. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and give me the words to speak. In Jesus’s name, amen.