God’s Crushing Victory

And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly…” (Romans 16:20).

In less than a decade after this epistle was written and read, history records in bright, blood-red ink the vicious attack Nero made on the church in Rome. From A. D. 64 to 68, a savage onslaught was made upon Christ’s kingdom. A holocaust of tribulation, distress, perse­cution, famine, nakedness, peril, and sword engulfed God’s people. They were killed all day long, like defenseless sheep mercilessly slaughtered by a pack of ravening predators.

How could this prediction by Paul possibly be true?

First, it is true in exactly the same way it was true in the persecution and crucifixion of Christ. What appeared to have been Satan’s greatest victory (i.e., Christ’s death) was actually that which resulted in his greatest defeat (i.e., Christ’s resurrection). Whatever Satan may have gained on Passover Friday was lost (plus much more) the following Sunday. By waging a frontal assault on Christ’s kingdom in Rome, Nero assured the utter destruction of himself and the Roman empire—just as Daniel prophesied (Daniel 2:44). By the end of the fifth century A. D., the God of peace had crushed Rome’s empire to pieces and left it in the debris of human history.

Second, it is true because faith is the victory (1 John 5:4). The purpose of the gospel is salvation, eternal salvation; it is not ease or a long life upon this earth. When Satan instigates a violent persecution of Christ’s disciples, he runs the risk that some will decide to be faithful to Christ unto death (Revelation 2:10). If they do this, and choose to die for the beloved Savior, Satan has sustained a loss. Another child of the God of peace has kept the faith and will receive an imperishable crown which no one, including Satan, can take away from him.

In addition, several church historians have noted—quite ironically—that: the blood of the Christian martyrs was the seed of the kingdom. Persecution by the Roman government actually increased the spread of Christianity! A significant reason for this is because Christianity not only gives people something worthy to live for, it also provides something worth dying for. Rome’s persecution of God’s people openly exposed this truth and ultimately prompted many to seek Christ’s deliverance from the power of darkness. This resulted in additional victories for the God of peace.

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Author: jchowning

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