1 Peter 1
- Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
When the Christian church began in Jerusalem, it saw amazing multiplying growth. In the first meeting, 3,000 were saved. In the second meeting, 4,000 more were saved. After that, multitudes came to Christ both men and women. Jerusalem had the first mega-church of history. It was a glorious time for the church of Jesus Christ.
But, the local Pharisees, the religious leaders of the nation, did not think well of this new movement following the Man whom they hated and crucified. In spite of the size of the Christian church, persecution of Christians began. The persecution got so heavy that in Acts 8:1 we find that the church scattered. This scattering of the church, though good for the kingdom of God, was very hard on those who had to leave their homes and families because of their faith in Christ.
Here in the first verse of 1st Peter we see a phrase that tells us something important. Peter is writing to the “pilgrims of the Dispersion.” Jewish Christians who were persecuted for their faith fled for their lives and went to far off places. Peter, their first pastor, wrote them a letter to encourage them in their faith in spite of their circumstances.
What are your circumstances today? How bad are they? Have you been driven from your family, church and country because of your faith? No, I didn’t think so. If dispersed Christians can rejoice in the Lord, so can we. If Christians who lost all earthly stuff and friends and even their church and pastor can rejoice in Christ’s will for their lives, so can we. Just make sure that any persecution you endure is because of your faith, not your personality. Then, thank God for enabling you to stand firm in the face of it. Rejoice, God is with you and has promised to never leave you nor forsake you.