Then He continued by saying to them,“Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. “But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake. “It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony. “So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute. “But you will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, and you will be hated by all because of My name. “Yet not a hair of your head will perish.
“But be on your guard;for they will deliver you to the courts,and you will be flogged in the synagogues,and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them.The gospel must first be preached to all the nations. When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit. undefined
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues;and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say.For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.
This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.
Father Ward has served as the Rector of St. Bartholomew's since 1998. He received his B.A. in History from SUNY at Buffalo; a M.A. in Practical Theology from Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA; and a M. Div. from Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, VA. Fr. Ward and his wife Kathleen have two adult children, Arthur and Alyssa.