583) Diocletian vs. Jesus

 

     Do you recognize the man shown above?  Probably not, though as emperor of the great Roman Empire, he was at one time the most powerful man on earth.  Diocletian (245-311) ruled as Roman emperor from 284-305 A. D.  His reign brought many changes to the Roman Empire, and some of them were quite innovative and beneficial.  However, he was also one of history’s most merciless persecutors of the Church of Jesus Christ, and even fancied that he had defeated Christianity once and for all.  He had a medal struck with this inscription:  “The name of Christianity is extinguished.”

     Bible commentator David Guzik writes of him:

Diocletian set up two monuments on the frontier of his empire with these inscriptions:

–‘Diocletian Jovian Maximian Herculeus Caesares Augusti for having extended the Roman Empire in the east and the west and for having extinguished the name of Christians who brought the Republic to ruin.’

–‘Diocletian Jovian Maximian Herculeus Caesares Augusti for having everywhere abolished the superstition of Christ for having extended the worship of the gods.’

Diocletian is dead and gone, a footnote on the pages of history.  The fame and glory of Jesus Christ has spread over all the earth.

     The above photo would be recognized by very few people in the world today.  But the man in the statue below would be recognized by almost all of the people in the world today.  Diocletian believed he could ‘extinguish the name of Christ.’  But Diocletian is long dead and forgotten, but Jesus is remembered and worshiped, and still lives.

Christ the Redeemer, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

     We hear much in the news today of those who are seeking to eliminate all the Christians in various countries, and even in the whole world.  Christians may be killed.  Christians have been killed for proclaiming Christ throughout history.  But the name of Christ will go on, and Christ will rule, forever and ever.

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Philippians 2:9-11  —  God exalted him (Jesus) to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Acts 4:8-12  —  Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them:  “Rulers and elders of the people!  If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel:  It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.  Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’  Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

Colossians 1:15-17  —  The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.   He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Matthew 28:18-20  —  Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Revelation 22:13  —  (Jesus said), “I am the Alpha and the Omega,the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

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PSALM 2:1-2…4-6…10-11

Why do the nations conspire
    and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth rise up
    and the rulers band together
    against the Lord and against his anointed…

The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
    the Lord scoffs at them.
He rebukes them in his anger
    and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
“I have installed my king
    on Zion, my holy mountain…”

10 Therefore, you kings, be wise;
    be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear
    and celebrate his rule with trembling.