What would you do if arrested for talking about God?
Published 9:44 am Thursday, January 12, 2023
“I would be singing, praying, reading the Bible, doing the moonwalk, thanking God and then pretending to be miserable when I see the guard coming,” says Langdon, age 11.
That’s great, but can you read the Bible and do the moonwalk at the same time? You might be the first prisoner in history to be locked up in solitary confinement for having too much fun.
“I would ask, ‘Why am I getting arrested?’” says Zach, 9. “Then, I would say to myself, ‘God is doing this for a reason and a good one.’ Then, I would tell people about Jesus.”
To face a crisis can be exciting when you know God’s plan for you is bigger than your understanding. I trust in a computer to store what I write even though I don’t understand how it works. Similarly, I don’t have to understand everything God does or allows in order to trust him.
“If they threatened to hurt me if I didn’t stop talking about God, I wouldn’t listen to them because I know that I am pleasing God,” says Megan, 9. “No matter what happens to me, I’ll have Jesus with me.”
When religious leaders commanded the Apostles Peter and John not to speak in the name of Jesus, they said: “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19-20).
Confronting authorities may not always be God’s will, says Stephanie, 9: “As soon as they let me go from jail, I would move somewhere else to talk about God.”
Shortly after the Apostle Paul switched from being a feared persecutor of Christians to their greatest evangelist, he became the most wanted man in Damascus. The governor had an all-points bulletin out for his arrest. Paul’s friends lowered him down a wall in a basket, and he escaped.
“I would send a letter or go talk to the president,” says Ruth, 8. “And maybe we could talk about God. I would also pray to God.”
In effect, this is what the Apostle Paul did when he appealed to Caesar during one of his trials. By this legal tactic, he avoided an assassins’ ambush and continued to speak and write from jail. The letters Paul wrote to churches during his house arrest in Rome are appropriately called the Prison Epistles.
“In Acts 16:16-34, Paul was arrested for believing in God and never stopped singing and praying and worshiping him,” says Shane, 11. “While he was doing these things, the guard asked him how he could be saved, and Paul told him to just believe in the Lord Jesus, and the guard let them go.”
Shane, you’re amazingly concise, but you omitted one important detail — the earthquake. Immediately after the quake, the guard asked his now-famous question, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved,” Paul replied (Acts 16:30-31).
Let’s pray for persecuted Christians and support organizations that help them. Christians in Sudan, China, Egypt and Saudi Arabia immediately come to mind.
Think about this: Jesus promised tribulation in this world and the power to rise above it.
Memorize this truth: “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Ask this question: If police were told to arrest all Christians, would they come to your house?
(Kids Talk About God is designed for families to study the Bible together. Research shows that parents who study the Bible with their children give their character, faith and spiritual life a powerful boost.)