By Nathan Dubois
I can think of no more encouraging phrase to say to one of my brothers or sisters than to “remember Pella”.
In the surrounding of Jerusalem in AD 66, faithful Christians who remembered the words of Christ in Luke 21:20-22, fled the city of Jerusalem just in time to escape the destruction. Though under publicized, this fulfillment of prophecy in the first century was extremely significant. It signaled the on time, on target, parousia of Christ.
Some might ask why the flight of Christians from a city doomed to destruction, with nothing on their backs or in their possession other than the clothes they wore, could encourage a fellow believer. What can cause the plight of a few to uplift the hearts of the many today? The answer is “fulfilled faith.”
Experiencing the fulfillment of your hopes and desires, to its utmost capacity, has got to be the most rewarding, joyful, encouraging experience that a person can go through. The Christians who fled to Pella were not simply running for their lives. Approximately 37 years removed from the blessed sermons of their Lord, Christ Jesus, these people were holding onto a faith that had been attacked, persecuted, and doubted throughout the entire Roman world.
Though the Christian faith kept growing, the Christians of Jewish decent living in the capitol city of Jerusalem, were faced with the daily torment of the temple, its laws, and its leaders who sought their lives. Their battle was not just against the men who sought to kill them physically, but it was a matter of the heart. They needed to keep the faith that their Messiah fulfilled the law, and would soon come to destroy those who held the law above God. The zealous Jews who wanted the death of these few, held the power. To get caught up in the anti-Roman, pro-law wave that was sweeping over Jerusalem in the mid first century would lead to their ruin. It would lead to apostasy.
The survival of these Christians, and even Christianity, rested in the faithfulness of Christ to do what He said, when He said He would do it (Matt 23:31-38, Matt 24-25, Luke 21, Matt 16:27-28). He MUST prove faithful.
So again, imagine your faith being justified, vindicated, and carried out right before your eyes. You may leave with nothing, you might have had even the closest relatives leave the faith and get swept up in the Zionist rebellion, but you have your very soul vindicated. Christ destroyed the wicked in fire in AD 70, while you observed this vindication, and showed to the entire world once and for all that the law held no power.
The man who proclaimed Himself as the Son of God was for real, His victory was complete, and His word was true. He really IS the resurrection and the life. He really DID crush the head of satan and defeat death. Everything He said MUST be true, because his prophecy of His return did occur how and when He said it would. You have life now. You have salvation. It is not a hope waited for, it is a hope realized. It is not a faith unseen, but a fact very much observed.
So if you are around a few joyful, confident Christians, and they say to you “remember Pella,” then you know they have a faith that is unshaken. They have closed their eyes and imagined being the most destitute, richest men in the world. They have envisioned themselves running out of a doomed city into the hills, with no money, food, or earthly hope, and witnessing the salvation of their souls, and the defeat of death. They truly were the happiest people to ever live on the face of this earth.
So when your debts get you down, your relationships take a sour turn, a loved one dies, your car dies, your hope fades…remember Pella. You cannot be any worse off in the physical realm concerning temporal things than those Christian, but you are every bit as qualified to rejoice. You too have a fulfilled hope, a factual faith. You are not waiting for a salvation that is nearer than when you first believed, it is already accomplished. Death is powerless, the law is dead and grace abounds. When life gets you down, close your eyes, envision crossing the Jordan with nothing, yet being able to soar above the clouds with unbridled joy, because your Lord IS God, and He has proven Himself faithful, and the gates of hell not only cannot prevail against you, they do not exist for you.
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Date: 21 Sep 2006
Good article. I’ll send this to my son-in-law who is studying a real-time view of the last days.
Thanks for the perspective.