Jottings – Wisdom to Know How to Act in Time of Persecution
Commenting on Matthew 24:16 ~
For one thing, we see that flight from danger may sometimes be the positive duty of a Christian. Our Lord Himself commanded his people under certain circumstances ‘to flee.’ The servant of Christ undoubtedly is not to be a coward. He is to confess his master before men. He is to be willing to die, if needful, for the truth. But the servant of Christ is not required to run into danger, unless it comes in the line of duty. He is not to be ashamed to use reasonable means to provide for his personal safety, when no good is to be done by dying at his post. There is deep wisdom in this lesson. The true martyrs are not always those who court death, and are in a hurry to be beheaded or burned. There are times when it shows more grace to be quiet, and wait, and pray, and watch for opportunities, than to defy our adversaries, and rush into the battle. May we have wisdom to know how to act in time of persecution! It is possible to be rash, as well as to be a coward—and to stop our own usefulness by being over hot, as well as by being over cold.
J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on Matthew. (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1860), pp. 318f.