“Against whom when the accusers stood up, they brought none accusation of such things as I supposed: But had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.” —Acts 25:18-19
Let me add that where the gospel is faithfully preached the reproach of Christ will not be shunned by the preacher. Read in the fifth verse of the twenty-fourth of Acts how Paul won this reproach. His adversaries said: “We have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.” This was the reputation of Paul. Well did Mr. Whitefield say, “There is no going to heaven as a minister except in a fool’s cap and a fool’s coat.” There is no hope of preaching Christ faithfully without being called by disrespectful titles, regarded as a fool, and reckoned among the vulgar and ignorant. Some kind of ugly name will always be appended to the gospeller. Brethren, expect it, and accept it! Bid farewell to a quiet life, if you resolve to be true to Jesus. Nothing excites such animosity as the preaching of Jesus. The carnal mind rages at the cross of Christ. That which would be to men the greatest comfort and the greatest joy if they were in their right minds, is their direst hate because sin has perverted their judgments. Do not, I beseech you, imagine that it is possible, fairly and squarely, to preach Jesus Christ and his gospel without raising opposition.
Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)
Delivered Sunday Morning, April 1, 1888
at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington
Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 34, Sermon No. 2016
“Jesus Affirmed to Be Alive”