Sadly we are now at the end of this beautiful letter to the Philippians.
The Apostle wrote this from a place he did not want to be in.
We don’t know exactly whether that was in prison in Ephesus, AD52-55; or Caesarea AD 57-59; or under house arrest in Rome 61-62 AD (see Acts 28: 16, 30-31)
In any case he writes to the Church in Philippi which was a Roman colony.
Bear with me as we think of what was happening in the Roman Empire at that time. A brief plotted history:-
Domitius was born in AD37, the only surviving male descendent of Caesar Augustus.
His mother, Agrippina, married her uncle, Caesar Claudius, in AD49.
Claudius adopted Domitius who was re-named Nero.
Agrippina poisoned Claudius so that her son, Nero, could be the Caesar.
At first Caesar Nero led well under his advisors but after they died or retired he went wild.
In AD59 he had his own mother, Agrippina, put to death.
In AD62 he divorced his wife, Octavia, then had her executed and married his mistress, Poppaea, which didn’t last long and reportedly he actually kicked her to death!
In AD64 he blamed the fire in Rome on the Christians and began a cruel, torturous persecution against them.
On the 9th June AD68 he committed suicide.
You may wake up in a nation of the world today and look at your wicked government and you may describe them like Nero. Nevertheless, let us read the last few verses of this letter and read something powerful:
“Greet all God’s people in Christ Jesus. The brothers and sisters who are with me send greetings. All God’s people here send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen” (Philippians 4 v 21-23)
“… especially those who belong to Caesar’s household.”
Isn’t that remarkable?!
What is your environment like today?
Those who will go to work, perhaps you are working in a very unchristian workplace, Maybe the pressure is constantly on you as you are living as a light in the darkness. This is your mission field whether or not you are restricted in what you can say or not. You may want to live and work amongst Christians 24 hours a day but you are here in this place and God has appointed you to be there. You have a value system that is better than those around you and they need to see it in the way you respond and react to things. You are being watched even when you don’t realise it. Your testimony is being shared even without words. When the opportunity comes to speak then you must take it. This is your mission.
Remember, even people in the household of Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus can be saved!