During the first few decades after the completion of My incarnation on earth, sporadic persecution, seizure of properties, ostracism, prejudice, oppression, and executions were brought against My disciples. These persecutions were not throughout the Roman Empire, but there were several times of intense persecution tied to emperors of Rome.
Nero was well known as a persecutor because of his power and time in history, as well as a number of events that happened under his rule. For example, there was the fire in Rome and his distaste for Christians as evidenced by the blaming of Christians for the fire and the subsequent execution of many of My disciples. Near the end of the first century, persecution erupted in Asia Minor connected to a cult that honored the emperor Domitian as “lord and god” — language almost identical to Thomas’ confession of Me after My resurrection (John 20:28). Some even hinted that Domitian was really Nero revived from the dead.
Christians in Asia Minor — including in the cities listed at the end of your verses today — faced very difficult circumstances. My followers would call no one “Lord and God” but Me. Yet, any time they went…
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