The Christian and the Emperor

man thinking

Theodosius the Great, who lived in the fourth century, embraced a certain heresy, and therefore would not acknowledge the Lord Jesus as the eternal Son of the Father and as God manifest in flesh.

On one occasion he was waited upon by a deputation of Christians. One of them, an aged man, was very careful to pay due respect to the emperor; but when the emperor’s son, Prince Arcadias, was introduced, the bishop treated him with great familiarity, as though he were but an ordinary boy.

Much annoyed at this disrespectful behavior, Theodosius ordered the attendants to turn the aged man out of the palace.

Noting the emperor’s anger, the old Christian fearlessly said, “If you are angry because a slight is put upon your son, so will God the Father be angry with those who refuse to His Son the honors which they pay to Himself.”

This noble reply much affected the emperor, and happily led him to perceive the error of this heresy and to renounce its profession.

Great is the folly of the man who refuses Christ as Savior and yet hopes for the favor of God. “He that honoreth not the Son, honoreth not the Father which hath sent Him.”(John5:23) The Lord Jesus says, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father but by Me.”(John 14:6)

God will have nothing to do with the sinner that will not approach Him in the name of Jesus. “Go to Joseph” was the word long ago. Now God’s command is, “Go to Jesus.” Every knee must bow to Him. God is determined to exalt His Son, for, when here, man abased Him. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life, and he that believeth not he Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).

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