Was It Better Before?

"We have found this man a plague, one who stirs up riots among all the Jews throughout the world."
ACTS 24:5
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Was It Better Before?
This is the reason for the general complaint and cry that the Gospel is causing so much conflict, strife, and disturbance in the world and that everything is worse since it came than it was before, when things moved along smoothly, when there was no persecution, and when the people lived together like good friends and neighbors. . .. So this is what I say in reply to these idle talkers and grumblers: "Things neither can nor should run peacefully and smoothly. How could things run smoothly, when the devil is in charge and is a mortal enemy of the Gospel?  ... . Do not hope for any peace and quiet so long as Christ and His Gospel are in the midst of the devil's kingdom. And woe upon the peaceful and smooth situation that used to be, and upon those who would like to have it back! This is a sure sign that the devil is ruling with all his might and that no Christ is there. I am worried that it may be this way again and that the Gospel may be taken away from us . . . all too soon, which is just what these rioters are struggling for now."

From The Sermon on the Mount (Luther's Works 21:51-52)
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