Persecution of Christians is a phenomena that has occurred in many times and places, but for the early church in the Roman Empire it was especially intense. In his Letter to the Hebrews we are treated with God inspired advice on how to deal with it.
No one knows for certain who wrote this letter. Scholars agree that it was written sometime between 60 and 95 AD. Although it was often attributed to Paul, even in ancient times it was known that the letter was not from his pen and was more likely the work of another apostle, Barnabas.
What is known for certain is that it was written during one of the great Christian persecutions of the 1st century (either the persecution by Nero or Domitian). The letter is not only literate and inspiring, it also follows a logical pattern that reveals it to be an overlay of platonic logic on top of Hebrew sentiment. The author, beyond exhorting the Hebrew Christians to remain steadfast in their faith, goes on to lay out a perception of reality that is uniquely Christian.
The author sees the Earthly realm as the imperfect world and heaven as the perfect. In arguing for his view he shows that Jesus was the perfect priest who made the perfect sacrifice so that men might be forgiven for their sins. Because of this, it was no longer necessary to sacrifice to God, for all further sacrifices would be meaningless.
Hebrews is an excellent book for in-depth study of Christian doctrine and is inpiring in its treatment of the travails laid upon humanity. It is best to take on the study of Hebrews after having studied a few other books of the New Testament.
Hebrews, by William Barclay is great both as an in-depth study for a group and also as a daily guide for individuals. Visit our page on Barclay for more information on how to use Barclay's works in a Bible study.