09 April 2009

How Far Will You Go?


Persecution Among Christians
By Mike Andrews

We live in a world that is so full of sin and unrighteousness that they have become blinded to what is going on around them because of their selfishness. We are a world of people who accept all types of religions but hate Christianity and anything that deals with Christ Jesus. If you say to someone who is lost in sin or who is a worshipper of a false god, that the Jesus is the only way to attain eternal life (John 14:6), those people would look at you with hate and resentment and say "you are so narrow-minded".
If today's world could only see past their blindness and see the lives of people who stand for the Gospel of Christ. They need to know about those who die and are persecuted in so many ways each year for their faith in China and around the world in areas that are heavily populated with Muslims or other false faiths.
Its one thing to say you are a Christian, but it is a serious matter when you are willing to die or take the punishment for Christ. The world hates righteousness and will fight against it. There has been and will be persecution against Christians. For example, Jim Elliot and his co-workers, Stephen in Acts 7, James in Acts 12, Peter and Paul everywhere they went, and most of all our Lord and Savior at the cross of Calvary. All these events may be tragic, but they all happened under the control of a sovereign God. Isaiah says in the 41st chapter "Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed for I am your God...." (verse 10). John Piper writes "that suffering lies at the heart of what it means to be a Christian and do missions". John is telling us that this is the heart of the Gospel; we need to be a people who’s faith sustains them through persecution (1Cor 1:27). When persecution comes our way, it usually has a way of weeding out the false believer and leaving only the true Christian, because most false believers will leave the faith when persecution sets in. The importance of trusting only God and not yourself is one thing that every true believer can learn during trying times. We must have an attitude like Christ. The Bible teaches that persecution is inevitable for every single believer. 2 Tim 3:12 tells us that we must be humble and Christ-like when being persecuted. We must stand strong as the great men and women of times past have. Persecuted believers should use the occasion to witness to people as Paul and Silas did with the Philippian Jailer while they were in prison as told in the book of Acts. The wonderful outcome of that great story of salvation affected not only the guard but his whole family.
We are Christians who were saved by grace by a holy and perfect God who saw fit to send His Son to die, not only for my sins, but also for the sins of those who persecute us. We need to always remember what Paul said in the book of Romans in the eighth chapter "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose". He died a horrible death and rose on the third day so that we could have eternal life and be spared the eternal torment we all deserve. The least we could do as believers, for our LORD, when we are faced with persecution is to "...all have the spirit of martyrdom, though we may not all die martyrs". George Whitefield. So how far are you willing to go for the Gospel of Christ? As it is written: "FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE KILLED ALL DAY LONG; WE ARE ACCOUNTED AS SHEEP FOR THE SLAUGHTER." Rom 8:36

2 comments:

MarkandAliciaMcKeen said...

yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Mike Andrews said...

Amen to that brother. It is only by His grace we can be conquerors.