Wow, that blew me away! How about you? Most of us live in countries where we enjoy freedom of religion. In fact, the entire reason the early colonist came to America was for exactly that purpose. But have we grown complacent in that freedom? Do we take it for granted? Have we become too occupied with the prosperity doctrine or endless debates about the rapture or listening ever so intently for the latest prophecy about the next calamity to befall us? I say Yes.
It seems we have isolated ourselves in the safe walls of our church environment, our Bible studies, potlucks, worship concerts, and our comfortable pews that we not only don't see what's going on in other parts of the word, we don't care. Yet aren't these other believers supposed to be our brothers and sisters? Aren't we all supposed to be one family in Christ? Would you ignore it if you heard your brother or sister or mother or father was going to be killed on Monday?
Well, you say, what can I do about it? Well, at least you can pray. You can find out about what's happening and pray to Almighty God for your brothers and sisters. And if God places on your heart to help them, check out this website: http://www.persecution.com/
And don't think for a minute that this persecution isn't coming your way.I have forseen a time of intense persecution for all believers in the near future. Jesus also predicted it in Mattew 24:9 Then they will hand you over to suffer affliction and tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake.. So , should we be afraid? No. I believe this must happen to strengthen the church, to wake us up from our complacency, to weed out those who truly know the Lord from those who are just playing church. Paul calls this the Great Apostasy or great falling away in 2 Thess 2: (Amplified version)
Let no one deceive or beguile you in any way, for that day will not come except the [a]apostasy comes first [unless the predicted great [b]falling away of those who have professed to be Christians has come], and the man of lawlessness (sin) is revealed, who is the son of doom (of perdition),
Think of the church of Acts. How could 12 men turn the world upside down? (Without TV or Internet, or airplanes!) I believe the early church grew so quickly and with such strength BECAUSE of the intense persecution they were under. Not that I'm downplaying the power of the Holy Spirit, but think about it. We human beings only turn to God when things are going badly, when we are afraid, and He's the only one who can help us. And you can bet that most of the Christians in the early church were TRUE Christians. Why would you join a group when it meant becoming poor, rejected by society, and most likely death? Sounds good to me. Sign me up!
Why am I telling you this? Not to scare you, but to wake you up. Christianity is not a social club, not a set of rules or moral codes. It is not going to church on Sunday and reading Christian novels (although I highly recommend both!) No. Christianity is denying yourself, taking up your cross, and following Jesus. It is Knowing Him by relationship and experience and being willing to die if necessary rather than deny Him.
Let each ask ourselves this question. If someone stormed into your house today with a machine gun and asked you to deny Jesus or be killed, what would your answer be?