1998-03-09 - Persecution
2 Timothy 4:7, 8 I have fought the good fight, I have completed the race, I have kept the faith; finally there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
Being a Christian in America is rather fashionable. When I ran this Sunday from my car into the sanctuary it was not because I was afraid I might be seen but rather because it was raining. This is not the case everywhere. The private house church is a reality all over the world. Meeting secretly by candle light, so as not to be found out, actually occurs. I read somewhere recently that it is estimated that 17 Christians a day lose their lives because they have professed faith in Christ. A web site some of you might wish to check out regarding the persecution of Christians is http://www.persecution.com The phrase that for many years was used to refer to the blood of those who had given their lives for Christ (a phrase now forgotten), was, "How that red rain has caused the harvest to grow."
It has been said by many that faith that is tested faith is stronger than faith that has not been tested. One thing that is seen with strong faith is that it finds its center in Christ. Faith centered in anything else will let us down. It is faith in Christ alone, the rock of our salvation, which will endure to the end. I meet people all the time who express their desire for a stronger faith or for a deeper walk with Christ. Others, when they hear someone pray who knows communion with God, will mention that they wish they could pray like that. And I have noticed something else, those who pray well, pray often; those who exemplify a deep walk with God, walk with God daily; those who have strength of faith, exercise that faith by trusting Christ in little and big things. May the Lord, "make it so" with us also.
"I sob and lament for that I cannot be quit and rid of sin. I desire to live a more perfect life." John Knox
Soli Deo Gloria,