International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church
Killing Christians is in the news. No longer just “over there,” students in the USA classroom are confronted by a crazed gunman who calls them out and then ends their life. Praying for the persecuted church is getting pretty close to home now. Persecution is the new normal.
Actually we were warned about this long ago – by Jesus Himself. “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.” (John 15:20)
The apostle Paul affirmed the same reality: “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Timothy 3:12)
HOWEVER, there is a way for a believer to avoid persecution – go silent. Go undercover. Go with the flow. Keep a low profile.
But there is no way for a believer to be BOTH a follower of Jesus Christ and silent at the same time. It’s impossible to be simultaneously obedient and undercover. When our Lord invited us to follow Him, He cautioned, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23)
Over the past months, I’ve read several excellent books that provide vivid descriptions and challenging insights into the world of persecution, suffering, and martyrdom. We've posted them on GFC's Persecuted Church webpage but will mention their titles here for your consideration:
These works provide sobering words that we need to hear as the ominous sounds of persecution draw near. The author of The Insanity of Obedience draws a straight line for us when he writes, “We are free to share our faith in every setting and in every place. There will always be consequences for our obedience, but we are always free to obey” (pg 300).
This Sunday, November 1, is IDOP – The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. I urge you to pray and to learn more. You can find links and resources on our website here.
Larry Nees, GFC Equipping Pastor
Posted on Fri, October 30, 2015
by Grace Fellowship Church