It seems like when it rains it pours with my blogging! Sometimes I feel I have nothing to write then all of a sudden 3 or 4 things come to mind at once, and I have to unclutter (hence the description of my blog) my mind of all that is in there!
The other day I was reading an article in the "Today's Christian" magazine. It is called the "Persecution Report", and it speaks of persecution of believers around the world. The article was about a man in Turkmenistan (has anyone ever heard of this place?!). Long story short he was arrested in March of 2007 by the secret police, charged with illegally crossing the border in 2001. He was sentenced to 3 years in a labor camp this spring. He has a wife and 5 children who will be without their father. In the last paragraph it says "Although church growth has stabilized over the last 4 or 5 years, the number of believers continues to increase steadily."
As most of you know I've been reading in the book of Acts lately. Acts starts out with persecution (after the Holy Spirit's arrival of course). The new Christians are persecuted - they escape, go to another place and preach the gospel. In just about every chapter it mentions some kind of persecution, usually lead by some very angry Jews! SIDE NOTE: I am amazed at how anger can turn people towards violence, when hearing truth!
Paul did not flee in the face of persecution! In fact in Chapter 21 his disciples try to talk him out of going to Jerusalem because the Holy Spirit told them he would be jailed. Paul knowing this already sets out with determination! He was willing to suffer for the gospel of Christ!
This got me thinking. Are we ready and willing to be persecuted for the cause of Christ?! Here we sit in the wealthiest country on this planet, with all our stuff around us, while across the sea there are many Christians who are being imprisoned or being killed for the cause of Christ. Do we realize that things for us are not going to get better, but worse! In this upcoming election God's person will get in! He has a plan for the future, and it calls for things to get worse before we will see the Lord's return! Are we prepared, or has our wealth made us apathetic? I am reminded again of the verses I used yesterday from Ephesians 5:
13But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." 15Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
I do not say what I say to scare people, but to rouse them to action! Know the Word of God! Be prepared in season and out, as it says in:
2 Timothy 4:1-3
1In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
We need to be prepared and we need to prepare our children! Let's not be so comfortable that we are surprised when persecution starts! It will, but WE WIN! Praise God!