Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Persecuted Church

Hello Everyone.  I pray you are all well.

Christian churches around the world have set apart the month of November to remember and pray for the persecuted church through the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP).  Since November is upon us, I wanted to interrupt the series regarding marriage and draw attention to the persecuted church, aka. "The Beaten Bride of Christ" which is barely an afterthought for many Christians today.

I receive emails from a a number of different resources.  Among them are The Voice of the Martyers, Gospel for Asia, Open Doors Ministry, and Christian Aid.  Let me tell you, we need to pray for the persecuted church around the world.  There is coming a day when we will face persecution in this country the likes of which we have never known.

As an American Christian culture we get concerned when a song is repeated too many times or the service runs past noon or maybe if someone sits in our seat.  And don't dare challenge our religious rituals or even the scriptural relevancy of our beliefs.  Many Christians who don't get hung up on that stuff still live in blissful ignorance of the number of people around the world that are dying for the things that we take for granted.  Many of the great men and women of the bible died defending the Christian faith.  Many unknown men and women of faith are dying every day standing on the name of Jesus.

I believe that God is calling the church to get down to the business of the Gospel here in America and stop trying to please all the people that aren't really interested in true Christianity.  Jesus said that if we are truly following his commands, obeying him, spreading the Gospel that we WILL make enemies.  Even here in America.  We WILL be hated.  We WILL be persecuted.  So if we are not experiencing this then perhaps we should re-evaluate our obedience.

I don't mean to sound like I'm fussing but this is a serious issue that I believe needs a serious tone.  There are enough voices out there babying the mediocre, self-centered, lukewarm, half-asleep Christian culture.  These voices are spoon feeding a milk-laden, man-centered Gospel that does nothing to glorify God.  Instead of challenging the church with the serious meat of the word that will cause them to have growing pains but will cause them to mature, they are singing them lullaby's of Good News, grace without law, that makes them aware of having nothing more than fire insurance.  

I am aware of many professing "Christians" who are out there sitting under sound teaching and are still choosing to ignore the teachings and warnings of their Pastors.  They are biblically ignorant and happy to remain that way.  If they read the whole bible over and over they would come to a realization that much of what they believe doesn't hold water.  If they would come to church and their bible reading earnestly seeking to know what God says and not looking for whatever will reinforce their beliefs and forgetting the rest, they might actually grow.

I believe that God is giving America a call to arms spiritually.  In a country where Pastors are being thrown in jail on shaky grounds, based on shallow complaints surrounding assembly and discipline of children, we need to get ready.  In a country where people are told that they can't stand on a street corner and proclaim the Gospel or they might be arrested, to say nothing of the persecution that already exists in some countries surrounding the subject of homosexuality, we need to get ready.  No longer can we sit idly by and keep quiet.  We will be tested.

I encourage you to check out some of these sites listed at the beginning.  It will open your eyes to a whole big world that is not friendly to Christianity.  It will make you all the more grateful for the freedom you have here in America, for now.  And, perhaps it will cause you to ask God to help you get more serious about obedience to Christ in your own life and to begin to pray for those who are suffering or dying daily for their obedience.  Don't allow your callous ignorance to continue.  Make a change today and choose to live a life worthy of the Gospel.

In Jesus name.


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