Tag Archives: Persecution

The Church Wins!

READ
John 17:1-11

REFLECT
The church has seen a lot of dark days over the past 2,000 years, in the form of persecution. We have all heard the stories of Christians being burned alive as “Nero’s Torches,” illuminating the City of Rome. We have heard (and seen in movies, at least) Christians being thrown to the lions in the Great Coliseum. Today, – though mostly ignored by the Mainstream Media and the “mainline Protestant” denominations, the most vile and violent persecution of Christians is taking place in the Middle East at the hands of the Mohammedan – nothing short of genocide. Europe has been purged ideologically of Christianity and the United States is feeling the same evil wind blowing our way as the faith is publicly mocked and marginalized and in some cases attacked in court.

It all looks rather bleak for the faith…but it is not. The one things the Mohammedan, the secularist, the Cultural Marxist, and others have forgotten, as they gloat like ravenous jackels over wounded prey, is we are not alone in the fight, and ultimately the victory belongs to God and HIS people. The individual Christian might well perish – and as a martyr enter into glory – but the church, which is the body of Christ, is eternal and under God’s protection.

This protection is a certain and sure one because it is asked for by none other than Jesus.

“Holy Father, protect them in your name, that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.”

The individual might die but the church lives on and ultimately the church on earth will be triumphant. The church will be vindicated and avenged, when Christ returns in his glory, his enemies are destroyed and the nations made his footstool.

In the words of Martin Luther, “Were they take our house, goods, honor, child, or spouse, though life be wrenched away, they cannot win the day. The kingdom’s ours forever.”

Do not be discouraged. Pray and be of good cheer.

PRAY
Lord Jesus Christ, we trust in you to protect your Church. Helps us, your people, to remain faithful and joyful in the face of marginalization and persecution. Help us who can speak and act on behalf of our oppressed brothers and sisters to do so. By the power of your Holy Spirit, sustain and strengthen those who suffer for the faith.  AMEN.

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Persecution is Not a Thing of the Past

READ
Matt. 25:35-40

REFLECT
We often speak about providing for the needs of others. The poor and the homeless come to mind. But what about the persecuted church? It is easy for us who sit in the midst of a comfortable life (and yes, despite what we might think at any given moment, we are pretty comfortable) to imagine that people suffering for their faith in Christ as something historical, something from the days of Rome. The fact is that Christians have been persecuted throughout history. Lately, the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, Islamic terrorism and ISIS in Syria and Iraq have brought this sad state of things to the forefront again.

Crucifixion, beheading, being hunted down, discriminated against, robbed, beaten, raped, murdered, loss of life and home: these are very real things for many of our brothers and sisters worldwide and especially in the Middle-East. All over the world followers of Christ are in need as many have lost livelihood, home, possessions and have been driven from lands their families have occupied since the time the Son of God walked among us.

Persecuted Christians are in need firstly of our prayers but equally so of our support. They are hungry, thirsty, imprisoned, wounded and sick. They need us. As it says in the reading from Matthew, we are not only caring for our brothers and sisters when we support the persecuted church but we are also doing these things ‘to Christ” as well. Likewise if we do not provide for our needy fellow Christians, it is the same as not providing for Jesus himself.

In Luke 10, the Good Samaritan provides for the needs of a stranger without thought or concern for who the man was or from where he came. How then can we not provide for our own given that Christ commands us to do so? And how can we forget that, despite the distance between us, they are indeed our own?

Therefore I urge you to pray and find ways to support our brothers and sisters who suffer at the hands of the ungodly for their love of Christ.

PRAY
Father, we cry out to you for your persecuted children, for those who endure the worse for their faith in Your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. Send your sustaining spirit to be with those who are in pain. May your spirit change the hearts of those who dwell in sin and evil – those who harass, torture and victimize. Move us by that same spirit to come to the aid of our brothers and sisters who suffer. In Jesus name I pray, AMEN.