FAITH UNDER FIRE

Posted: June 13, 2010 in Church, End times, Persecuted
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One of the things close to my heart is making the body of Christ aware of the growing persecution of the church.  It is easy for many of us to sit back and not realise these people are our brothers and sisters in Christ.  We are one with them and when they suffer we should also suffer with them.  We have beds to sleep in, many don’t.  We have a house to live in, many don’t.  We have the freedom to go to church but for many it can dangerous.  In a recent article by world Daily is reported on a new Ministry partnership.    Its heading says this

Martyred: 176,000 Christians in one year”

A new ministry partnership has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the fact that an estimated 176,000 Christians around the world were martyred – killed for their faith – in a one-year period from the middle of 2008 to the middle of 2009.  That’s 482 deaths per day, one every three minutes.

Did you know that the World Evangelical Alliance has reported that over 100 million believers, in more than 60 countries, are routinely denied the most basic human rights, simply because of their Christian faith?

Now this is a staggering number!  “One every three minutes” . Which means by the time you have read this article there might be another brothers and sisters killed for their faith?

Open Doors in USA combined with Kirk Cameron of the Way of the Mater ministry as well as Ray Comfort of Living Waters Ministry  have decided to combine their resources to raise awareness on those who are persecuted for their faith.

Emeal Zwayne, executive vice president of Living Waters, said that few Christians in the U.S. are even aware “that an estimated 176,000 Christians were martyred from mid-2008 to mid-2009.

It’s so hard to believe that in this day and age so many Christians are losing their life for their faith. It’s as though we in the U.S. live in a different world from the rest of the Body of Christ,” he said. “We want to ask the question that is on a few people’s lips – will persecution ever come to America? And if so, what can we do about it?” he said.

Zwayne said the ministries have been working together “to try and draw attention to the plight of the Persecuted Church, because Scripture tells us to remember those who are persecuted for the sake of Christ.”

“Open Doors is a wonderful organization, and together we want to do all we can to highlight this often forgotten cause,” he said

Open doors has highlighted that North Korea which is one of the worst places for the persecution of Christians.  Has announced  Christians are being used as guinea pigs to test chemical and biological weapons Iran is sited as the second worst nation for the persecution of fellow believers.

The report said :

Iran, at No. 2, is the highest-ranking nation in the top 10 in which Islam is the dominant religion. Following are No. 3 Saudi Arabia, No. 4 Somalia, No. 5 Maldives, No. 6 Afghanistan, No. 7 Yemen, No. 8 Mauritania and Uzbekistan, which ranked at No. 10. Laos, another communist nation like North Korea, is ranked No. 9.

Open Doors estimates there are 100 million Christians worldwide who suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith, with millions more facing discrimination and alienation

  • Rev 7:14 “And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
  • Rev 3: 14-19And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
  • Rev 3:20-21 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”

If we are to believe the figures which have been presented and I have no doubt that they are accurate.  Then there is a question which we need to grasp.  For many years Bible prophesies teachers have presented a scenario which sees the rapture of the church.  To my knowledge none of them have accounted for the massive persecution of the church prior to the rapture.  To say that the persecution of a gathered people happens only after the rapture is absolutely wrong.  That tribulation is here and the numbers testify to that.  The other great question is that if you don’t have a heart for what is happening then we need to ask God to place that burden on our hearts.

For too many years we have sat back and watched the prostitution of the gospel by various pulpit pimps, wolves masquerading themselves as sheep.  This has produced a greedy lazy and backslidden church which has lost its fire and it conscience.  Running after prosperity teachers who will sell their own granny if it brought in an extra buck.   Rev 3 says Jesus comes knocking at the door, you know the sad part we are never told if any one actually opens that door to let Jesus in.  God is looking for overcomes and you know what he is going to get them.  But if it means taking his body through the fire to do so he will.  It is NO good sitting back America or Britain and thinking Oh well it is somewhere else.  Forget it God has your number too.  If you do not have a heart for the persecuted church you will!!  The church is still a blood washed church and in these last days the blood of the martyrs are still being shed.    If we do not give God the glory, God will do so at our expense.  His son did not die for a church that is backslidden weak and impotent.  Don’t think God has not thought this out.  The strong must begin to uphold the weak.  IT’S TIME.  I hope you realise this.   For too long we have taken our ease, put our feet up and forgotten the price which was paid.

When I read something like this, it should make us shudder.   There are people out there who are prepared to give their lives.  Not because they want too.  Not because they desire it.  Not because it seems like the right idea at the time.  But because they have a passion that says even death can not conquer life.  The church has always known persecution.  From Stephen the first martyrs to those who died in the Roman arena.  To the many whose names have been lost over the centuries.  Lost to history but not to God.  Never lost to him.

Martyred: 176,000 Christians in one year

  • . Psa 56:8 “ tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: [are they] not in thy book?

God knows where you fall and where you arise.  He knows what tears you shed. He knows where you are at.  He knows you loneliness and he knows your fears.  One day that great call will cry out its time to enter.    Welcome home good and faithful servant.

  • James 5:10Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.”
  • Rom 8:18” For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
  • 1 Peter 4:13 “But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”
  • 1 Peter 5:1 “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed”

There is a glory which will be revealed in his body and what a glory that will be.  On that day none of what has happened here will matter.  The pain and suffering will pass away as the day has broken and the nightmare passes. The shame and embarrassment, the blows and the affliction will be gone.

God bless and strengthen those who are about to enter the fire.

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