I was sitting in my small group one Thursday night. We were meeting together for Bible Study as we do every week at this time in addition to Sunday morning corporate worship. “Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone just knew about Christ?” “Isn’t Christ going to reveal himself to everyone and allow them to reject or accept him one last time?” asked another. “Why do Christians have to be persecuted in other countries?” inquired a third. “Can’t we just all worship without persecution?” “Can I really reach out to someone else and tell them about the good news of Jesus? Do I have to tell them right now?”
Jesus is not going to send out “friend requests” when he comes to make all things new.
That’s why He sent us into the world in the first place. We are to be his ambassadors. We all have people we can reach and tell them of the hope we have because of what Jesus Christ has done for us.
In fact it is what we are called to do.
“Go and make disciples of all nations, teaching them everything I have commanded you.”
Jesus said this Himself. He did not die and rise again just for the fun of it. Everything He did has life or death implications for all of humanity. Ignorance will not be an option on judgment day, and that day is coming. We have the cure for the disease plaguing all of humanity. We just have to tell people about it. When Jesus said “teach them everything I have commanded you. He meant both old and new testament. Not just the “red letters.” How convenient is it that we have access, currently, to the complete Word of God in print, on the internet (www.biblegateway.com for example) and on our smart phones.
“But if I say, “I will not mention his word
or speak anymore in his name,”his word is in my heart like a fire,
a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
indeed, I cannot.”
Jeremiah had the same passion for sharing God’s word to the people around him that we should if Christ means anything to us at all.
“Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.”
2 Timothy 4:2
We always have to give an answer for the hope that we have, and others could have too, in Christ. Whether the opportunity is good, or our lives are on the line.
The truth of the matter is that followers of Christ in Asia, Africa, and Europe are all being actively persecuted, tortured, and killed for their faith and the hope that they have. This would be the point where you might say. “This could never happen in North America.” and I would tell you, it already is. Doesn’t anyone remember Columbine? More recently, the lone gunman who opened fire on a Bible study group in South Carolina.
It’s happening now and it will get worse once Christianity becomes Illegal in North America. Yes, that will happen, most likely within my lifetime I bet. Why should we as followers of the same Christ expect to be immune from the consequences that have plagued His followers in other parts of the world?
“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.E)” 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
It is an honour to suffer for Christ.
40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
I don’t know about you but if a rock yelled at me, I’d be pretty scared. Let’s not make that happen. Let’s be faithful to what we have been called to do, while we still legally have time, and even once we don’t.
***All scripture references taken from the New International Version.
There’s more to come in this new series of blog posts, so stay tuned. I’m not just going to leave you hanging right here.