Since the rise of ISIS, the world has witnessed a diabolical, murderous persecution of Christian. The response of many to this great wickedness have been very encouraging.
Many have began:
Movements of prayer for victims
Missionary outreach toward the broken
Mercy ministries to the persecuted
Interestingly, some Christians have picked up arms to fight this great evil. I personally don’t like that style. But it is happening. World leaders and religious leaders have all condemned the merciless killings and barbaric beheadings of our Christian brothers. Everybody wants this to stop. I certainly do.
Unfortunately, too many Christians are acting like this is the end of the world, end of the Church. They’ve become so afraid of ISIS. But there is nothing ISIS does that can hinder the glory of God from manifesting in the face of Jesus. The thing about The Church that many cannot comprehend is this. Let me borrow from Labi Siffre:
- The higher you build barriers – the taller the Church becomes
- The farther you take our rights away – the faster the church will run
- The more you refuse to hear our voice – the louder we will sing
- The lies you tell about us will come tumbling down
- You may kill our bodies, but you can’t kill our soul
- You can bend our truth, but it will never break – and that’s because:
There’s something inside so strong. Something ISIS cannot take. Something world cannot destroy. It’s the life of God, and no one can contain it, no one can stop it. So instead of having great fear, let us cease the opportunity we have to bear witness to the name of Jesus.
Let us never forget:
1. Every persecution is an opportunity to bear radical witness to Name of Jesus Christ.
Mark 13:9 says, “When these things begin to happen, watch out! You will be handed over to the local councils and beaten in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me.
It may not be pleasant or pritty in the moment, but we always come out as gold.
2. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.
1 Corinthians 2:8 NLT
But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord. Satan and his band of evil conspirators thought that by killing Jesus they would kill his story.The rulers during the early Church thought that by killing the disciples they would stop their message.
It is amazing to see how their very diabolical and murderous actions turn out to be the very thing that defeats them and advance the Kingdom of God here on earth.
3. Jesus promised to build His church
Matthew 16:19 I will build my Church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.
As difficult as this season might be for our brothers and sisters around the world:
- Let us not lose heart
- Let us intensify our prayers
- Let us celebrate the bravery, courage and testimony of those taken away from us
- Let us not miss this opportunity to bear witness to the power, love and grace of Father
- Let us embrace he refiner ‘s fire
- Let become more holy, harvest and heavenly minded
2 Corinthians 4:8-12 NLT
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.
We win in the end!