I’ve been thinking a lot about the persecuted church lately. There are people all over the world who, at this moment, are imprisoned for simply putting their faith in Jesus Christ. Men, women and children are being tortured and killed for owning a bible or preaching the gospel.
There’s a story on The Voice of the Martyrs website that talks about a woman, a Christian-aid worker who was a South African-British national living in Kabul working with disabled Afghans. She was shot and killed by Taliban gunmen for “spreading her religion.” You can read the full story here.
If you or I lived in a country where Christianity was persecuted, would we be gunned down for “spreading our religion”? Would we be hated because people we didn’t even know identified us with our Lord?
You’ve probably heard the question, “if being a Christian were a crime, would there be enough evidence for you to be convicted?” How evident is it to all those around us that you or I are believers? What “crimes” could we be charged with?
I believe the time is coming when Christians in America will be more and more persecuted for our faith. Will we ever be imprisoned or killed? I don’t know.
But I do know that in America a little kid who chose to dress up as Jesus for Halloween was sent home from school because his costume was deemed inappropriate. I do know that students are told all the time they are not allowed to bring their bibles to school. And many times employees are not allowed to bring them to work, even to read during their own lunchtime. Even wearing Christian jewelry in the workplace has been seen as a threat.
And I do know that Christians are the only group of people who can be mocked anywhere from real life to television to the printed media and it is acceptable. If any other group were belied as we are, it would be considered a hate crime.
The time is coming. And now is not the time to grow quiet, but rather to be ready in our faith, stand up and boldly proclaim the Truth. People are dying in their sin and we know the cure: Jesus Himself. Let’s pray and ask the Lord how He would have each of us share the gospel. And if we are found guilty, so be it.
“And calling the apostles, beating them, they commanded not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. Then indeed they departed from the presence of the sanhedrin, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to be shamed for His name. And every day in the temple, and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching the gospel: Jesus Christ.” (Acts 5:40-42)