Stop Wondering What It’s Like to Be Persecuted or if You Would Deny Jesus

I've never been able to understand the way in which many people in America think about persecution and martyrdom. I might literally shiver with fear, but the way of thinking about persecution I knew was that of the Apostles when they “went forth from the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been counted …

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Why is There So Little Persecution in the United States of America?

First of all, I don't believe there is 'so little persecution in the United States of America'. The first reason known to me, and the one still primary in my thoughts, is this one: Jesus told us the world would persecute us. America is part of the world – not meaning the wholesome and very …

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The Faithfulness of Christ: Why You Don’t Have to be Brave or Strong to be a Witness (Martyr)

“If we died with Him, we will also live with Him. If we endure, we will also reign with Him. If we disown Him, He will also disown us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot disown Himself.” “But do not worry about what you are to say or how you will …

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The Universal Church: Christ’s People Never Abandoned

The Book of Philippians is a good illustration of what the Church is; of what Christian unity and fellowship is. The Apostle Paul writes that it is right for him to feel great affection and love for the Philippian believers, since he has them all in his heart, for in his imprisonment and all his …

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One Body, Many Members or Together and Alone

This article is probably not what you might expect from the title. There is a very real sense in which all Christians understand all other Christians. Most truly and most importantly, we live the same life, which is Christ. We were baptized with one baptism into one body. We are indwelt by one Holy Spirit, …

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The Day I Would Die

Only God knew what awaited any of us in the arena. Sometimes, it made my blood run cold. But, I knew Jesus was with me. As frightening as it could be, considered in the flesh, this was an honor of which I was not worthy: to be a witness of the Lord. The thought that I would die for Him – it was inconceivable, unbearable joy. And then... I would see Him! I couldn't imagine it. I'd fall at His feet and beg His forgiveness for not loving Him better. I knew He'd forgive me. I just couldn't believe it. To finally see Him whom I loved – Him who had died for me! It was so wonderful it was scary. Scary in a happy way, but I'm not sure it's not as scary as the arena.

How Should We, as Christians, Respond to ISIS?

For most things, clarification and disentangling of different meanings present in a word is helpful. I believe that by ISIS we generally mean two things at the same time which together form one thing; namely a group of people who do certain types of despicable things. Firstly, we mean the actions of ISIS... For the most part we are not stupid enough to think that God can not accomplish His will, but we are not concerned with God's will; we are concerned about our will. Fortunately, for the most part we are not stupid enough to expect God to accomplish our will, but if we are we not only get angry when things don't go our way, we get angry with God and feel He has let us down... We have our will, and we want to be a little god to defend our will and punish those who threaten or destroy it... What if we concerned ourselves with things that will last, with the things of God? What if we set our hearts on eternal things, things which can not be taken from us? What if what was important to us was not our life and how we live it, or those of our loved ones, but the eternal life we have in Christ Jesus, and living our lives to the glory of His name?... Even if we don't cling to Him, He will keep us. He is Almighty God; ISIS can neither take us from Him nor Him from us. Even if they kill those we love before our eyes, even if they slowly torture us to death, they can neither take us away from Him, nor Him away from us... Neither our sins nor those of the people who form ISIS can separate us from God's love, or thwart a single one of God's plans.

Authority: Romans 13 in the Context of Life in America

A while ago I was reading a book where the following was recounted, in more detail: a man is preaching about Jesus to a group of people who’ve gathered to listen. Another man shows up and tells him to stop. He ignores the man telling him to stop until he notices that the man is a police officer, at which point he perceives his demands to be authoritative and complies. I don’t wish to criticize the individual in question. I don’t know the particulars of the situation; maybe he was blocking a route and it really was appropriate for him to move. What really bothered me about the story was actually where and how the writer told it; he was using it to illustrate the weight of authority. As such, it is singularly unhelpful and even harmful. Of course, I suspect the writer was taught to see police officers as necessarily carrying some kind of authority and so isn’t really at fault. The belief is, however, seriously mistaken. Police officers are men and, like most men, many of them are at enmity with God. Sometimes, they tell you to do what God forbids or not to do what God commands. When they do this, they have no more authority than any other human being, whether or not they have more power. When the Sanhedrin, the ruling body of Israel, told the Apostles to stop teaching in the Name of Jesus, they said, “We must obey God rather than man.”