Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 2 Tim. 3:12
The other day my 14 year-old son had a discussion with an adult who said these days persecution for Christ is when someone says you aren’t cool because you are a Christian.
Really? You aren’t cool?
In 2003, Iraq had 1.5 million Christians. They are called Assyrians or Chaldeans, and they speak modern Aramaic. But their number is now estimated at roughly 400,000. In 11 years’ time, more than two-thirds fled, emigrated or were killed. One of the largest attacks in Baghdad in 2010 killed 68 people.
Two suicide bombers entered the All Saints Church compound in Peshawar, Pakistan. These Islamists waited until the services were over and the nearly 500 worshipers began to gather for a meal together. At 11:45, they detonated their suicide vests and killed 78 people and injured another 130. It was the deadliest attack on the Christian minority in the history of Pakistan.
In western China, a Christian leader was imprisoned for three years because of his faith. While working in a labor camp, he was forced to make wigs. The quota was steep, and it was painstaking work.
source: The Voice of the Martyrs
If that stuff is happening around the world, why in the world would some, well-meaning Christian leader, say persecution has anything to do with popularity at school. Well, I think it is because we Western Christians like to think we are the real deal. We like to think we know hardship for Christ when the truth is we don’t want to upset the comfortable life we have too much.
I mean it is nice to sip a latte and read a daily bible verse in Starbucks. We did witness to the customers by having an open bible.
It is nice to go to a comfortable building with comfortable seats and a comfortable temperature.
It is nice to isolate ourselves in our Christian fellowship, Christian school and Christian church.
It is nice.
But church, we Westerners are not the persecuted Church. We are not the martyrs of our generation, but we do have a responsibility to them. We have a responsibility to encourage them, pray for them and rescue them. We have a responsibility to not insult their sacrifice by pretending that our church attendance or social status has anything to do with persecution.
And here’s one more thing… maybe our lack of persecution has less to do with where we live and more to do with how we live.
So church let’s get radical. Let’s live loud. No matter how comfortable we are, let’s live like we are the real deal.
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
“Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.”
If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.