UPDATE: The worldwide assault on Christianity
UPDATE: The worldwide assault on Christianity
On June 2nd, I wrote a blog mentioning Meriam Ibrahim and others who were being persecuted and threatened with for their stand for Christianity and their professed belief in Jesus Christ. I may not be of their doctrinal beliefs, but the principle is important. I want to update the news on that in today’s blog – AND give suggestions on things we can do to speak up against the assault on Christians going on today, while we have a voice to be able to do so. The time is coming we won’t have a voice. America was largely silent in the 1930’s while the Nazis were clearly bent on evil. We did nothing, we said nothing. The rest is history. Can we learn from mistakes?
The assault on Christianity is really starting to take off. People professing belief in Jesus Christ are being raped, kidnapped, beheaded, tortured and executed – while most Western believers are either totally unaware of what’s going on, or remain silent or do nothing.
Tony Perkins, head of Family Research Council, as well as other people and groups like Liberty Counsel, along with the prayers of many thousands around the world, were very influential in securing Meriam’s freedom. She is now out of Sudan with her two children and has the papers to be a true and authentic refugee to the USA. Most of all, she’s freed thanks to our heavenly Father who hears our prayers. If any of you feel God doesn’t hear people outside your fellowship, think again. Hear my last few sermons and read my recent blogs for proof He does. He loves the people of the world and is longsuffering and merciful.
And folks, if any of you feel you couldn’t or shouldn’t pray for Meriam of Sudan – or those in similar trials because she’s somehow not a “true” believer in your eyes, please read my previous blog. I would challenge ANY of us to have the courage and faith that woman showed – to refuse to give up her allegiance to Yeshua even if it meant giving birth in a fetid, crowded jail and being told her future was to be mercilessly beaten with 100 lashes, and then hanged until dead. Her crime: refusing to renounce her faith in Jesus and refusing to become a Muslim, the religion of peace.
The biggest thing we must confess is that Jesus (Yeshua) is the Messiah, the son of God, and that He died for our sins and we accept Him as our Savior – and refuse to deny him in word or deed. See 1 John 3:21-23. What was Yeshua’s main command for us, his disciples?
1 John 3:22-23
And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. 23 And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.
Meriam did that in a way that few, if any of us, have so far been asked to do. I personally respect that about her even though she does not hold to or practice all my beliefs. But there are also thousands more like her. We’re seeing a foretaste of what is coming to a city near you. I know, you’d much rather pray for someone in your own fellowship. But sometime read the story in 1 Kings 13 how a prophet of God cursed wicked King Jeroboam and within minutes, this same prophet was praying for Jeroboam’s healing -- and God heard! And we all know about “come out of her [Babylon], my people…” – but are you as aware that when Judah was sent into captivity into Babylon, they were to pray for Babylon? Did you know that? See Jeremiah 29:4-7.
So let’s not get all high and mighty and think we can’t pray for “the unconverted”. Also, remember mercy will be shown to the merciful. When our turn comes to be on the receiving end of persecution resulting in jail, beatings, beheadings and stonings -- we’ll all want as many prayers we can get, going up for us. And we’ll see how many of us will be as strong and faithful at those times as Meriam was.
And whether or not she was a true believer? Well, neither was Naaman of the Bible when he asked for healing. Neither were the women of Abimelech’s harem when Abraham prayed for them. Neither were those crucifying and ridiculing our Messiah on the cross – but He prayed for them anyway. Don’t be better than Yeshua, folks! Those who “sigh and cry” for the abominations we see are those who will be protected (see Ezekiel 9). Moses and Aaron interceded even for rebellious Israelites who were about to stone them (Numbers 16:41-50).
And don’t forget – Yeshua was called “a FRIEND of sinners”! Are we? We should be! God our Father – Abba – so loved ALL the world that He sent His only begotten son to die for them. Now that’s true love. He loved us WHILE we were yet sinners. And even those of us who are his children – yes, we still sin and his Son stands as our defense Attorney.
I’m urging God’s children to speak up. Remember it was Adam’s silence in the Garden that allowed the serpent to indoctrinate Eve. He should have spoken up; he should have said something forcefully, as he was not deceived. It was the SILENCE of “good” Germans in the 1930s and 1940’s that allowed the evil Nazis to exterminate and torture millions. It was the silence of good Russians that allowed the pogroms of even more millions in Russia. It was the silence of good Chinese that allowed the genocide of even yet more millions in China. It is the silence, frankly, of millions of peaceful Muslims tolerating the evils of the terrorist extremists by their silence that is giving fuel to the extremists. And it is OUR silence today – brothers and sisters – that allows scores of kidnapped Nigerian teenage girls to remain out there, even though we apparently know exactly where they are.
Can you and I afford to remain silent?
Be sure to click on “Continue reading” to the right to read some actions we can each take to make our voices be counted! It’s not enough to just shake our heads and walk on by.
Now ISIS, the new Islamic state that is part of the former Syria and former Iraq, has now told Christians in Iraq and Syria to get out of town or they will be killed if they don’t convert to Islam. Their churches are being burned. Their leaders are being beheaded and some have been crucified. Yes, in 2014, this is happening. Where is your outrage? Where is your voice?
How can you change your silence? What can you do? I say again, just because you may not feel they are truly converted anyway or be a true Christian gives us no right to remain silent.
*** Learn all you can about what’s going on. I get news updates from ACLJ, Voice of the Martyrs, Liberty Counsel and more.
*** Start by praying for God’s kingdom to come as you “sigh and cry for the abominations” we see going on. The ultimate answer is to change the whole government of this world, as He boots out the god of this world (Satan – 2 Cor 4:4), and start over, the right way.
*** Next, pray that God, who knows who His people are -- puts his guardian angels around anyone confessing a strong belief in Yeshua or Jesus Christ. Even though we pray, many will still have the honor of being martyred for their faith in Abba (our dear heavenly Father) and Yeshua. I realize that it takes more than a strong belief in Christ – but you know what? That’s the biggest thing that John so often records and writes about.
*** After that, use the means we still have in our democracy and government. Paul even resorted to using his citizenship and legal rights. He was born a Roman citizen in the Roman city of Tarsus, and he remembered that it was illegal to whip a Roman citizen without a trial. He also appealed to Caesar when the Spirit led him to do so. Not everyone could do that – but a Roman citizen could. It’s akin to our “appealing to the Supreme Court”.
*** I recommend you give financial support to some of the groups central in exposing what’s going on and fighting the injustices, while our system still allows them to do so. I’m referring to the ACLJ, for example. And Family Research Council. And Liberty Counsel. These groups are at the forefront of defending Christians, their right to believe in LIFE instead of abortion, their rights to practice their beliefs freely and openly. And they help people even in foreign lands, like Meriam Ibrahim and her 2 children.
*** Whether or not you believe in voting, you can contact your senator and congressman and let them know what you think. Tell them to speak up for Christians.
--Forward this blog to friends. Ask your pastor to speak up. Ask him to preach on this. It’s not a time to be silent. I am led by the spirit just now as I type to remember Mordecai’s words to Esther – as true today as it was then.
And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: "Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king's palace any more than all the other Jews. 14 For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"
Pray for believers around the world being persecuted because they believe in Yeshua – in Jesus the Christ. I know, I know. Many are nominal Christians. Christians in name only. I’m not talking about those. I’m talking about those who are willing to die for the name of Yeshua or Jesus. Plead for them to our heavenly father. And - - for them – thank you.