Day 214 - FOUNDATION STONES IN A YEAR
Reading: Matthew 24
As we continue our discussion about the baptism of suffering, it brings us to Matthew 24, a fascinating chapter about the end times and the spiritual battle that rages over Earth.
I don’t where you live or what the situation is like for Christians where you are, but I do know that for most of the world and for most of history, being a Christian has not been safe. Stephen Neil says in his History of Christian Missions (p. 43) that in the
first three centuries, when the Church was spreading like wildfire, "every Christian knew that sooner or later he might have to testify to his faith at the possible cost of his life."
Even today it is normal in most places to suffer for being a Christian. To be safe and respected is the exception, not the rule. Here’s an example of this: Evangelical missionaries entered Cambodia in the 1920s. By the time they were expelled in 1965 there were about 600 believers. Between 1965 and 1975 during the civil war the Christian population soared to an estimated 90,000. It was an amazing work of God. But when the Khmer Rouge took control and Pol Pot unleashed his fury on the nation, most of these Christians died or fled the country.
Why do you think they crucified Jesus? This wicked, rebellious world does not want to concede authority to God and His Messiah. Perhaps you live in the Western world, like I do. Have you noticed that Christianity is becoming increasingly unpopular in today’s world The liberal, humanistic, secular, relativistic cultural elites are hellbent on taking Christianity from us – and have even succeeded in taking many a Christian mind and heart captive with their agenda.
It won’t be long before just saying that you believe in God, think humanity should bow the knee to him and should put sin behind them, will lead to all kinds of persecution. Perhaps you’ve experienced it already. If so, may I encourage you today to keep faith with Jesus and be willing to pay the price for truth. You will be vindicated in the end.
Give me the courage to suffer for Your name’s sake if necessary, Lord.
For the family
For the next few days, watch this video series (Pt 1) about suffering, together.