I’ve been reading a book over the summer, “The Insanity Of God,” by Nik Ripkin. It’s an amazing journey of a pastor and his family discovering who Jesus really is around the world as believers suffer persecution in such profound ways that we as Americans can hardly imagine. There are many points in this book which should have a substantial impact on believers in non-persecuted countries. I want to share a few of my ‘ah-ha’s’ from this book. I highly recommend reading this as it has opened my eyes…
Praying for persecuted believers: What I learned was that we should not pray for persecution to end in the world. We often lift up the persecuted believers in prayer asking for God to stop their persecution. In actuality, if God were to answer this prayer and end it, then what essentially would have to happen, is that Jesus would need to cease to be shared, because Satan’s ultimate goal is not to starve, beat, imprison, torture, and kill followers of Jesus. The strategy of Satan is much more simple. It is quite simply to deny the world access to Jesus. His greatest desire is that we would all turn away from Jesus, leave Him alone, or never find Him in the first place. If Satan can keep the believers silent and stop us from bringing Christ to others, then He has been successful. So, asking for persecution to end is not the answer right now. The real prayer is for those being persecuted to be strengthened under the weight and to not stop sharing the Name of Jesus.
Will persecution come to the USA as it is in many other countries? We would have to ask ourselves, “Why would it?” In order for it to come, Satan would actually have to wake up the believers since he has mostly managed to silence a majority of us anyway. Silence is the perfect solution to his plight. Keeping believers meeting in Bible Studies, going to Sunday worship services, and other Christian ‘activities’ keeps us from actually sharing our faith; afterall, in our country, we are to stay open-minded and accepting of all religions, as one is free to worship as he/she chooses. We aren’t to interfere with the rights of others, and in many cases, sharing our ‘religion’ has been banned from many places such as public schools and workplaces.
At the beginning of every day, we make a choice. Will we identify with the believers in persecution and what they are giving their lives for… sharing the saving Name of Jesus with others, or will we identify with the silent, and keep our faith to ourselves and meet Satan in His plot to remove Jesus’ Name from our mouth? Actually, persecution has come to the USA, it just looks different. It is called “silence.”
So, instead of placing our focus on the persecuted believes around the world, remembering them, sympathizing with them, praying for their suffering to cease, we should place our focus on what they do… Will we obey Jesus in all circumstances by sharing our faith openly? We will obey the command of Jesus to share His Gospel with the world? If He is our Lord, then we will obey Him. A question for us in America is not, “Why are others persecuted?” but rather, “Why are we not?”
What is your freedom in American? It is not the freedom to attend worship or read our Bibles, but rather, it is the freedom to never give up the witness of Christ to the rest of the world who has not heard His name.
Spread His Name.
“And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15
The persecuted believers are obeying this verse. Are we?