One of the greatest persecutors of Christians in the history of the church was the apostle Paul. As an unsaved hater of Jesus Christ he took delight in killing and persecuting God's saved people.
Acts 9:1-2 states, "Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to The Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem." The term The Way undoubtedly was taken from the words of Jesus, "I am the Way the Truth and the Life, no man is able to come to the Father but by Me" (John 14:6).
Saul, later called Paul, was a Jewish Jihadist. He was well educated man with a perfect Jewish pedigree. Please see Philippians 3:3-6 for his worldly attainments. Christians who are being persecuted need to realize that God is able to save those who persecute them. This miracle of salvation was granted to Paul, while He was viciously attacking what he thought was a Rogue Jewish cult.
There is one Scripture that should be considered because it demonstrates the great love that the Risen and Exalted Christ has for his true church. It is found in Acts 9:3-5; "As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him; 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?' And he said, 'Who are You, Lord?' And He said, 'I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.'" And part of his conversion experience was to realize the awful sin that he had been committing. He had attacked the King of Kings and the Lord of Lord's, the Head of the true church.
Those who are undergoing persecution whether great or small should know that Jesus Christ is in complete control of their persecutors. Nothing can separate a believer from the love of their Master. They should remember Paul,who in 2 Timothy 2:12 states,"If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; If we are faithless, He is faithful for He cannot deny Himself." The battle is fierce and the fight is strong but the outcome is sure. As the great hymn writer Issac Watts wrote:
Am I a soldier of the cross,
A follower of the Lamb?
And shall I fear to own His cause,
Or blush to speak His name?Must I be carried to the skies
On flow’ry beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed through bloody seas?
Ephesians 3:20,21,(NASB) proclaims. "Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
Colombia, Jan. 2016
A Christian woman, “Milena” and her one surviving son live in an area of Colombia,which is controlled by The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas. Milena’s husband and three of other sons were killed by these guerrillas. They were killed because of their personal faith in Jesus Christ. She continues to hold on to her faith in God, but asks for prayers for the safety of her youngest son, Luis. VOM (Voice of Martyrs) is helping Milena and her son to relocate and set up a small business.
Russia Jan. 2016
Pray for Worship Team Members Attacked During Rehearsal
Men, believed to be Russian nationalist, attacked members of a worship team on Jan. 8 2016 as they rehearsed at Emmanuel Church in Alexandrov, a small town northeast of Moscow, Russia. One of the attackers pressed a knife to the throat of a worship team member and made demands for the pastor’s whereabouts, as well as a list of all church members' names. The attackers told the worship team that they planned to eradicate all evangelical churches. Remember to pray for these sisters and brothers in Christ.