Thursday, August 10, 2017

A Spiritual Battlefield,The Persecuted Church

 One of the purposes of Heartfelt Counseling Ministries is to make known to Christians the persecution and killing of other true believers in the world around them. We seek to  to stimulate the evangelical community in every place to pray for the persecuted church and to help them in anyway possible.

The number of countries where persecution is widespread is hard to comprehend. In our own United States, persecution occurs often but seldom results in death. Students, who hold to a biblical world and life view and attend American universities are ridiculed
and scorned by many of their professors.

America is just about ready to declare by word and by practice that the right to die will become the duty to die. Babies are being killed for nothing that they have done but because it is convenient for one or both of their parents. Other murderers (those who kill people who have actually been born)  seem to receive very "light sentences."

 Our daughter, who knew Christ and loved him, was hit by a car on September 11, 2001 at about 7:40 pm. The young delinquent who slammed into her, cared nothing about our troubled nation on that day of terrorism and certainly nothing of Christ. This is another case of home-grown terrorism.. The terrorist that killed her was on enough heroin, cocaine and marijuana to "put down six men" (according to the Michigan State Police Forensics Lab). It is likely that this addict, probably unknown to him, was connected to the Taliban, who  had been making and selling opioids from the poppy fields of Afghanistan.. The heroin that he and his friends were injecting, while in the car on 9-11-2001, must have come illegally into the United States.

 He was given three consecutive sentences of fifteen years. How can a person be given such a light sentence?  How can the  three sentences run concurrently? It is the language of lawyers and judges, a concept that the common man does not understand.  In fact, he served thirteen years and a number of his possible paroles were extended  because of his poor behavior in prison.

The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 3:15,16 
But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame."
“You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good.”
Joseph’s words in Genesis 50 may reflect the sentiment of many front-line gospel workers in the persecuted world. These workers have seen an increased openness to the gospel among Muslims as a result of increased persecution. We have heard them request prayer, not for release, but that they will persevere in their faith as they continue to suffer for Christ. These men and women are the real heroes of today. They live out what we preach and we must remember to pray for them.

One thing I have heard people say about broad prayers for the persecuted is, "How can I pray in such general terms?" One person shared with me, that he prays for someone his own age who may be struggling in strength and grace and who may be also worried about a grown child who needs grace or grand children who miss their parents and grandparents because they are imprisoned. He just tries to be a little more specific in his prayers and to personalize his requests. You can also go to Voice of the Martyrs and get specific people whose names you can then take to the Lord. HE knows how to answer your prayers for them.

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