Everyday a Christian Suffers
for the Cause of Jesus Christ
Somewhere in the World a Believer is Being Martyred
Several hundred thousand Christians are killed every year. More followers of Jesus Christ have been killed in the 21st Century than all the other centuries combined. These people are precious to their Heavenly Father and to their Lord Jesus Christ! They have given the ultimate price of faith and love. Christians around the world MUST pray for these dear brothers and sisters!
Jesus asked His followers to pick up their cross and follow Him. Most of us have never experienced the sort of hatred that is capable of murder. We don’t think we will ever be imprisoned for our faith or beaten for loving Jesus. These dear people HAVE BEEN imprisoned, beaten, run out of their homes, their business destroyed, their churches burned……..and sometimes even their very lives taken. Why?
The world hates Jesus Christ. He warned us that the world would hate us also…….if we truly follow Him. We shouldn’t be surprised. Especially in these last days we live in…….true believers in Christ must understand.
Jesus warned the first believers who followed him that they would be hated for His sake.
Mathew 10:17-21 “Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves. But beware! For you will be handed over to the courts and will be flogged with whips in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell the rulers and other unbelievers about me. When you are arrested, don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. For it is not you who will be speaking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
“A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed. And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved. When you are persecuted in one town, flee to the next. I tell you the truth, the Son of Man will return before you have reached all the towns of Israel.
Matthew 24:9-14 “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.”
Stephen was the first Christian martyr. He preached the true gospel and was hated for it. His testimony convicted the people and they wanted him dead.
We begin with Stephen preaching to the people:
Acts 7:51-59 “You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you! Name one prophet your ancestors didn’t persecute! They even killed the ones who predicted the coming of the Righteous One—the Messiah whom you betrayed and murdered. You deliberately disobeyed God’s law, even though you received it from the hands of angels.” Jewish leaders were infuriated by Stephen’s accusation, and they shook their fists at him in rage. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand. And he told them, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand!”
Then they put their hands over their ears and began shouting. They rushed at him and dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. His accusers took off their coats and laid them at the feet of a young man named Saul.
As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died.
The Early Church had many martyrs. The early believers were burned at the stake, crucified like Jesus was and fed to lions at the Roman Coliseum. It is hard to believe, but it is true! People are capable of horrific things.
Many suffered under Communism and other dictator regimes. Thousands were killed by the Nazis during WWII. Throughout the ages…..believers in Jesus Christ have been someone’s enemy simply because of their faith.
A true believer in Jesus Christ knows that nothing is more important than believing in the Lord. We must NEVER deny him. Christians in many countries are refusing to deny Jesus…..even at a great cost. Their reward will be great in heaven!
Jesus said if we confess Him before man, He will confess us before the Father.
Matthew 10:32-33 “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.”
We are living in the last days. No one knows the day or the hour……but tribulation is coming quickly! All Christians must realize this and strengthen themselves in the Lord! We must put our trust in our dear Lord Jesus and be willing to live and/or die for Him!
Many believe that we won’t go through tribulation. The Great Tribulation will be something that Jesus Christ protects His church from. However……that does not mean there won’t be ANY persecution. Just ask your brothers and sisters that are already suffering.
Jesus said this about the persecution of His followers:
John 15:18-26 “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.
All believers in Jesus Christ should remember the reward their Heavenly Father has for them in heaven. We will reign with Jesus!
Revelation 20:4-6 Then I saw thrones, and the people sitting on them had been given the authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony about Jesus and for proclaiming the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his statue, nor accepted his mark on their forehead or their hands. They all came to life again, and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
This is the first resurrection. (The rest of the dead did not come back to life until the thousand years had ended.) Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. For them the second death holds no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him a thousand years.
Christian believers need the Holy Spirit to fill them in order to walk with Jesus through whatever may come. The Holy Spirit is the Comforter and He gives us power and strength.
Ask the Holy Spirit to come into your life
in a deeper and stronger way than ever before.
You need Him in order to be a faithful witness
to Jesus in these times we live in!
- The Child Martyr (zenaszone.wordpress.com)
- A Resolution for Life – I Have Decided to Follow Jesus (frommyheart2u.wordpress.com)