I recently heard the story of what I will call “undercover missionaries” reporting from their work in the world of Islam. The first part of the narrative was encouraging. They reported that they were making a lot of converts to Jesus in the world of Mohammad.
The second part is where I start to be concerned. The word was that the new converts continued to live as Muslims because they knew they faced persecution at best if their new faith became known. A more likely outcome would be death.
My concern is voiced from the security of a home in the hill country of Texas. That means that I am safe and secure and it is easy to talk. I confess that. I still think of a couple of scriptures.
From the Sermon on the Mount,
(Mat 5:11 KJV) Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.And other words of Jesus,
(Mar 8:38 KJV) Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.I have not read Foxes Book of Martyrs but I did read Eusebius since I have been to Texas. He gives examples of the kinds of persecution Christians faced in the early days of the church. I have quoted him before in other places. Here is another passage that shows the price being paid by two young men.
“Maturus, however, and Sanctus, again passed through all the tortures in the amphitheatre, just as if they had suffered nothing at all before, or rather as those who in many trials before had defeated the adversary, and now contending for the crown itself, again as they passed, bore the strokes of the scourge usually inflicted there, the draggings and lacerations from the beasts, and all that the madness of the people, one here and anther there, cried for and demanded; and last of all the iron chair, upon which their bodies were roasted, whilst the fumes of their own flesh ascended to annoy them. The tormentors did not cease even then, but continued to rage so much the more, intending if possible to conquer their perseverance. They could not, however, elicit or hear anything from Sanctus, besides that confession which he had uttered from the beginning.” pp. 175-6As I said, I write from a safe zone. I am also aware that the safe zone is being whittled away by American Progressives*. I expect to see the day when I am going to be forced into the same choices that face my brothers in the world of Islam. I hope not, but that is not the same thing I mean when I speak about my hope in Christ. The first is a desire; the second, and assurance.
My desire would be that they would be free to worship and that I would not lose that freedom.
But as my parents kept telling me, I don’t always get what I wish for.
Eusebius. Ecclesiastical History. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, Reprinted 1989.
*(Liberals, educators, the media, socialists, communists, crony capitalists, elites, Rinos, Democrats, leftists, Never Trumpers, Antifa, BLM, MSM, Deep State, etc. Synonym for swamp dwellers)
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