Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. (2 Timothy 3:12)
In John 15:18–25, Jesus comforts His disciples by letting them know in advance that the world would hate them because it hated Jesus. As Christians, we should expect persecution for following Christ, and we should be prepared to boldly stand for Him no matter what comes our way. This persecution can look very different depending on where you live.
Here in America and across the Western world, Christian persecution is on the rise. Those who boldly stand on God’s Word are increasingly being punished by the government or society for their cherished beliefs and for exercising them. As our culture continues to reject God’s Word, we will continue to see these instances of persecution more and more frequently. But we are still relatively free to worship God and practice our faith, at least for now. Who knows how much longer these freedoms will remain? Little by little we see such freedoms being eroded!
In many other countries, the penalty for being a Christian or standing on God’s Word is much more severe. In the Middle East, just before Easter, four Bible translators were killed when radical militants stormed the Wycliffe Associates office. Two were shot to death; the other two were beaten with the empty weapons. They died protecting the life of the lead translator. Though their equipment and print materials were destroyed, God preserved His Word through digital copies of the eight language projects that survived the attack. The surviving translators say they will continue the work of translating God’s Word into the local languages. Even in this tragedy, we must remember that God is sovereign, and He said, “I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).
All around the world, Christians are suffering for their faith, even paying the ultimate price of their lives. We need to remember to be in prayer for them. Also remember to pray that the freedoms we currently enjoy in our Western nations will not be taken away. And, regardless of our freedom or lack thereof, we need to share the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ with needy people. We always need to be about the business (proclaiming the truth of God’s Word and the gospel) of the King:
Do business till I come. (Luke 19:13)
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.