The news media doesn’t report this much, but it is still happening. Christians in many countries are being imprisoned and tortured or killed because of their beliefs. Christianity is not a popular religious belief in countries where Islam is the main religion. Converting to Christianity in those countries can get you put in prison or killed. The so-called “religion of peace” is not at peace with anyone.
Our faith in Jesus and in His grace gives us hope for a life in eternity with Him. Can any other religion give you eternity? Some claim to, but if you look closely at their claims it is a lie! Thousands of Christians have died for their beliefs since Jesus’ time, because they would not reject their beliefs or their faith in Him. They received their reward and are now in Heaven with Him. Few other religions, if any, can claim this truthfully.
To go to other countries and try to evangelize people with the message of Christ is our duty and privilege but it is dangerous in some parts of the world. Jesus told His disciples that they would be hated because the world hated Him and in many places that is still true today, even in our own country. Our country has banned prayer in schools and has taken any display of the Bible or the Ten Commandments from public buildings. In the media Christian principles are being challenged every day as well as in the courts.
We have to stand in our faith but we cannot be truly open about it or we get labeled as extremists. Any other belief, regardless of what it is, can be talked about and spoken aloud openly in the media and in public but not Christianity. Is it because no one wants to hear about a religion which has, as its base, truth and moral absolutes which no person in the world wants to hear about.
Moral absolutes are wrong by most people’s standards. We all ascribe to “personal or individual or even relative absolutes” or so the media reports. What is relative to me doesn’t have to be relative for you. For most of the past two thousand years there has been a standard by which the un-believers and the believers were judged and that standard was and is the Bible.
It is true that there have been wars and other atrocities over religious viewpoints as well as whether the church was the only authority in a nation or who could have access to the Bible itself but there are always opinions in our world. Opinions are going to differ inside a home, let alone on a planet where there are more than six billion people!
The point is that God has not abandoned us to our own devices and beliefs! He is still in control, although He is allowing our own choices to play out as they will. He doesn’t control us, but gives us the choice and the opportunity to see the Truth and to accept it. It is our own choice that will condemn us or save us because the choice is between living as if we are in control of our life or allowing Jesus to have control of it. One will allow your own desires and passions to rule your life and the other will change you into the person you are truly meant to be!
Many people don’t want to accept this change, they fear it. They don’t want to lose the life or the friends that they have. But, your life won’t change only your character and when your character changes, people will notice. Your friends may not like the change but they also may want to know what has made such a difference in your life!
Your witness about many things that you like or are passionate about is known to all of your friends because you talk about it and you tell them about it! It should be no different if you decide to follow Christ as your Savior But in some countries, it is dangerous for you to witness to people, to tell them about Jesus. He will be with you to strengthen you and guide you through this, no matter what happens.
If you live in an area where persecution against Christians is normal, pray about it. God hears those prayers and He will send a comforter and a Helper. You are not alone. If you are considering becoming a Christian in a country where persecution is harsh, become one and then get on your knees and pray for strength and for help in your new faith. God is near you, when you ask Him into your life, He comes into your heart and is there always. You can make the choice to “kick him out” but that is the only way that you can “lose your faith” and it is your choice to do so!
He won’t leave you unless you force Him out and no one can take you from Him! Eternity is the prize that we strive for but the life that you will “live” in eternity is dependent on which choice you make while you live today, because once you die, the choice has been made. You will either live in eternity with Christ or you will be condemned to spend eternity away from God in a place only reserved for Satan and his fallen angels. It is your choice.