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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Would You Continue in Your Faith?

I was in China several years ago on my way to Mongolia for a mission trip. I really don't know why we had to stop there but we were there for one day going and two days coming back. Our guide was a Chinese Christian who had done graduate work in the US. I don't remember how the conversation came to it, but he stood in a crowded restaurant and sang of his faith. It was loud enough for everyone to hear. He was sharing his faith even though it could have cost him dearly. I will never forget that Christians are being persecuted more today than ever before, yet they continue to share their faith.

Isn't that a stark contrast from Americans? Most Christians will not be in church this Sunday. They will claim to love the Lord but will allow bad weather and good weather to keep them out. They will not give anything to their Lord. They do not serve in any area of their churches. They will vote for the people from whom they will receive the most benefit. No one knows they are believers by the way they act. They would certainly back down if their faith cost something.

Why is it that we can find people continuing in the faith when persecution exists while forgetting the faith in a free society? Could it be that one is paying for their faith in the Lord while the other has had it given to them? That which costs us nothing means nothing to us.

True Christians are found where the cost is high. They give sacrificially, serve so that it keeps them from other activities, speak when it will cost them something and vote with godly principles. They are not fair nor foul weather Christians. They see a much bigger picture. They have a much bigger hope than residing on this earth. They know the difference between the temporal and the eternal.

Let's say the freedom of our faith is taken away from us gradually. Imagine that your children would not be allowed to pursue careers in science because they will not espouse a belief in evolution. Imagine that you would not be promoted in your job because you will not take clients to the "gentlemen's clubs." Imagine that your faith will automatically put you on a "watch" list by the government. Imagine that your faith could be established as "hate" speech which could land you in jail. Would you continue in your faith?

Before you answer, you need to know that you don't have to "imagine" the things I have just mentioned. Now, will you continue in your faith?

Acts 4:18-20 (NIV)
18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God. 20  For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."

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