Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Topic of Persecution

Sunday I preached on "Friction with the World" from 1 Kings 18:1-15.  (I'm in a short series right now in 1 Kings 17-18.)  The theme of the message was the persecution of Christians.

During lunch my son commented on the sermon, "You know, Dad--and I don't think this is a bad thing; I just think it's interesting--it seems like whenever you preach you always mention persecution somehow."

Now to clarify, I don't mention persecution all the time.  This past Sunday's sermon was my sixth of the year, and it was the first one on persecution (unless somehow I mentioned the topic in previous sermons, which I don't think I did). 

I don't want persecution to be my primary theme as a preacher, but there's a part of me that thinks, unless the Spirit brings revival, we're heading by degrees towards persecution in this country.  Because of that, I want the people I shepherd to be aware of that and to be somewhat prepared for that.  I want to be prepared for that.  When the heat turns up, may the Lord find me faithful.

Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.  (Revelation 2:10 NIV)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

PRAISE THE LORD!

Dear Kent, I suspect not knowing what is happing to your friends and family during persecution must surely be the most distressing. Jesus spoke up in behalf of His disciples when He was captrued: John 18:8 "Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:" And from His cross He also spoke in behalf of His mom, John 19:25-27 "25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home." And when the women of the Ten Boom houshold were separated from the men, how distressed they must have been, not knowing what was happening to their father! "Casper (84 years old) died after only 10 days in Scheveningen Prison. When Casper was asked if he knew he could die for helping Jews, he replied, "It would be an honor to give my life for God's ancient people." Also, Kent, "Corrie and Betsie spent 10 months in three different prisons, the last was the infamous Ravensbruck Concentration Camp located near Berlin, Germany. Life in the camp was almost unbearable, but Corrie and Betsie spent their time sharing Jesus' love with their fellow prisoners. Many women became Christians in that terrible place because of Corrie and Betsie's witness to them." Kent I believe God is right with everyone who truly suffers as a Christian, even to the very end of their lives (1 Peter 4:16
"Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.") And thanks for your heart-felt, thoughtful, shepherding sermons, Kent! --Dad

P.S. Compare my notes with this web site.......
http://www.corrietenboom.com/history.htm