I have began reading Tortured for Christ, it is a story of Richard Wurmbrand and his efforts of spreading the Gospel to Commuist Russia. I received this book free of charge at www.persecution.com as gracious as I am of receiving it for free I can not thank Voice of the Martyrs enough for being an example of Christian faith and Love.
In the States we know no persecution, in fact when worship isn't the way we like or the pastor's message doesn't touch our hearts in an emotional way we feel the weight of "persecution" and "Christian suffering" . This of course is quite superficial just as we all have become in the states, fake. I do acknowledge there are many Christians in the States that are quite real, I know this because I have met some of them and have enjoyed their company. My question is this though, What does it mean to be persecuted for Christ namesake? I believe the definition is quite dependant upon the location the definition orginates. In Russia during the communist reign, we saw that persecution was quite literally meant giving up your life for Christ. In the States however we see that being persecuted hasn't quite reached this reality to be fair our religious freedom has left us quite silient but unfortunately complacent so being persecuted for Christ simply hinges on a reputation or the way people see you.
As I grew up in Christ, I began to ask myself the question, could I die for Christ? Could I be a martyr? Many don' t think much on this question that if someone were to chose life or death for Christ, what exactly would they chose? As I ponder this question it's easy for my heart to say, "Yes, I would." but then to look at the evidence of my faith, my life and see very little of this Yes mentality, it breaks my heart and brings great shame to say, that in reality I would have to say No. Humans deep down on the inside seek to preserve their life however one changed by God seeks only Christ's Glory even at the cost of their life. Americans don't have to many opportunties to lose their life for Christ but they can lose for His name's sake. Their reputation, their possessions, their pride, their money all of these are pushed as must haves in the American culture, seemingly this was the same as Babylon (though I don't profress America is Babylon).
My hope and prayer is this, that at the time and day I have to chose, that God gives me the grace and faith to say Yes dispite the consequence. I believe there is a war taking place and though we have had time to spread the gospel beyond any other nation, our time is running out and that we soon will be the persecuted ones and get to receive the priviledge to wear chains for Christ. I encourage all to pray for our brothers and sister in Christ being persecuted for His Namesake, let's remember them and let their voices be heard. To not be disillusioned by material blessing but seek to suffer alongside them in our prayer closets and churches.
In Christ's Love,