By Generals Green
It has been researched, proven, and officially stated that more Christians have died for their faith during the twentieth century than in the previous nineteen centuries combined. (The destructive forces of Islam, Communism, and Nazism/Fascism have led the slaughter!) Documentation is proving that imprisonments, forced slavery, murder, and torture are abounding along with atrocities and violation of basic human rights towards Christians as well as non-Christians in some instances. In fact, for such an "age of enlightenment", there is more full scale violence evidenced than at any known period of history.
This is not the time for us as believers to look the other way, but to pray and do what we can for our dear brothers and sisters in the faith who are suffering for His name's sake. For too long, the Christian sector, especially in the west, has turned it's eyes away from the reality of the cruelties, the tortures, imprisonments, forced slave labor, and murders of brothers and sisters in Christ who are victimized in other parts of the world. Because of this, the devil has increased in his oppression of those who are believers in Christ, and throughout the world, this sorrow is evidenced. When men and women will suffer for Christ and others turn their eyes away because they do not want to partake of that suffering, (even in admitting that it is happening) then those careless ones who refuse to "become involved" make the pathway for the oppressors easier and millions more are brought into the treadmill of suffering because of the complacency of so-called "Christian" believers.
As believers in Christ, we are to accept the fact that we are part of His international body of believers and we should not close our eyes to the fact that some parts of His body are suffering horrid persecutions and even being martyred for His name's sake. For too long, those who have known the safety of relatively "persecution free" environments have used their safety as a cloak for complacency and laziness, with a total "lack of concern" attitude. But, the way that we treat and regard our brothers and sisters will be returned unto our own bosoms, and while we in the west have known comparative peace as Christians, the same sorrows that have befallen our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world could easily befall our children and our children's children. Then who would have sympathy towards their cries of agony, towards their pain ridden lives, towards their lonely sorrows poured out for their belief in the one true God? We do not live unto ourselves alone, but we are interconnected, and when we fail to recognize our mutual accountability as members of the body of Christ internationally, God will visit that sin of neglect upon our generations.
Of course, as part of the cup of true believers, the Bible assures us that we will suffer persecutions. And for those who have lived in "persecution free" nations, start proclaiming the true gospel and you will find that the persecution has only been withheld because you have been living in compromise. Those who have already tasted the fires of persecution around the world have received them because they have stood for the faith that was once delivered to the saints. It is easy to imagine that we are in the "safe zone" when we have not really taken a stand, but God is just and He will bring about situations and circumstances which force us to either stand for Him or take our place with the forces of destruction. When Christians close their eyes to the suffering of their brothers and sisters around the world, they literally side with Satan.
Therefore, we should seek to pray for, and help in any manner the Lord would lead, those who are suffering cruelty and oppression for the cause of Christ. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 3:27,28 "Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbor, Go, and come again, and tomorrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee." Tomorrow will be too late for too many. Even if we are not able to rescue such ones from their sufferings, our prayers can cause them to be greatly relieved and given the grace to bear whatever it is that they are undergoing. Often times, if we would be faithful to pray, we do not even know the aid that would be rendered to those going through the fires of persecution. If it is impossible for us to visit and give words of comfort to the suffering we can pray that God makes a way for them to be comforted and if possible provide them with His word through a Bible or other Christian materials. Let us remember that our God can and does do miracles, and when we will pray in faith believing Him there are many things that He will do in behalf of those who are suffering when we will trust Him to hear our prayers for them.
Unfortunately, many who act as though they are being treated unfairly are in actuality guilty of mistreating multitudes of others who do not even have the privilege of voicing the sufferings they are under. For instance, in many areas of the world, those who are under the shadow of Islam must fear continually for their lives if they are followers of Christ. Yet, many of the followers of Islam want to claim they are treated unjustly whilst they wipe the blood of Christians from their hands. Likewise, there are nations such as America who claim they are under God, yet they are guilty of the slaughter of millions of unborn babies with no remorse. Likewise, those nations which deem themselves to be "world powers" think nothing of oppressing and even murdering many defenseless people in other nations in order to maintain their "world power" status. So, needless to say, fear, violence, murder and oppression are ruling in this age.
Many work themselves up into great outrages over meaningless and petty so-called "abuses", while the true realities of loss of life, murder, torture, slavery, imprisonment and other such atrocities are glibly glossed over and forgotten. Human sexuality is regarded as the ultimate god and many are made to bow down to this idol, while human life is disregarded and men, women, children, and babies are slaughtered daily. Because of the failure to maintain God's standard of holiness and righteousness, many have been deceived and lulled into false causes and false securities. If the western so-called "Christians" would genuinely concern themselves with the issues of life and death and the persecutions and sufferings of other brothers and sisters around the world, there would not be so much energy expended over such hellish concepts as tolerance of deviate human sexual behavior. But because those who profess they are believers have failed to involve themselves in the real issues they are being filled with false causes and being led into deceptions that will bring them into damnation.
We do not involve ourselves in the gory, bloody details of these grotesque happenings throughout the earth, but we do pray to God to help those ones who suffer. Unfortunately as the facts are emerging about the persecution of Christians in this century, the beggars, thieves, liars, and opportunists have taken it upon themselves to make a profitable and lucrative business out of the blood shed and suffering of many Christians throughout the earth. With the usual hype of the religious racketeers, many are competing with their chronicles of gruesome details, and graphic examples of the sufferings of others, in order to use such means as leverage to extract money, money, and more money from their followers. Does the money extracted ever reach the poor, afflicted, imprisoned, tortured, believers? Of course not, it simply helps the religious crooks to produce glossier magazines, take more expensive "mission" trips, live more luxuriously, and beg all the more feverishly to keep ahead of the ever increasing "persecution" market which is being tapped into from all sorts of individuals and organizations.
Sad but true, even when a few of the monies collected actually reach the areas for which they are given, they are usually extracted and wasted by those who are supposed to be bringing the relief which the funds were sent to provide. So, again, oppression reigns, and the suffering continue to suffer. The rich get richer, and the cruel increase in their cruelties. The answer is not with men, but the answer is with God. When we will wholeheartedly cry out to God for His mercies towards the persecuted, God will hear. And when we will take the time to remind others that indeed there are those who suffer acutely for Christ and petition them to pray for such ones, then we will likely find ourselves being persecuted likewise!
Remember, we must be willing to fellowship in our intercessions the sufferings of our brothers and sisters around the world. And, wherever possible, let us seek to give them assistance likewise (that is when we can be sure that they will receive the help and that it won't just go to make a religious huckster richer). But most of all, let us realize that we can bind together and form prayer leagues and continually cry out to the Living God in behalf of the other members of His body around the world. "The way of the Lord is strength to the upright; but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity." Proverbs 10:29 When we pray, that is the way of the Lord, and it will provide strength to the upright and God will bring destruction to the workers of iniquity.
If we who call ourselves Christian will cry out to our God in behalf of those who are suffering, our God will hear, and He will make a way that no man can make. There are definitely problems in the earth that no man can solve, and when we come to that admission and make confession to God of our utter need of Him, then He will hear us in our cries. When we are still believing that we can solve the problems through the donation of a few dollars, we are believing a lie and are being victimized by those who are making their gain off of the sufferings of others. But, when we will enter into the sufferings of our brothers and sisters through genuine intercessions, not only will God hear from heaven and move by His mighty arm, but we ourselves will become real in the faith we profess to have. And we will suffer with them who suffer, counting it a joy to fellowship with those ones who bear the rod of the oppressors for His name's sake.
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