Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Deny Christ

Deny Christ or else you die.
Stop worshipping or else we’ll put you in jail.
Break God’s law or else you won’t be able to see your family.

These are the types of decisions that Christians in the underground church are faced with. We’ve been watching the video series “Underground Reality” and these are some of the ways that we have been affected by the series:

"Because of the high risk of going to worship God, then there are more real, true, born again Christians in the church."
"How strong the people's faith is even though their life could be in danger really made me think about how free we are to be able to go to church in broad daylight."
"It amazed me that the church is so strong in their faith and how they pressed on even though they are persecuted. They have alot of courage. I am not seven sure that I would have the courage to stand up to the persecution."
"I believe that Christians really are persecuted. I will ask God for comforts less and faith more."
"They never fought back. They praised God with the most enthusiasm I've ever seen. They risk all for God. They don't deny him."
"I look up to them because I know I wouldn't be able to do that."
"I admire the courage of the teens to smuggle the Bibles and the Vietnamese Christians because I don't think I could handle the persecution and the threat of getting caught."
"The incredible faith of those who were persecuted... they're willing to sacrifice everything they have for the Lord. Here, in America, we have it easier, and are barely willing to give up something simple for the Lord. I want to strive to have the intense faith that those who were persecuted have."

There are several ways you can take action:
1) You can make up an action pack for persecuted believers in Sudan by gathering household items and putting them into a bag purchased from Voice of the Martyrs. Go to www.persecution.com and click on “action packs” on the left menu. Then click on “order today” for Sudan or Pakistan. The cost is $5 to provide needed supplies for persecuted Christians.

2) You can send an encouraging letter, in their own language, to imprisoned believers in Vietnam and around the world. Go to www.prisoneralert.com . Under “What can you do?” click the link for “write an encouraging letter.” Then click below it on “start writing a letter.” You will be able to pick the phrases you want to include in the letter and it will translate them for you. Then you print out the letter, hide the web address, and send it to the address provided. You provide the postage that they recommend and place the letter in the mail.

3) You can pray. As the eight teens talked to believers in the underground church they asked people what they wanted them to tell friends back home. Underground believers said one thing, “Tell them to pray for us.” Please pray for the persecuted church.

Some of these packages and some of these letters will never reach their intended receiver. But prayer always reaches God. He is more powerful than any prison guard, warden, statesmen, or official. He is Lord even over these situations. This is both comforting and disconcerting at the same time. He is Lord over this, so I will be taken care of. He is Lord over this, why is He letting this happen to me?

We are amazed that God can let his people suffer for his name’s sake. What kind of God is that? But we shouldn’t be amazed by persecution as much as we should be amazed by the cross. God let his own precious perfect son suffer and die for sinners, God’s enemies. That is amazing.