The Unconditional Love of Christ – Paul Washer
Persecution ~ a promise, a blessing, and a reality.
(this article is something I wrote nearly 4 years ago)
“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”
As I set out before you on this most excellent task, I must say I have no set agenda in terms of length; for to write long and say nothing is meaningless. I will do everything possible to be obedient to the Holy Spirit of God by laying aside my mental ascent in the exegesis of the preceding passage. “Our senses are the landing ports of our spiritual enemies.” We do not need to hear from man but the living God Himself who inspired, and continues to inspire, such a powerful testimony of truth to those who ‘desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus.’
It is important to examine the context of the letter which Paul is writing to Timothy. It is also important to view our topic in light of a larger scope as Mr. Whitefield will do for us in his sermon detailing Genesis 3:15. In this larger context, we will also examine the very words of our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. If the words spoken/written here are not like ‘fire’ and like a ‘hammer’ which crushes the stones of our sin, then God is not in the midst of this letter.
Before moving forward, it is of the utmost importance for us to be reminded that the Word of God is inspired by God Himself and every Word of His proves true. We must also remember that any revelation found here is only that given of the Holy Spirit. For Jesus said, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” Therefore, let us now view the context of Paul’s letter.
~ Paul’s letter to Timothy ~
Paul, “by the will of God,” just before his departure, writes to Timothy in order to build him in Christ Jesus, to encourage him to not be ashamed of the Gospel, nor be outside the sharing of persecution. Timothy is to be ready, preach, convince, rebuke, teach, be patient, endure suffering and do his work. Paul said that the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome, but kind to everyone, forbearing and correcting of opponents with gentleness. Paul’s desire is that God may grant repentance and the knowledge of the truth, in order for sinners to “escape the snare and capture and work of the devil.” Paul reminds Timothy, as a continuation of his first letter, to purify “himself from what is ignoble” and remind him if we died with Christ, then we shall live with him as well.
In the heart of Paul’s letter, a warning and sign of the times is clearly addressed. Times of stress or difficulty will come in the last days, basically meaning, a blinding mask of severe disobedience will come showing itself outwardly and truly against the Lord of Glory found in the Bible. The most apostate of them all will be those who take a form of godliness, religion, church, pastors, the blessed name of Jesus Christ, etc, who in their very lifestyles deny the power of God. Timothy is warned to “avoid such people.”
Why is Paul warning against these false converts and identifying the latter days of severe enmity against God? It is here our verse comes into context. It will be those who, “will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, fierce, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,” and especially those who “hold the form of religion,” false look-a-likes, who will bring fierce persecution to all those ‘who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus.’ False converts and outright blasphemers of Jesus Christ are of the flesh and therefore are at war with God. Paul tells the Church in Galatia, “But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now.”
Paul’s writing (remember by the will of God) speaks to our culture today. Undoubtedly because we find ourselves living in and living out the last days with unrestrained passions for worldliness and disregard for the inspired Scriptures. The reason for these last days are because, “evil men and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceivers and deceived.” But it all stems back to original sin and the time when God was ready to rid the earth of all mankind.
~ A larger scope ~
“The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” It goes back to man choosing to disobey God and claiming his own kingdom. Persecution comes down to the result of man’s rebellion and the just action of the Almighty God’s response when He says, “I will put enmity between you(Satan) and the woman, and between your(Satan) seed and her seed; he shall bruise your(Satan) head, and you (Satan) shall bruise his heel.”
Mr. George Whitefield, a humble, contrite and powerful preacher of the 1700’s, expounds upon this so well. He says, “Marvel not, that all who live godly in Christ Jesus, must suffer persecution. In this promise, there is an eternal enmity put between the seed of the woman, and the seed of the serpent; so that those that are born after the flesh, cannot but persecute those that are born after the spirit. This enmity shewed itself, soon after this promise was revealed, in Cain’s bruising the heel of Able: it continued in the church through all ages before Christ came in the flesh, as the history of the Bible, and the 11th chapter of the Hebrews, plainly shew. It raged exceedingly after our Lord’s ascension; witness the Acts of the Apostles, and the history of the primitive Christians. It now rages, and will continue to rage and shew itself, in a greater or less degree, to the end of time. But let not this dismay us, for in all this, the seed of the woman is more than conqueror, and bruises the serpent’s head. Thus the Israelites, the more they were oppressed, the more they increased. Thus it was with the apostles; thus it was with their immediate followers. So that Terullian compares the church in his time to a mowed field; the more frequently it is cut, the more it grows.
“The blood of the martyrs was always the seed of the church. And I have often sat down with wonder and delight, and admired how God has made the very schemes which his enemies contrived, in order to hinder, become the most effectual means to propagate his gospel. The devil has had so little success in persecution, that if I did not know that he and his children, according to this verse, could not but persecute, I should think he would count it his strength to sit still. What did he get by persecuting the martyrs in Queen Mary’s time? Was not the grace of God exceedingly glorified in their support? What did he get by persecuting the good old Puritans? Did it not prove the peopling of New England? Or, to come near our own times, what has he got by putting us out of the synagogues? Hath not the Word of God, since that, mightily prevailed? My dear hearers, you must excuse me for enlarging on this head; God fills my soul generally, when I come to this topic. I can say with Luther, ‘If it were not for persecution, I should not understand the scripture.’ If Satan should be suffered to bruise my heel further, and his servants should thrust me into prison, I doubt not but even that would tend only to the more effectual bruising of his head. I remember a saying of the Lord Chancellor to the pious Bradford: ‘Thou hast done more hurt’, said he, ‘by thy exhortations in private in prison, than thou didst in preaching before thou wast put in’, or words to this effect. The promise of the text is my daily support; ‘I will put enmity between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.’”
In the name of cultural relevance and becoming more socially tolerant to the individuals feelings, we only “tickle the serpent on the belly, making him laugh. Today the serpent continues to crawl through China, North Korea, Vietnam, and Laos. There are nations in the Middle East where not one church building is allowed to stand. The plight of such captive nations must continually be addressed by church leaders and mission directors, as well as by every thoughtful Christian.”
We must seriously repent of our dead worship, our spiritless sermons, our false fire and our pride filled arrogance in thinking we are doing God honoring works. “We must give up routine work. It is written, ‘Cursed is he who does the work of the Lord deceitfully’ (Jeremiah 48:10). The Church must wage a frontal, spiritual attack on the principalities in captive nations. Wars are won only by offensive, never by defensive, strategy.
“Many Christians in the West have no love for those in captive nations. Proof of it is that they do nothing for their salvation.
“But it is not enough that they do not love those in captive nations and do nothing to win them for Christ. By their complacency, by their neglect, and sometimes by acting as actual accomplices, some Western church leaders strengthen the infidels in their infidelity. They help the Communists to intrude into Western churches of the world. They help Christians remain unaware of the danger of communism.
“By not loving the Communists and those from other captive nations, and by doing nothing to win them for Christ (under the pretext that they are not allowed to do so, as if the first Christians asked permission from Nero to spread the gospel), Western church leaders do not love their own flocks either, if they do not allow them to participate in the spiritual battle around the world.”
Without true repentance and without the true power of the Holy Spirit in the preaching of the full council of the Gospel, we leave people damned and unprepared for the severe persecution that is lurking just behind the walls of iniquity and anti-biblical customs of our present day culture. Know this, Christian suffering is a reality and will be unleashed on the most affluent nations in the world today. Are you prepared?
Jesus says, “But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness. Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives.”
The denial of God’s Word by the culturally relevant and affluent ‘christians’ today only points out their shame and refusal to accept the reality of ‘all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.’ Their false fire and unregenerate hearts are quite apparent. Rise up O’ men of God!
~ Jesus said what? ~
Not only do we see the origin and guilt of Satan’s atrocities against God’s elect, but the very one for Whom we will be persecuted said, “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master; it is enough for the disciple to be like his teachers and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.” You see Jesus does not bring a simple message of temporal prosperity, but rather a warning to those who will be His devout followers (although we will see later on the blessing within this great promise of persecution). For now I want to give you several verses that the Master gives us, not only as a warning, but as a marked sign of true regeneration.
As we take a look at the spoken words of Christ, I cannot help but start at these famous and very misunderstood words of our Savior. Jesus says, “If any man would come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake, will find it.” We are called not only to a life of persecution, but we are to “deny ourselves” and “pick up our cross,” in order for the crucifixion of our sin-filled flesh.
“And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
You see true Christ followers, or those of the Way, ‘will be persecuted’ for their ‘seed’ is against the ‘seed’ of this world. True followers live contradictory to the culture and joyfully carry the only message leading to true agape, freedom and salvation. True followers are of the light and run to the light. Persecution is a reality because, “every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.” Let’s examine more of Christ’s words below.
“Persecution arises on account of the word.”
“But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake.”
“…and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake.”
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.”
“Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man!”
“If the world hates you, know that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. But all this they will do to you on my account, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates me hates my Father also.”
We can very clearly see that ‘all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.’ Before moving forward, I must be very clear on some points about how we are to act facing persecution, whose account persecution is towards and where does our battle ground with persecution exist. As we move into these issues, we must come to realize that we ought to expect persecution – that is, persecution ought to be agreeable to the pattern and style of our life.
~ How are we to act ~
For “through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” The calling to go through persecution(s) is a definite promise if we ‘desire to live a godly life,’ but how are we to act towards those who persecute us? First of all, Jesus says that we are blessed. We are then told that we are to love and pray for our enemies, and be innocent as doves. Without the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit and the power of God on our lives leading us into holiness, we cannot achieve these things on our own. Our fleshly fallen natures are impossible to make holy that which is not holy, impossible to react graciously and impossible to please God.
~ On the account of who? ~
One of the most important aspects that we must remember, and continue to acquire greater wisdom about, is the fact that persecution is on account of Jesus Christ and not ourselves. If we believe we are facing persecution and the root cause is not based on Christ, (no matter what people may say the reason for our imprisonment, our suffering, our torture, and even our economic conditions may be) then we are not being persecuted for Christ. You see the root issue to true persecution and picking up our cross is not found in the mistakes we have made, our poor decisions, sicknesses, accidents or anything of human error. True persecution is because of Christ and His glory, ‘seed’ against ‘seed,’ henceforth the truth. Our flesh depraved sinful inheritance is the reason for Christ’s coming down to earth and being born into the “likeness of sinful flesh.” Yes, Christ was, is and always will be about the Father’s business and to the Father’s glory, but He also came to save depraved human beings. But who is our war with when it comes to persecution?
~ Battle against who? ~
“For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” It is very necessary for us to understand that when persecution crouches at our door or has completely invaded our every inch of personal space, that we remember why it is we are being persecuted and where such persecution is really coming from. We wrestle not with flesh and blood, in other words, not with man and man-made strategies, but with and against Satan and the one-third of fallen angels; against demons and hell itself. Understanding this will give us such freedom when persecution comes as an attempt to destroy our faith in Christ and our salvation. Satan uses persecution as a means to destroy faith in God and give glory unto himself. What he does not understand, nor do most professing ‘christians,’ is that persecution is a promise to every person who is truly desiring to walk as Christ walked and live as Christ lived.
~ It’s a promise ~
It comes down to ‘all who’ even ‘desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.’ ‘Indeed, all…’ carries with it a serious inclusion of the totality of peoples ‘who’ even just carries the ‘desire’ to live a lifestyle devoted unto God. This quite literally means everyone. In other words, these are people who have a longing for the truth of Christ, longing to live in Christ and a longing for nothing but Christ. Down deep in the spirit these believers long for the Truth, that is, Christ and Christ alone. They do not desire religion, feel good works, feel good sermons, feel good music, feel good ‘churches’ nor anything else of man. They just want the totality and sufficiency of Christ Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit that leads unto the glorification of God the Father and sanctification in Christ the Son. These believers are of the Way and true disciples of Christ. ‘Indeed, all who desire’ are truly regenerated and they will be persecuted. Having said this, I must say a hard word, but nonetheless true.
~ A hard word ~
Having seen the verses presented thus far, we can easily and very truthfully say that the lack of persecution in one’s life proves the true reality of one’s desires, and therefore provides evidence towards the truth of one’s claim of being a follower of Christ. But you say, “Unfair,” but I say, you must further examine the truth about persecution and the types thereof before making such a rash and unbiblical statement. It may be that you need to repent of your depraved condition, but to some it may be that you have been experiencing persecution and you have not been aware seeing that, “Little children, you are of God, and have overcome them; for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
It is true that there are over three hundred million people facing severe physical, mental, social and economic persecution right now. But it is equally true that ‘all those who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus’ are being persecuted right now in a way that differs from the three hundred million. This means that there are many types of persecutions and many types of trials. I do not want to take away at all from those blessed Christians who have been and currently are suffering in such horrible and unbelievable ways. For Christians like myself who live in modernization, we are to remember those being physically, economically and socially exploited and killed, as though it were us ourselves. So what does that mean?
That means we are to remember them in authentic and Spirit led prayer. We are to know that persecution is a reality in millions of people’s lives and we are to remain open to what the Lord would have us to do. Prayer is very necessary and of utmost importance, but then action must take suit. Someone has to be led of God to provide the ‘hands on’ in relief, food, medical attention, clothes, bibles and the list goes on. It will take millions upon millions of dollars to make the physical action take place. So to take our eyes off the truly hurting and suffering or the urgency and attention away from those blessed saints is to commit a heinous crime against God and against our brothers and sisters in Christ. To do so proves our ignorance or the fact that we are not in the same adopted family as those who are suffering. You see, “Pretending the poor and lost do not exist may be an alternative. But averting our eyes from the truth will not eliminate our guilt.” This had to be said before we could look towards persecutions of lesser degrees, if I can even say such a thing.
“When I was beaten on the bottom of the feet, my tongue cried. Why did my tongue cry? It was not beaten. It cried because the tongue and feet are both part of the same body. And you free Christians are part of the same Body of Christ that is now beaten in prisons in restricted nations, that even now gives martyrs for Christ. Can you not feel our pain?
“The Early Church in all of its beauty, sacrifice, and dedication has come alive again in these countries.
“While our Lord Jesus Christ agonized in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter, James, and John were a mere stone’s throw away from the greatest drama of history – but they were deep in sleep. How much of your own Christian concern and giving is directed toward the relief of the martyr church? Ask your pastors and church leaders what is being done in your name to help your brothers and sisters in restricted nations around the world.
“In these countries, the drama, bravery, and martyrdom of the Early Church are happening all over again – now – and the free Church sleeps.
“Our brethren there, alone and without help, are waging the greatest, most courageous battle of the twentieth century, equal to the heroism, courage, and dedication of the Early Church. And the free Church sleeps on, oblivious of their struggle and agony, just as Peter, James, and John slept in the moment of their Savior’s agony.
“Will you also sleep while your brethren in Christ suffer and fight for the gospel?
“Will you hear our message: ‘Remember us, help us?’ ‘Don’t abandon us!’
“Now I have delivered the message for the faithful, martyred Church – from your brothers and sisters suffering in the bonds of atheistic communism, and under attack across the world from Indonesia to Africa. Don’t abandon them.”
~ Persecution of a different type ~
As I mentioned before, persecution is from the Devil himself and it is a reality of those ‘who’ authentically ‘desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus.’ But what about the constant buffering of Satan and the constant oppression against believers who are not necessarily experiencing horrendous torture now, are they experiencing persecution as well? The answer is yes and no. I will briefly answer the no first.
Well, why no? Much of what affluent professing believers think is persecution is not really persecution, but rather unrepentant sin. Sin of unbelief, presumption and faithlessness are amongst the most serious sins that lead to many problems that we may label as persecution. I firmly believe that many people think they are living in persecution and so by that very title they do not have to get down to any real recognition of their own sin and rebellion against God. Therefore if we label our sins as persecution, we can alleviate our feelings of guilt and thereby live another day in denial and enmity against God. It is like Leonard Ravenhill has been known to say, “All we do is give people a shot to put them to sleep so they can get to hell quicker.” Such is the way of affluent church life in the American ‘churches.’
So now the yes. Remember, true Biblical Christian persecution is because of the Lord Jesus Christ. In light of this truth, we can now clearly examine what persecution is for the affluent. Persecution, by whatever degree we place it in, is always a satanic oppression against God’s elect. In America, and other affluent nations, we have to struggle with the constant battlefields in our mind, our will and our emotions. We battle against our old nature and against our very soul in ways people in lesser affluent countries need battle. The battle of having everything at our fingertips constantly wars and wears on our soul. Our newly regenerated spirit is constantly having to retrain our mind, will and emotions into thinking and living a God honoring and Biblically accountable way of life. That is why Paul appeals or pleads with us saying, “I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Persecution towards affluent Christ followers is a reality as well. We must be on constant alert against Satan’s strategies and constantly take all thoughts captive. But how can we do such things or know such things if we are not “renewed” in our minds? How can we worship God in spirit and truth if our lifestyle is not that of a “living sacrifice?” If we are not worshipping as a sacrificial style of life, then we are not worshipping God at all! So to be of those who overcome sin, we must first of all be born again and we must be renewed in our thinking. This is the very basis of our warfare. Having briefly looked at such persecution of a different type, how does persecution bring a blessing to us?
~ Blessing in persecution ~
There are two texts that we will briefly discuss and I hope that light will shine into the darkened areas of your heart and you will see a great need for repentance and the sacrificial agape of Christ.
“Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Why would James say to “count it all joy?” Why should we care about steadfastness? Why let something have a full effect if we don’t really care about it? Before we answer these questions, let us look to our second passage.
“We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.”
How can we even begin to believe “that in everything God works for good” for us and to us? Well for the same answer to the previous three questions. The first part of the answer is in understanding God’s idea of good for a true believer and our idea of good.
Our idea of good is always centered around our personal and selfish gain. But God’s good is for His glory, conformity to His Son and our fully awarded salvation. So, the answer to all the above questions is quite simple, it is for the glory of God and our sanctification in Christ Jesus. This must be understood for us to see the wonderful and privileged blessing found in the depths of persecution.
Now, persecution should not be our goal nor should the preaching of the Gospel be done for selfish gain or to offend people so that we can be persecuted, no. Rather we should keep the joy of Christ always before us in such a way that when persecution comes, we are able to “count it all joy” for the “steadfastness” we are enduring is for our eternal good; it is all for the glory of God in Christ Jesus and our conformity to the very image of the only Son.
Persecution is a blessing because it renders a person helpless to their own rescue, trains us to rely fully on Christ and molds us into the image of the very One to whom our sights are set. It is to know “that in everything God works for good with those who love him.” Persecution is the Lord’s promise, a Biblical Truth, and a blessing to all of us who are truly regenerate! Is Biblical, Christ honoring persecution a reality, at least from time to time, in your so called Christian walk with the Lord Jesus Christ? Ask yourself, “Do I really desire the Lord Jesus Christ as my all in all?” If not, ask Him to change your desires.
Jeremy B. Strang,
Christian. Husband. Father.
Author of “Christian – A Dangerous Title to Claim,” “Realities of a True Christian,” and more.
For more information visit: www.Time2Stand.com.
 2 Timothy 3:12 Revised Standard Version (RSV) All Scriptures RSV, unless otherwise noted.
 George Whitefield, Select Sermons of George Whitefield, pg 145
 2 Timothy 1:1-2
 Jeremiah 23:29
 2 Timothy 3:16
 Proverbs 30:5; also see; Psalm 119:9, 160; Romans 15:4; 2 Peter 1:20-21
 John 16:13-14
 2 Timothy 1:1
 2 Timothy 4:6
 2 Timothy 1:8, 2:3
 2 Timothy 4:1-5
 2 Timothy 2:24-26
 2 Timothy 2:26
 1 Timothy 1:15
 2 Timothy 2:21
 2 Timothy 2:11-13
 English Standard Version – ESV
 2 Timothy 3:1
 2 Timothy 3:1-9
 2 Timothy 3:5
 2 Timothy 3:5
 2 Timothy 3:1-4
 Romans 8:5-8
 Galatians 4:29
 2 Timothy 3:13
 Genesis 6:5
 Genesis 3
 Genesis 3:15
 George Whitefield – Select Sermons of George Whitefield – pgs 157-158
 As of this day and age, there are more than 51 nations undergoing Christian persecution.
 Richard Wurmbrand – Tortured for Christ – pg 61
 Richard Wurmbrand – Tortured for Christ – pg 61, 64
 Luke 21:12-19
 Matthew 10:23-25
 Matthew 16:24-25; also see, Matthew 10:38-39; Mark 8:34-35; Luke 9:23-24, 14:27, 17:33; John 12:25
 Galatians 5:24
 The perfect and holy love of God, for God is love.
 John 3:20
 Matthew 13:21; Mark 4:17
 Luke 21:12
 Matthew 10:22; Mark 13:13; Luke 21:17
 Matthew 24:9
 Luke 6:22 – underline mine
 John 15:18-23
 Acts 14:22
 Matthew 5:10-12
 Matthew 5:44
 Matthew 10:16-23
 Romans 8:8
 Romans 8:3
 Ephesians 6:12
 1 John 4:4
 James 1:2
 Hebrews 13:3
 K.P. Yohannan – Revolution in World Missions, pg 193
 Richard Wurmbrand – Tortured for Christ –
pg 150. Tortured for Christ, by Richard Wurmbrand – Founder of The Voice of the Martyrs, is a must read for every professing believer! To receive your free copy, go to the Voice of the Martyrs website.
 Romans 12:1-2
 2 Corinthians 10:5
 John 4:23-24
 John 3
 James 1:2-4
 Romans 8:28
As this is the date to remember the beginning of the reformation, let us remember more so, that true reformation is to begin in us and continue in sanctification, through Christ sending the Holy Spirit unto us in the conviction of sin, and empowered by God the Father unto new life and a growing likeness of Jesus Himself.
If you wish, you can watch Paul Washer’s message, The Ten Indictments Against the American Church.
Picture from the November 2012 cover of the Voice of the Martyrs newsletter.
“The blood-spattered Bible on the cover of this newsletter is a graphic symbol of what it means to be a Christian in northern Nigeria.The Bible was retreived from the Deeper Life Church in Gombe state after a Jan. 5, 2012, attack by Boko Haram militants. Church leader Chenma Ngwaba was speaking during a Thursday evening prayer meeting when three young extremists suddenly began firing weapons through the church window. ‘They were shooting everybody there,’ said Chenma, who last his wife and 10-year-old son that night. Chenma’s six-month-old daughter survived, but eight other believers were killed, and more than 20 were injured.” VOM Newsletter, November 2012, pg. 3.
More info, visit, www.time2stand.com/persecution