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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
November 17, 2007

     But before any of this happens, they'll arrest you, hunt you down, and drag you to court and jail. It will go from bad to worse, dog-eat-dog, everyone at your throat because you carry my name. You'll end up on the witness stand, called to testify. Make up your mind right now not to worry about it. I'll give you the words and wisdom that will reduce all your accusers to stammers and stutters.
Luke 21:12-15 (Message*)

In a number of countries today, Christians are persecuted simply for declaring their loyalty to Jesus Christ. They may be jailed, tortured, deprived of their livelihood, and/or martyred. Last Sunday many Christians expressed their unity with these fellow believers through the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.

In other countries, there is freedom to proclaim Jesus Christ in word and to hold worship services. But even in these countries, Christians sometimes feel Christ calling them to actions which result in prosecution and/or other consequences. I personally have known numerous Americans who have gone to prison for following the path in which they believed Christ led them.

My father would routinely ask those applying for membership whether they were willing to go to jail for their faith. Many of us may never face that situation ourselves, but all of us need to search our hearts as to whether we would stand firm if faced with that or other prosecution due to words or deeds to which we were called by Christ. And we need to rest in the promise that should we be called before the authorities for acts of faithfulness the Living Christ will Himself give us the words we are to speak.

Bill Samuel

* The Message version ©2002 by Eugene H. Peterson.

©2007 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 24-Nov-2007 19:50:48 EST