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All About GOD - Growing Relationships with Jesus and Others

Christians in the west have had it pretty easy for a while. Mostly, we feel we are persecuted when the government tries to infringe on our constitutional guarantees of liberty. Sometimes people threaten us or malign us for our beliefs. Atheists try to shout us down. Yet, we have little persecution, compared to history. Even Russia is now friendly to Christianity... as long as you stay out of the way of the government's totalitarian leanings.

However, in the rest of the world, such as in the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa and the Far East, Christianity is on the run. Sort of...

* Chaldean Christians in Iraq and Syria, the Chaldean church who have been part of the faith since the first century, are fleeing their cities with nowhere to go. Because they refuse to convert to Islam.

* Egyptian Christians have had their churches bombed, burned and their leaders stoned or shot by the Muslim Brotherhood. Because they refuse to deny Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.

* Christians in India are very careful not to rile the police or government authorities who are primarily Hindu and who occasionally have pastors and church leaders beaten and arrested for evangelizing. Because they refuse to keep inside the walls of their churches, they keep preaching and teaching Jesus as the Risen Savior.

* Pakistani Christians have their churches and homes fire-bombed routinely. Because they will not deny Christ and become Muslim.

* African Christians have their children kidnapped, their women raped and their leaders shot at random intervals. Because they refuse to accept Muhammad as "Gods only prophet".

* In China, the government bull dozes churches without notice and arrests Bible believers as "dissidents". Because they refuse to stop evangelizing in the name of Jesus.

All of this by the zealous Anti-Christ forces of radical Islamists or other governments that feel threatened by Jesus. But, we in the west sit comfortably in our homes while Christians in other parts of the world are martyred, harassed, tortured and forced out of their homes.

In this generation, we have seen the faithful stand their ground against an onslaught of attack by real forces who will do anything to destroy "the Faith that was once and for all time delivered to the Saints". We have seen Godly missionaries, pastors, churches remain faithful to the Lord Jesus through unspeakable horrors. While we often debate what dogma is better and while we argue who is right about this point or another, we have witnessed millions of Christians stand for the name of Jesus and endure incredible hardship, or be killed, for His name.

Will you?

As for me and my house, I pray we have the courage of Pastor Saieed.

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The reason I ask this, is because the problem always is sin/rebellion.  

The solution will always be Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.

Christ is coming back, but not to save, but to judge...and as in the days of Noah that door will be forever and ever and ever closed to those who reject Him, whether they state they are a Christian or not.  I find God is not so impressed with our titles, rather our lives.

I often, at work, think about how Great our God is...I remember verses  like the one that states that the earth is His footstool.  I wonder at times when He looks down at the human race, how frail and vulnerable we must look to Him.  Even the most celebrated man, must look so feeble.   I believe He sees us as we are, not as we pretend to be.

I can't answer for him but when I read this, I think he is saying the problem lies within the Christians. We don't have any expectations of those outside of Christ to even care about stamping this out other then the fact of the damage this religion brings to our society.  They don't see the spiritual world like we know it to be. They just see face value. However, Christians today seem to see less & less of the spiritual realm either. Less & less are crying out in His throne room. We go about our everyday business doing what's good for us that day & are Happy cause we have JESUS. (That last part, I was saying in my head very sarcastically.) I'll admit right here that my prayers aren't as they need to be. The time I spend with God is pitiful. We need to WAKE UP Christians & cry out to our only Solution - The Father in the Name of the Son through His awesome Holy Spirit. 

We need to WAKE UP Christians & cry out to our only Solution - The Father in the Name of the Son through His awesome Holy Spirit. 

I completely agree.

I lay that out in the latest post on page 6. I allude to it when I said "We have abdicated our spiritual authority and sought after fruitless things." Much of the church is too busy trying to curry political favor or worldly approval to consider that we are failing our mission while that mission-field has moved to our doorstep.

For instance: I know a pastor who lives/works in a major metro area. He's far more interested in approval from the homosexual lobby and the city tolerance police than to reach out to the vast community of foreign nationals that live within a 5 mile radius of his church. He is applauded by the former and ignored completely by the latter. Missing the mission field in his face, he goes about blindly thinking he is doing a great work for the Lord while he completely pollutes the Gospel as a man-centered spirituality program.

That is truly sad. I love the story behind Jim Cymbala & how he has reached out to those in the streets of Brooklyn as well as David Wilkerson who reached out to those on Time Square. Neither felt the need to bash nor did they shy around from the truths. So many lives have been changed thru these ministries.

I have no problem with these people meeting with the pope. What I have the problem with is the few who meet him don't witness to him. They accept his views as "Well, he's OK. Let's just join together. We both love Jesus so why not?" I could write you a novel on why not. I've been studying Catholicism for a good while. I'm going back & forth with a co-worker of Tim's who is a Catholic. He sent 2 books home with Tim to give me. Tim tried to warn him about me but he wouldn't listen so I'm having at it. Tim told him he's opening doors that he won't be able to close cause I'll take the door down. Speaking with this man, I've given him the utmost respect but I'm also not backing down. I'm not being hateful but I am telling him my view on their beliefs & backing it up with Scripture. Of course, he knew I would back it up with Scripture because their name for us is Bible-believing Protestants which made me laugh really hard. Praise God for Bible-believing Protestants. This has been one of the most interesting things I've studied in a good long while. It's been fun as well. I pray that maybe this co-worker will at least respect my views & consider them. 

The Americans, including Christians, have this mindset now that we live & let live. Respect their choices. Blah Blah Blah. The Christians say you can't shove Christ down their throats. Why not? Everyone shoves their crap down ours.  It's coming & has already arrived. They've made no moves because they don't have enough yet here. But, it's coming.

I think the way to look at it is to engage people. I know the worldly and the false religions are constantly pushing their stuff on us. As Christians, we can be better than that - we have the Mind of Christ, we have Jesus as our Master and Guide. I'm not saying be passive; but neither should we be aggressive. Active and confident would be better. 

As Jesus said "be wise as serpents and harmless as doves". 

Engage people. Ask them what they have hope in. Ask them if they are fearful of their eternal destiny. Ask them what they believe and then ask them to validate it with evidence. 

The Christian faith is based on evidence, testimony, eye witness accounts and 100% conviction of those who saw the Risen Savior. Not one of them recanted, turned back or faltered. You can't find that in any other "ism", religion or faith. 

Arm yourself. Learn your faith, learn the arguments. Be confident. 

1 Peter 3:15 -

15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect

Scribe, what I understand you to be saying is that Islam is taking advantage of the freedom of religion in the USA and using it to not only live it out here for themselves, in public and in private, but to try and gain a foothold in the political arena, as well, and, while living in this country, to receive the authority from our government to apply their religion or belief on others who are of Islam, such as their wives, in teaching, practice, worship and observance. (Note: under Sharia but not under our government, domestic violence, such as beating of wives, is permissable). 

Also, you are making the point that in our country, the simple gospel has become so muddied that people have lost touch with what it really is, and, therefore, it isn't being presented truthfully a lot of the time. 

We are dependent upon God to open to us a door for speaking the Good News, and to give us the strength and courage to endure through the suffering we will encounter along the way. It looks like the suffering is part of God's will. As Jesus prayed, "And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 6:29, ESV) 

Our love for God and for others includes being willing to put our lives on the line as we share the Good News, just as Christ did and as Saint Paul did. "At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—" (Colossians 4:3, ESV). 

Stopping persecution, and even trying to keep it at bay, doesn't seem to be part of the commission Christ has given us. Saint Paul and the other eleven apostles, except John, all suffered horrible deaths and I wonder sometimes who the people mentioned in Hebrews 11:35-37 are. They are spoken of in the past tense by the author of Hebrews, but the point is that God didn't stop the sufferings. 

We don't know what we're going to have to go through before we leave this life, this world. We live by faith, not by sight.

I, also, can speak from the personal experience of one who has been religious and can only share my own viewpoint about what has been helpful and is helping me see truth. 

Here is how Paul described his own ministry. Can we even hope to match it in even the smallest way? 

We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything. We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. In return (I speak as to children) widen your hearts also. (2 Corinthians 6:3-13 ESV)

Excellent Word, Amanda

Agreed. Well said Amanda.

Stopping persecution, and even trying to keep it at bay, doesn't seem to be part of the commission Christ has given us. - Amen Amanda. Never really seen it like that before until you said it here. He goes as far as saying that the persecuted for His Name's sake will be blessed.

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