Most of us will have little fear being arrested for our beliefs, because we live in the one-third of the world that is nominally Christian.
Fortunately, most of this “Christian” world has withdrawn the power of the state from these churches, but when “Christianity” was in power, any disagreement with their form of religion was cruelly persecuted. In Catholic countries, leaders of the Inquisition tortured and killed hundreds of thousands of non-Catholics.
The Anglican Church and Greek Orthodox Church were just as cruel to the evangelical believers, who were burnt at the stake, beheaded, and tortured in the most painful ways because they merely wanted to obey the Scripture. Only in the past few centuries have we been free to practice the Bible as it reads. As Christians increase in number and influence, the secular world is making laws that will inevitably result in persecution.
Another third of the world is dominated by non-Christian religions: Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Evangelicals are not always free in these parts of the world to practice their religion, and they live under threats of various degrees, although it might still be possible to creatively communicate the gospel.
The final third of the world population has no knowledge of Christianity at all. Here Christianity has never been spoken in their tongues. Changes to the status quo might be met with violent resistance, but there have been heroic victories in which whole people groups have converted to the gospel.
Jesus gave His disciples instructions for how to respond to inevitable persecution. They were commanded to “stop worrying” (implying that they were worrying) and to “continuously say” what the Spirit brought to their minds at the time (Jn 14:26).
What we have learned of His word will come back to our minds when we need it: “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John,…they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13). How do others know you have walked with Jesus? Imagine yourself on trial for your faith.
“Lord, help me to never worry about being politically correct; rather, allow me to be bold enough to speak the truth at all times.”
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