At this very moment, all around the world more than 100 million Christians are being murdered, beaten, tortured, harassed and discriminated against for worshiping Jesus Christ. For Christians, this is something we can’t and shouldn’t turn our eyes away. Here are three reasons why:
All who follow Jesus will be persecuted
Contrary to what some believe, following Jesus is not the key to health, wealth and prosperity. Jesus told his followers the very opposite:
Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. – John 15:20
Jesus endured the worst persecution of all – He, the guiltless Son of God – was humiliated, tortured and murdered at the hands of those He came to save. As His servants, we too can count on experiencing persecution at some point in our lives. Take it from the Apostle Paul:
Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. – 2 Timothy 3:12
Persecution isn’t something reserved for Christians in other parts of the world, but something that all of us can expect as followers of Jesus. Which leads to this point…
We are one with them
The Bible refers to the collective of all Christians as the body of Christ, which means that we are intimately united with Christians from all times and all places, with Jesus as our head:
And He is the head of the body, the church. – Colossians 1:18a
And [God] put all things under His feet and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. – Ephesians 1:22-23
The Bible also tells us that it is important to care for the other parts of the body:
If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. – 1 Corinthians 12:26
If you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. For example, if your own physical hand was cut off, imagine how it would impact the rest of your body. Would all of your other body parts be unaffected by the injury? Of course not. Even with proper treatment, the healing process would sap life and energy from your other body parts. Just as parts of the physical body depend on one another, we who are part of this spiritual body – the Church – must also depend on and support one another.
God is glorified through persecution
This sounds crazy to many people, but God is glorified through the persecution of His Church.
When Christians continue to trust Him in the face of hardship and death – God is glorified. When they forgive and show love to their persecutors in the name of Jesus – God is glorified. When Christians stand as one to support and pray for persecuted brothers and sisters around the world – God is glorified.
Persecution is an example of God working what was intended for evil for something exceedingly good – His glory.
So what is next?
Would you like to learn more about Christian persecution and how you can stand with persecuted believers around the world?
For 60 years, Open Doors USA has worked in the world’s most oppressive and restrictive countries for Christians. Open Doors works to equip and encourage Christians living in dangerous circumstances with the threat of persecution and equips the Western church to advocate for the persecuted.
Learn more about Open Doors and how you can get involved.
This post is provided by Open Doors – USA as a part of the Ministry Spotlight initiative.