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12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. KJV
"It must be understod that there are no nominal, halfhearted, lukewarm Christians in Russia or China. The price Christians pay is far tto great. The next point to remember is that persecution has always produced a better Christian-a witnessing Christian, a soul-winning Christian. Communist persecution has backfired and produced serious, dedicated Christians such as are rarely seen in free lands. These people cannot understand how anyone can be a Christian and not want to win every soul they meet."
Excerpted from Richard Wurmbrandís book Tortured for Christ. For a copy go to http://www.persecution.com
It would also appear that Islamic persecution is backfiring as well since a mullah on Arab TV was bewailing the fact that six million Muslims are turning to Christ every year.
This brings us to the concept of building a church. Since despite pockets of what appear to be explosive conversions and a few mega-churches the overall the number of Christians in Europe and America are dramatically decreasing so we must conclude that we are not truly building Christís church.
Even what we seem to be building are not masses of Christians like Wurmbrand speaks but rather self-centered babies who need to be entertained and fed milk that gives them warm feelings but dulls their mind, deadens their discernment and puts them to sleep.
We are building edifices and filling them predominantly with tares. There are some saved, but they never fully mature as their brethren in persecuted lands. They are gifted, yet carnal, like the Corinthian church while obsessed with prosperity and health like the Laodecians not knowing they are sick and in poverty spiritually. There are many evil men and seducers active in the Church as well as without.
Thus, in the final analysis, if the free world is to see the remarkable church growth it desires and the strong saints of the past then we can but do one thing and that is pray earnestly for persecution and that we might be granted the honor to suffer with Christ and even to die for His nameís sake.
Anyone up for prayer?
Father, we need to be dragged from our beds of ease and into the paths of the saints of old and the saints in persecuted lands. We must learn obedience by the rod of persecution and the path to joy unspeakable through the fellowship of His sufferings. God prepare us and find us worthy to know Your power and praise You in persecution. The Western Church is all but dead not knowing its bed of ease is a bed of disease and death not of Your blessing.
History has shown that the Church thrives when it bleeds and more souls are saved when it bleeds richly. Lord, if that is the path for harvest then fertilize your field for a final harvest the size of which has never yet been seen. Amen! Maranatha!!
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