Persecution and Hate
My responsibility at Maranatha Bible Camp in Muskegon, Michigan, was to teach the biblical story of Judah and Joseph. Open Doors was the mission organization featured that week, and their representative gave us daily updates on our brothers and sisters in Syria facing persecution and the threat of death. For these believers Jesus’ words about persecution and death were not in the future. They were their present.
“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive man people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. - Matthew 24:9-14
In this passage the Lord Jesus describes conditions that will be present from the first century and the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans to the end of the age—persecution that will intensify as the climax of history draws near. Jesus is clear. His followers need to be able to take the heat of persecution, and they need to be actively involved in His mission to bring the Gospel to every people group in the world. Please begin to pray for me as I prepare to train pastors in Kenya in late May. While you’re praying, take a look at the Open Doors web site to get the latest news on persecution around the world and pray for your brothers and sisters.
LORD, many of my friends who are soldiers, police officers, and fire fighters know when they sign up that it means they will put their life on the line. Help me to accept this reality when it comes to helping others to hear and respond to the Gospel. Protect some of my former students at both Dallas Seminary and Southern Bible who today are serving in places of great danger.
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