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Get Ready before You Need to!

July 7, 2017

Back in June we held one Sunday service outside our church building, in support and solidarity with the persecuted church. Afterwards, I idly wondered how it made people feel – grateful that we have a building, or just annoyed that we weren’t using it? And how many would have been there if our gathering had actually been illegal, or disapproved of?

In a way that question is impossible to answer until you find yourself in that situation; in another way we should always be asking ourselves that question. And it’s true of many other situations as well: it’s the sins and mistakes we’re not anticipating, the temptations we’re not prepared for, that catch us off-guard and trip us up.

And persecution, according to the New Testament, is one of the things we should be prepared for. Why? Basically, because the Gospel is so offensive. It proclaims that people are sinners and need to repent; it offers forgiveness for sins simply through faith; it insists that Jesus actually rose from the dead and violated the laws of nature; it calls people to submit to this Jesus rather than to existing kings, emperors and religious leaders.

That was true 2,000 years ago, and it’s the same today. Our proclamation is exactly the same; and the message is just as unpopular now as it was then. But it’s also just as true and life-changing and rewarding!

If Jesus is Lord, we need to be determined to stand firm for Jesus whatever the consequences. So we need to be prepared beforehand: ready for opposition before we’re opposed; ready for temptation before we’re tempted; ready for persecution before we’re persecuted; fully committed to Jesus, come what may. And, as I’ve said so many times: it’s worth it!

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From → Christianity, Faith, Jesus

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