Are you a Christian? Then Who is your King and why do you make the Choices you make?
Who is your King? The answer to this question will determine how you live out your Christianity.
I am reading some really good books from years of yore... Written by Christians who were tried in the fire and lived long enough to tell the tales... You know, its funny how much criticism these men later received (after years of service and hardships)... Criticism that was received from the sidelines... Derogatory remarks sometimes made by well intending Pastors and sometimes made by others who are ever sitting on the Game side Bench... Pastors who want to be the Big shots... Pastors who want to be the Coaches... and Pastors who want to receive all of the fame... Pastors who have never really played in the Great Game on the Field of Foreign Missions... and last but not least... Pastors who can't stand the idea of a Missionary teaching a contagious Christianity that has the Fire of God in it... giving a message that will wake up a slumbering Congregation to the reality of the sad state of affairs the Church is in today... heaven forbid that someone Wake them up in time to realize that their Lamps are sputtering... and going out.
For your consideration I want to offer you several stories to read that will invigorate your Christianity.. Books that will certainly affect your choices in days to come... Books that I hope will make a difference in what sort of Christian is produced in you someday...
The Men and Women who wrote them were Servants of the Lord.. who loved not their lives unto death... Servants of the Lord who counted the cost of their life of service... and counted worldly treasures as dung compared to the Riches to be won in serving the Lord Jesus Christ.
During the time of Hitlers holocaust there were some Christians who did all they could to save the infants from orphanages that were about to be killed... this was the start of Bro Andrew and Corrie Ten Booms work of Smuggling and hiding things that God wanted protected for future generations...
During the time of the Cold War, Bro Andrew and other missionaries risked their lives continually to bring the Gospel into countries where the borders were officially closed to Christianity.
Who's law were they going to break? God's laws or Mans? Because in this life.. if you truly want to follow CHrist... there will be times when you need to know who your master truly is... and how to proceed in following him.
In Acts 4-5 we read of Peter being told to Stop Preaching and teaching in the name of Jesus!!!
Who gave Peter that order? It was the Council.. the Rulers of Jews.. and their word was Law.
Look carefully at Peters response: Acts 4:17-19 But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. 18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.
You are in a Battle today dear Christian... and you need to know who your true King is... and who you are truly supposed to be taking your orders from...
There are right ways to do things of course and wrong ways to do them as well... These books will help you to understand many things that only a Person with many years of experience as a Missionary behind enemy lines can truly best express.
Bro Andrew First wrote the book "Gods Smuggler" and he did not like the title... But it stuck. That book told of many years of experiences in the work of bringing bibles and Gospel literature into lands that were closed to the Gospel... Because of that book he found that many Christian leaders truly did not even understand the nature of the war we are in... or who our enemy truly is.
Later he wrote another book called "Ethics of Smuggling" as a sort of defense of true Christianity. It is a book that answers many questions about things of the higher legal authority of Christ and His Kingdom (as appose to bowing to mans laws that are contrary to our Great Commission of Mt 28:18-20.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power (Authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Tortured for his Faith
Another Good book I would highly recommend would be "Tortured for His Faith" by Haralan Popov . Pastor Haralan Popov was a Pentecostal Minister who spent thirteen years in a Bulgarian communist prison system for charges of treason. Why Treason? Because he would not renounce his Christianity, and Christianity (With its allegiance to the Highest King) is declared an enemy of the Communist system. With 13 Years of tortured existence for refusing to renounce his faith in Jesus Christ Pastor Haralan Popov offers some very astute insights into living the Christian life
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
Corrie ten Boom was a woman admired the world over for her courage, her forgiveness, and her memorable faith. In World War II, she and her family risked their lives to help Jews escape the Nazis, and their reward was a trip to Hitler's concentration camps. But she survived and was released (as a result of a clerical error) and now shares the story of how faith triumphs over evil.
I think one the largest problems in the Church today is that peace time Christianity lacks the real "Grit in the Craw" of a Church that is continually under persecution. People today make decisions based on what they feel like doing... But without solid convictions based upon the Lordship of Christ... Who is the Only Real King and Ruler of any true Christian. If Jesus is truly our Master and king... our decisions need to be based upon that fact... solidly.. without any Hesitations or Regrets. If Jesus is Truly our King then our lives are His... and we should be willing to lay down our lives as his servants... Just like he Laid down his life for us. Short of that... we are just playing a religious game.
I hope we are not... there is little or no time for playing games in this war zone.
See you on the front lines