CHAINED FOR CHRIST!
Chained for Christ
‘Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.’ – Hebrews 13:3
It was late Ken Saro Wiwa that said, ‘In any unjust society, every onlooker is either a traitor or a coward.’ This statement is very relevant today among brethrens in the Church of Jesus Christ, of whom you are member, being faced with series of persecutions.
The book of Daniel and the book of Revelations in the bible both talked about the persecutions of the elects. While the book of Daniel mentioned the little horn that blasphemed, the book of Revelation talked about the dragon that persecuted the woman (the Church):
‘And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child’ – Revelation 12:13
Believe me sincerely, it was Jesus Himself that said, a slave is not greater than his Master; if they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you. This warning was accurately recorded in the gospel of John, chapter fifteen, verse twenty. In the early church, persecution was a common phenomenon, ironically, it did not bend them; it only made them stronger.
Among other factors that made Christianity the strongest religion in the world is persecution. When hostilities and oppositions rise against you, directly or indirectly, mainly and majorly because of your faith in Jesus Christ, then, you are being persecuted. This bitter truth comes to us in four (4) major ways, namely:
Beloved, take it or leave it, from the early church history up till present, persecutions had characterized the true church of Jesus Christ. The flame our love for Christ is hotter than the furnace of persecutions from any quarter. Unlike earthly marriages, where they say, ‘till death do us part.’ In Christianity, death unites Christians to Christ.
Unless we understand clearly the difference between sympathy and empathy, we might not genuinely pray and encourage our brethrens that are being persecuted. The early Church sympathized with James until he was killed by Herod (martyred), thereafter, they learnt their lesson fast, and had empathy for Peter; praying fervently for his release (Acts 12:5). Through their prayers, Peter was miraculously released!
Our brothers and sisters in Christ are being persecuted all around the world, and our attitudes and prayers for them had been sympathetic; feeling for them and pity their fate at most. We merely say a word of prayer for them at our dinning, or when watching television, and soon we go about our busy schedules. These brethren are passing through ‘hell’ not because of the persecution per se, but because they are forsaken by Church, the very family they longed for.
Hear Apostle Paul’s antidote for persecution:
‘Persecuted, but not forsaken’ – II Corinthians 4:9
God’s presence, via the brethren became a relief for Paul, even in the midst of hot persecution.
With this understanding, would you now pray fervently for a persecuted life, at least once in a week? When you are sure ready, google through ‘Christian Persecutions’, call others to join you, pray fervently like the early Church did for Peter, engage the heavens, and see a life being released!
It is not a mere story that Oba of Masifa – Ile in Ejigbo Local Government Area Osun State, Nigeria, His Royal Highness, Oba Matthew Oyekale, the Olaaresa of Masifa, was persecuted bitterly and seriously for his faith in Christ for about thirty years. He was asked to leave his throne and on many occasions threatened and attacked because of Christ Jesus. His steadfastness in Christ Jesus and the prayers of the Saints wrought great deliverances. Today, Baba is a testimony around the world!
Noviana Malewa together with her friends were attacked on their way to school in Pakistan. While Noviana survived, the other three girls did not survive the slashing of their throats with knives. Their crime was nothing but their faith in Jesus Christ. Pakistan Christians need your prayers earnestly now than before. The Western Punjabi is the largest unreached people group in Pakistan.
Pastor Irani was jailed for his faith in Jesus Christ. While his family suffer emotionally, his health deteriorates steadily and the Iranian government still refuses to release this man of God as of the time of this writing. Are you still there? At the expense of their lives, ironically, the Iranians host the fastest growing Church in the world!
The Christian population, which is about 2% of the Azerbaijan, will really appreciate your prayers as they live daily with persecutions. This Christian minority are living like strangers in their own land among their people simply because of their faith in Jesus Christ.
The Nigerian currencies, especially the paper notes have two faces; one with three major languages (N5, N10, N20, & N50), the other with Islamic inscription (N100, N200, N500, & N1,000) which more than half of the population can not read neither do they know what it means. Remember, this country is about 167 million in population. To other religions, this is another form of persecution: So Nigerians spend two sets of paper currencies.
Sometimes ago in Indonesia, some radical Muslim mob surrounded the building where Christian youth were camping. Pastor Pattiwael went outside; distracting the attention of the bloodthirsty mob away from his wife and these Christian youth, he was attacked while the others escaped; ‘Jesus, help me’ was his final words. If this slain pastor was your brother in Christ, will you still be folding your hands, sitting on the fence?
Believe me, it is time for prayers like never before. Statistics says about 653,000 Christians are being persecuted and killed annually all over the world! People are losing their lives for Christ’s sake. These Christian persecutions are real, pray with empathy. Who knows? Next time, it could be you!
‘If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.’ - I Corinthians 16:22
Preparing the Bride,