They had to choose who’s killed first! Persecution of the Church

LISTEN NOW! Can you imagine being put in jail for the solitary reason of simply being a follower of Jesus Christ? It is the very reality of persecution that reveals what is inside of us. Imagine being able to sit down and talk to the very people that have endured tremendous persecution for the cause of Christ. Francis Chan was just the conversations and the experience is beyond memorable for him. In 2007, a group of Korean missionaries traveled to Afghanistan to spread the Gospel. It was during this trip that 22 were taken hostage by the Taliban. This was the reality that Chan was able to get a personal perspective on what happened.
 

It’s one thing to know that you may be killed, but it’s another to be in a group of Christians who have been taken hostage and begin seeing your brothers and sisters being killed one by one. “The last day they were together, one of the gals still had a Bible on her…she ripped it into 23 pieces and they passed it to one another so they could each have a little scripture. Whenever you have a free moment, look at the scripture and get yourself encouraged.” Can you imagine the dialogue and conversation between them? Each of them begin surrendering their lives to whatever God wanted to do.

 

Of all of those who were in this circle, the Senior Pastor spoke up to tell the group “The Taliban are going to start killing us and I already told them that I die first because I am the pastor.” In response, another spoke up in rebuttal, “No. I am a pastor and I am your elder. I die first.” Still another adds to the conversation, “No. You are not ordained…I am the ordained senior pastor. I die first.” He did in fact die first.

 

The revealing perspective in all of this, as Chan recounts, is the continuing conversation between each of them after they were released from captivity. Each of those who survived the experience had the same comment to the senior pastor. “Don’t you wish we were still there? I was so close to Jesus in that hole, in that cell…and I come back here and I try to pray, I try to fast and it’s just not the same…”

 

Paul prayed for this very reality in the words of Philippians 3:10, “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death”. It’s one thing to want to know God, but do we want to know Him in the closeness and intimacy of this reality? It is only in the revelation of who He is, when we spend time with Him, that we would desire to seek this reality. Difficult times are coming. In order to be faithful to Him, we must know Him. Allow your faith and hunger for the heart of God to be challenged and stirred as you hear the full encounter from Francis Chan and so much more. Also shared in this segment: The Cross, revelation, visions, persecution, oppression, death, eternity, Glory of God, Jesus as Lord, Verge, abiding, discipleship, and faithfulness. Greg and Steve shared in this segment.

Courtesy of Photosebia/Shutterstock.com




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