The persecuted church is part of God’s family
In the West we think we have it bad with the restrictions, job losses and fear that COVID19 brings, but let’s put it in perspective.
Here are 4 stories taken from the Open Doors USA website:
- A woman in India watches as her sister is dragged off by Hindu nationalists. She doesn’t know if her sister is alive or dead.
- A man in a North Korean prison camp is shaken awake after being beaten unconscious; the beatings begin again.
- A woman in Nigeria runs for her life. She has escaped from Boko Haram, who kidnapped her. She is pregnant, and when she returns home, her community will reject her and her baby.
- A group of children are laughing and talking as they come down to their church’s sanctuary after eating together. Instantly, many of them are killed by a bomb blast. It’s Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka.
When Jesus sent out the 12 disciples He said, “Be on guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles,” Mt 10:17-18. “All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved,” Mt 10:22.
In NZ we are starting to see what persecution of the church looks like, but not to the extreme as places like Pakistan, North Korea, Afghanistan, Sudan, Yemen and Iran. So, let’s stand firm together in prayer and with financial support of our persecuted church family in other parts of the world, because their suffering is extreme. Today we welcome Dan Lake, NZ regional director of Open Doors, as our guest preacher. We look forward to your teaching today Dan.