Monday, May 04, 2009

When the Church Thrives

The current political climate,(it is nearly impossible to miss) is becoming
increasingly anti-Christian. It is a difficult time for this country,
and for people of faith. However, read the following words and take
heart:

"Christianity has always thrived under persecution. At such times she has
no lukewarm professors, no adherents concerning whom it is doubtful to what
party they belong. The Christian then is reminded at every turn that his
Master's kingdom is not of this world. When all on earth wear a black and
threatening aspect, he looks up to heaven for consolation; he learns practically
to consider himself as a pilgrim and stranger...[But] when Christianity is in a state
of external quiet and prosperity, the contrary of all this naturally takes
place. The soldiers of the church militant forget that they are in a state of
warfare. Their ardor slackens, their zeal languishes. Like a colony long
settled in a strange country, they are gradually assimilated in features
and demeanor and language to the native inhabitants till at length almost every
vestige of peculiarity dies away."
William Wilberforce

Persecution is what separates the chaff from the wheat here on earth.

Most people who speak to me of why they do not come to faith raise
the issue of all the bad things happening in the world; how can God be
good, they ask, and allow all these things?
They have forgotten that mankind is in a state of rebellion against their Creator.
Unfortunately, in times of prosperity, the Church forgets this, too!

Mankind ignores and disobeys God, and then wonders why all is not well.
Until we fully accept that we are at war--whether it is a time of persecution
or not--we will continue to be surprised by the effects of that war. The
"fall out" of the spiritual battle raging constantly is the price of sin. It is "death"
in the material world, manifested from death in the spiritual one, which in turn is
a result of rebellion.

If we must face persecution, let it strengthen our faith, hone our convictions,
and bring forth a church triumphant in the end.
And, let us say with the writer of Revelations, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus!"

quotation taken from 365 WWJD? by Nick Harrison

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