Nobody likes being pushed into doing something. Nobody likes to be forced into doing anything. Nobody likes being made to do something they really don’t want to do.
And bottom line… we cannot FORCE anyone into doing something they don’t want to do… even with a literal gun pointed to their head! After all… the person CAN choose a bullet to the head rather than doing what would prevent getting shot in the head. We might think that decision is foolish… but only if getting shot in the head is preferable OVER doing what a person was attempting to force them to do. Not sure you agree?
Would you deny Christ in order to not be burned at the stake (A bullet to the head). Would you turn your back on Christianity to keep from your family being killed? Would you abandon the Christian faith to keep your job… not lose your house… not be put in prison… etc.? To follow God’s call would you leave your family?
Come on Ron… that’s not real world! Really? You don’t think I’m talking “real world?” That’s probably because Christians in the USA have been so assaulted by Satan with ease, peace, and safety that we don’t have a point of reference for what the greatest majority of Christians have lived through the centuries. And then consider these events…
One Christian dies every 5 minutes for their faith… worldwide.
Laos: Six Christian leaders jailed for celebrating Jesus’ birth.
Iraq: Christian business attacked by radical Muslims.
Iran: Man jailed for over a year for converting to Christianity.
Israel: Messianic Jewish family had a bomb planted at their home.
Vietnam: Gang attacks church leaders.
Kenya: Christians attacked.
Real world… historically… being a Christian is costly. Satan has weakened Christians in America by NOT persecuting us. We’re so out of touch we think getting laughed at, or excluded from “cool circles,” or losing a job is persecution. imagine Paul talking with an American Christian about persecution and he begins by showing the scars on his back and head from being whipped, beaten with rods, and stoned with rocks. No… we haven’t suffered.
I hesitate to write this, but… the best thing that could happen to the church in America would be to experience persecution. Then maybe we’d quit having tidy little gatherings, study groups, celebrity pastors, and start having all night prayer vigils. I’m just saying…
And I believe this will come, Br. Ron. Satan has weakened Christians and in doing so weakened the power of the message we share. The generations following will be the ones to suffer from our weakness. Thank you for a timely, pertinent message.
Thank you for your comment! I would however rephrase a little of what you wrote. I do agree that many Christians seem to have lost their strength… and it does seem that the Church is not being as effective as it could be… but I don’t think I would say that the power of the message has been weakened at all. In my perspective Satan is on a short leash and he cannot do anything God doesn’t grant permission for… WHICH ultimatley accomplishes the OPPOSITE of what Satan intends, which is God’s glory! But that is another post..
Satan’s strategy is working so well that we may never be persecuted. After-all persecution wakes people up, the church is growing stronger everyday in countries that are opposed to its message.
Ah… BUT… God’s strategy is greater than Satan’s! GOD may bring persecution upon America to wake the Church up like He did with Jerusalem believers to get them out of their homeland to spread the Gospel to all nations!! “The Gates of hell will not prevail” against the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
It’s up to him 🙂