Getting Ready to Bear the Cross

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In answer to the question about how we should prepare for the coming years, with the mounting onslaught against Judeo-Christian values, I think the bottom line is that we need to get ready for persecution.  And I do not mean namby-pamby persecution like having a college professor make fun of you.  I mean real go-to-prison, lose all your posessions, and suffer physical violence persecution. If this is right, how should we get ready?  Let's get it into our head that our purpose is here is not to achieve ministry success to the glory of our reputations, but to display the power of God's mighty grace through the cross to the glory of His name.  I don't like the idea of real persecution any more than the next guy, but the fact is that persecution is a wonderful venue for the display of God's grace

One thing we might do is start reading martyr biographies again.  Some time ago, I read J.C. Ryle's biography of the martyrs of the English Reformation, Light from Old Times.  One glorious saint being burned after another, giving great praise to God through their joyful endurance.  It was wonderfully inspiring.  Just recently I have been reading Jesus Freaks, put out by The Voice of the Martyrs.  Great stuff.  It makes you realize that intense persecution is a very common thing in this world and that if we think we are somehow exempt we are kidding ourselves.  Our turn is surely coming, so the sooner we stop defining our success in market terms and start defining success in terms of the display of God's grace through our suffering, the better prepared we will be.

We should also get ready for a much smaller Christian church in America.  If it becomes illegal to worship Jesus here, the mega-churches will implode.  But from the remnant of that stump... watch out!
Posted October 12, 2006 @ 3:38 PM by Rick Phillips
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