Persecuted Pilgrims

Let us not forget the persecuted brethren all around the world. I have recently read about a Woman named Asia who lives in Pakistan that has been imprisoned for the last two years because she stood up for her faith to some co-workers who were mocking her and telling her to return to Islam. She is the first women ever under the “Blasphemy law” in Pakistan to be sentenced to death row. Her two daughters 8 and 12 along with her Husband miss her very much. There has been such an uproar over her case that certain groups have offered 6,000 to anyone who murders her. As a result of this she has been confined to a single cell for her safety and can not eat the cafeteria food in prison because of the fear of poisoning from cooks. Instead she has to cook her own food that her Husband brings her. Two Politicians’, one Christian and one secular have been murdered for their public support of her release. One was gunned down by five men while in his car and the other was shot and killed by his own bodyguard. All this because a wife and mother stood up for her faith.
For further information about her case visit http://www.Prisoneralert.com
If you have any knowledge of the world around us than you must know that the Christian faith and its followers have been under persecution since the time of Christ. It is easy to forget about that when you live in a country like America that has not known such persecution; however Christians suffer daily all around the world because of their simple faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. What are we doing as believer to relieve the suffering of others for their faith in Jesus Christ? Many people take Jesus’ own words in Matthew 25:40 about ‘doing to the least of these’ as a proof text to start prison ministries and feed the poor. Now don’t get me wrong, these are good ministries and worthy of our attention. Prisoners and the poor need Christ and love like anyone else, but this text is not about prison ministry or social outreach to the poor and needy. That is easy to find out when you read what Jesus actually says. “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
I underlined the clue. Jesus was not saying “I was the murderer or kidnapper you visited in prison” He was not saying I was the sick dying of aids and you did or didn’t come and visit me” He says ‘Brothers of mine’, these are Christian believers in need here. They are imprisoned for their faith or sick or in some sort of need that other Christians prove their faith by showing love to them even if it cost them their freedom and or even their lives. So I ask again, what are we doing to relieve the suffering of the least of these brothers and sisters in Christ who are Christ body which are apart of us and Christ Himself?
For most of us in America life is pretty routine. We wake up and get ready for the day and go to work or school. Then we go home and eat and plan our time around social events or entertainment and then go to sleep only to get up the next day to do it all over again. If we are honest most of us do not worry about if we are going to eat tomorrow or if we are going to be arrested for going to Church. We may never think about civil war breaking out or if a band of terrorist are going to come through our town and destroy every Church and even kill all those who profess faith in Jesus Christ. Yet this is what many believers go to sleep every night thinking about. This is life for them. They live the book Foxes book of martyrs or even the book of Acts.
Many believers are living like those mentioned in Hebrews 11:36 ‘and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. 37They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated 38(men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.’
I will end this post with an encouraging thought. When confronted by these stories with very real people and very real tragedies we can start to feel overwhelmed or not know how to pray. Take comfort in this, namely that Jesus in John 10 calls Himself the good shepherd who know His sheep. Our prayers may seem weak and insufficient at times, especially when we pray for major things like the persecuted Church, but understand that not one sheep is out the good shepherd gaze or hand. He is sovereign and knows their needs. In the same verse where Jesus says He is the good shepherd, He also says that He lays down His life for His sheep. So not only does He care for them, but He dies for them. This is a shepherd to be trusted with the care of the flock. Let your faith rest on Christ as the sufficient shepherd of your soul and the souls and lives for those you pray for. But pray. We must pray and break routine sometimes in our comfortable lives in order to reach out to the hurting brethren by writing a letter or supporting missions that actually preach the gospel and plants Churches. The link I provided above enables Christians to write letters to imprisoned Christian who has lost their freedom for their faith. These believers are not able to kiss their children goodnight or make them breakfast every morning. Christian wives have not been able to lie down next to their Husbands at night and feel safe. These are our brothers and sister in the Lord, the elect and chosen with us in the beloved. I hope I have encouraged you to act and be a help to these who suffer for Jesus Christ our Lord and God.
Every pilgrim needs a companion in His or Her progress to the celestial city.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s