Bible Studies for Life Lesson for March 27- Stay the Course
March 16 2011 by Joel Stephens, pastor, Westfield Baptist Church

Focal Passages: 1 Peter 4:1-2, 7-19

His name is Shoaib Assadullah. Shoaib is a Muslim convert to Christianity who lives in Afghanistan where leaving the Muslim faith is a capital offense.

According to Voice of the Martyrs, Shoaib was arrested on Oct. 21, 2010, for giving another man a Bible (see story at www.persecution.com).

The judge told Shoaib on Jan. 3 that he had one week to renounce Christ, or he would face up to 20 years in prison, and possibly even death.

Shoaib’s choice is not uncommon in the history of Christian persecution:
  • deny Christ and he will be set free;
  • refuse and he could lose his life.
He worries about what the authorities will do to his family, and he prays that he can remain strong in his faith.

He recently told Voice of the Martyrs contacts in Afghanistan: “Please pray that I can stand well. I am not afraid of death.”

Estimates declare that over 170,000 Christians are martyred for their faith every year. These are our brothers and our sisters in Christ. By the time you finish reading this article someone will be arrested and will face the death penalty because of their Christian faith.

Has God abandoned them? Of course not!

He is glorified through their perseverance in the midst of suffering.

Persecution is not punishment, it is an indication that we are living as Christ would have us to live. “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12, NKJV).

Why do they suffer while we in America continue unharmed?

Perhaps the answer is found in another question: When was the last time we shared our faith publicly with a lost person as Shoaib did?

After all, why should the evil one bother us if our spiritual mediocrity poses no threat to his dominion?

Pray for our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted right now.

Pray for our nation, that we might remain free to worship as the Bible teaches.

Pray for one another, that when persecution does come, that we will stand strong.

Oh sovereign Lord, grant that we may live lives that glorify You and ravage the enemy. And when his fiery darts are hurled our way, may we stand strong in Your strength. May every breath including our last valiantly declare that You alone are our King! 

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3/16/2011 3:28:00 AM by Joel Stephens, pastor, Westfield Baptist Church | with 0 comments




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