The Reality of Suffering for The Faith

I am teaching through the books of 1 and 2 Timothy at my church and one point is constantly being made–the Christian life involves persecution and suffering.  There is no way around it and there is no way to truly avoid it and stay faithful to the faith.  I have told my congregation over the last few weeks that they must understand that now is the time to store up for themselves the wisdom of the Lord so that when that time comes to suffer they are prepared in heart and soul to do so.

I am not convinced that everyone in my church believes this, but I am convinced that it is true nonetheless.  Well, an important article was written that shows how close the time of persecution is for American Christians.  It starts with the military, here is a key snippet:

The statement, released to Fox News, follows a Breitbart News report on Obama administration Pentagon appointees meeting with anti-Christian extremist Mikey Weinstein to develop court-martial procedures to punish Christians in the military who express or share their faith.

(From our earlier report: Weinstein is the head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and says Christians–including chaplains–sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ in the military are guilty of “treason,” and of committing an act of “spiritual rape” as serious a crime as “sexual assault.” He also asserted that Christians sharing their faith in the military are “enemies of the Constitution.”)

Being convicted in a court martial means that a soldier has committed a crime under federal military law. Punishment for a court martial can include imprisonment and being dishonorably discharged from the military.

Read the rest here.

I leave you with the words of Paul to Timothy which we have been considering for several weeks (emphasis mine):

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel,
for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal;
but the word of God is not imprisoned. 
For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen,
so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.
It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; 
If we endure, we will also reign with Him;
If we deny Him, He also will deny us
(2Timothy 2:8-12 NASB)

About Matt Henry

Middle-aged pastor trying to figure out how to be missional in his world. Loves his wife, his children, and his dog Bear. I have a love of woodworking even though woodworking doesn't always love me. The name is xagete but is pronounced exegete.

Posted on May 1, 2013, in Bible Observations, Church, Evangelism, Politics and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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