Sunday, May 3, 2009

Martyrdom—What’s That?

Some TV preachers are still teaching that you'll become hyper-prosperous if you just trust them, if you dig deep and give money to them. Some even prophecy of huge future economic blessing coming your way if you will simply confess it and use the "force of faith" to create your own financial destiny. But when was the last time you heard one teaching that you, as a Westerner, might very well be killed by lost people unless you openly deny your faith in Jesus Christ? Yes, physically dying in Jesus because you are determined to stay faithful to the most faithful One who loves you and died for you--that's Martyrdom!


Perhaps you still somehow feel that it would be a good thing for you to support em.. a good thing for the Church to support em.. or a good thing for these false teachers to simply keep being funded by people like us? I don't know why you would even think these type of TV charlatans who use half truths and spiritual poison if you will.. who masquerade as real Christian ministers within churches should even continue on doing their own thing in Jesus Name. They are deceived and deceiving many innocent people and would all go away if no more money was mailed in to them. And some of them have really honed their skills well--they are doing a great job at keeping people in the dark by keeping their sermonette for Christianettes solely "positive".. avoiding all Bible terms that might not make people feel good about themselves.. yes, preachin' it just like we Westerners love to hear it.. tickling itching ears so you and I can have better self esteem inside. What do you think about all that? I personally don't like to waste my time watching these often well meaning warped individuals (Here's why: 2 Tim. 4:3).


Personally, I'd rather tell you the truth in love and have you real mad at me now (though, I really want to be a blessing to all people and not ever make anyone mad..), than tell you something you merely feel like hearing and then have you become more mad at me later on you stand before the Great White Throne Judgment Seat and a holy God. Telling the whole truth, isn't that how we all should care for others who are in danger? Of course I'll try to wait on the Lord.. for the right timing, tact, and tone as I tell people I meet.  


"American Christian parents need to start preparing their believing sons and daughters for future martyrdom" said an ex-Moslem man recently.


That's quite a statement huh! Are you ready for that kind of thing? Have you, as a parent, helped your kids to get ready for long-term-faithfulness.. to be faithful to God no matter the cost? Why not? Words like those are so foreign to American parent's ears are they. We naturally always want the best for our kids, just like we had it when we grew up. But it's a new day in these parts of the world now.


James said, "Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone" (Jam. 1:12-13, nkjv). Who wants temptations to endure--that sounds so uncomfortable! Perhaps you have your own questions about this verse.


What is required of you, Christian servant? God says, ".. it is required in stewards that one be found faithful" (1 Cor. 4:2). It's time to endure temptation and trials, submit to God's authority, resist the devil, avoid all sinning and simply go the distance with Christ walking closely with Him! It's high time we each make Christ Jesus our Lord, rather than merely our Savior. Please do the former without leaving the later undone.


Not seeking to become a hyper-negative-thinker or a paranoid whacked alarmist here, but rather an upbeat balanced practical realist as I hope to be.. I indeed believe these are good words for this era, from this non-hostile, ex-Muslim man. Q: How many Western churches these days talk about trials, temptations, testings, pain, sin, dying to self, or possible future martyrdom? How many teach verse by verse through the entire Bible to feed God's flock rather than fleece them.. and how many even win unbelievers to a saving faith of Jesus by giving out the bad news along with the Good News (or even try to do that)?


Today, unfortunately Christians know more about popular pop-psychology than about what basic Bible verses say. Today, we know more about getting in touch with our "inner child," than about dying to our old man. We're into fixing memories and exploring our dreams way too long. We don't even know what that means when the Bible teaches about denying our fleshly nature, or the demands of the world system.


We've been the most prosperous nation in all of history—a great country—but I do believe that suffering is is on the horizon and headed our way.


Some people call America a post-Christian-nation with godly roots, but I say it is an anti-Christian country now, and in a country that has for the most part sadly become like this one has, which is postured to soon becoming more oppressive to the Church (unless there is a national awakening as I pray for..), I do agree with that ex-Moslem man!


You remember how Jesus warned people about difficult coming events and how He even said "to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, 'These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.'" (Rev. 2:8-11, nkjv).

Why should we listen up and take heed to this kind of stuff? Why do we do what we do for the Lord? Well, because we know the Bible is totally true!

Our lives come and they go so quickly—our temporary lives here on earth are spent so fast and they are likened unto “a vapor of smoke,” as the Word of God declares. Smoke in the air dispears so rapidly.

It's because there is really such a thing as ETERNITY outside of this current time continuum that we live in here, and you and I will spend our eternity in either one of two real places—in a place called heaven or in hell. For real! And we will each decide before we go into eternity—for not to decide is to decide.

And you and I can actually know when we are saved ..and I mean ”saved” in the biggest sense of the term (1 Jn. 5:13). Only people who have made their eternal reservations in advance so to speak, by accepting God’s only Solution as they suck air down here on earth (are alive physically, for you can’t be saved after you die..); by accepting the bloody cross of Christ and His totally empty grave... those who have put their full trust in the Bible Jesus by starting a new relationship with Him, being forgiven and born again spiritual (see John 3) ..will even see the inside of the new Jerusalem—heaven. We do what we do so that all will live according to the truth and go tell the Gospel to as many people as will listen.

Those are some good words for today from that ex-Muslim man. It's time to get ready and help our believing children also become prepared! Why would some Christians live like kings and queens of old and never see persecution, while others see it? We would be fools to think it will be as it always has been here. We also should not fear what we might suffer or be killed by if we are in Christ. Are you?  

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