Suffering for Christ

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 10
A laborer in the Lord's vineyard who recently returned to Bolivia from a visit in this country has written that eight Protestant Christians have just been murdered. He personally knew those who were brutally killed by a mob and knew them to be real Christians, so for them it is to "be with Christ which is far better," but how sad for their loved ones who are left behind! This incident is but another in a long and constantly growing list of atrocities committed against believers in the Lord Jesus Christ in many Latin countries. These things are seldom reported in this country, but from time to time information reaches us of some such cases. Not long ago a popular magazine in Mexico dared to expose some of the many murders of Protestants in that country.
We who live in lands of religious liberty and outward toleration are apt to forget that true testimony to the Lord Jesus is still unwanted and hated in this world. Ever since the Lord Jesus suffered at the hands of wicked men, His followers have often been subjected to ill treatment. This world, is not only stained with the blood of Christ, but it is stained with the blood of millions of the true followers of Jesus. Just think of the blood of the early saints that was shed by infuriated and misguided Jews, then of all the thousands upon thousands who were martyred by pagan Rome (under the Caesars), and later the millions put to death, because of their testimony, by fanatical zealots of religion, beginning at the city of Rome and reaching to every quarter of the globe. And in the book of Revelation we are told that the great religious system that is to be dominant in the revived Roman Empire is "drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.'' Rev. 17:66And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. (Revelation 17:6).
Fellow-Christian, even though we ourselves may have liberty and protection (for which we should thank God) we should not be unmindful that we are part of that body composed of all true believers, many of whom have given their lives for the truth, and many are still suffering and dying. for His name's sake. The realization of this would make us more conscious of the fact that we are followers of Him who was cast out, and then the world would bear more of its true stamp in our minds. There is danger for us in the easygoing, indifferent Christianity of the day in this and some other countries. The Church has flourished most spiritually in days of persecution, but has always been wont to settle down and forget its own heavenly character and the hatred of the world when things were pleasant and easy. We are apt to forget the truth expressed in these words of the poet:
"Heirs of Thy shame and of Thy throne,
We bear Thy cross, and seek Thy crown."
If, however, we are left in this scene much longer it is possible and even probable that faithfulness to Christ will incur real persecution in all lands. May the Lord ever keep us mindful of His rejection, the present state of the world (although gilded and veneered), our connection with those who suffer for Christ, our own heavenly character, our proper testimony in the world, and give us a more hardy faith and
faithfulness wherever we are. Soon we shall be at home in the Father's house and find that every bit of faithfulness has been carefully noted, and we shall see it all duly rewarded.
Satan is still the god and prince of this world and he uses whatever character is best suited to his purposes of opposition to Christ in each land.
He is still the wily serpent, and we need the whole armor of God to protect us from his wiles. His wiles are the evil seductions that are set to trap our feet as we pursue the heavenly road. And how many wiles he has in this country! How easily we are attracted to the things of the world!
He is still the "angel of light" who brings false doctrine. He has all the cults and evil doctrines dressed up to trap the unwary.
But where it suits his purpose, he is still the roaring lion attacking the truth and all who faithfully maintain it.
"Should we to gain the world's applause,
Or to escape its harmless frown, Refuse to countenance Thy cause,
And make Thy people's lot our own, What shame would fill us in that day, When Thou Thy glory wilt display."