Harassment Of Believers

Sunday, March 26, 2017
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Mark 13:13 – And you will be hated by all men for My name's sake, but he who endures to the end will be saved. (NKJV)

We have a subscription to a Dutch-language newspaper which is published here in Canada and consists mostly of news and articles about and from the Netherlands. In the December 2016 issue, there was an article about a political party in the government that wants to remove the protection of Christians according to long-established laws, like the freedom of a minister of the gospel to refuse to perform certain functions for moral reasons; the "Sunday Law", which allows a Christian to refuse to work on the Lord's Day; and the words, "by the grace of God", and prayer after the throne speech. The article stated that there is a distinct possibility that Christians in the Netherlands will at some point in the future actually have to worship in secret in an effort to escape the ridicule of the non-believing majority. One journalist was quoted as writing, "Harassment of Christians is a good thing. The more they are obstructed, the better it is."

There is a great number of passages in the Bible that indicate that Christians should expect to be harassed for their faith. Jesus said,

John 15:18 – If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. (NIV)

Matthew 5:10-12 – Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (NKJV)

1 Peter 4:12a,14 – Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. (NKJV)

We know from what we read in the newspaper and see on television that Christians who believe in the truth of the Bible are being labelled as intolerant, bigoted, and judgmental, even though they are trying their best to act in loving ways toward those who disagree with them. Jesus encouraged us to be steadfast in our love and loyalty for Him, for it won't be easy.

Matthew 16:24 – Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." (NKJV)

Remember that those who endure to the end will be saved!

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, it is with a heavy heart that we come to You in prayer for brothers and sisters in Christ who are being harassed for their faith. We are so disturbed by the insults and hatred of Christians that is taking place in different areas. We pray that a change can come about. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.

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About the author:

Joel Jongkind <austria67@bmts.com>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    A good word Joel.

    Thank you for your strong word of Faith in this time of unbelievers. May God bless you for your Faith and helping to keep the word alive.

    Very disturbing news indeed Joel, may the Lord continue to strengthen all of His people as the story of this world continues to unfold.

    Thank you for your timely devotional Joel. More and more the rift between Christians and non-Christians grow and, as you say, all we can do is hold fast.

    Joel, thanks for this reminder about persecuted Christians. Praying for persecution to stop and until then, may they find refuge. Maranatha, even so come quickly Lord Jesus, for sure then all suffering will cease. Thanks again for writing. Blessings.

    Good Morning, Joel, and thank you for your devotional. We in Texas are part of the supposed call “Bible Belt.” Many in our area are the ones who react rather strongly to the “dissenters” such as those about whom you wrote. Their words hurt my heart, but I understand how they feel threatened. AND, as you say, there is more to come. Your thoughtful words are appreciated.
    My husband traveled extensively throughout the world for his work… often your words remind me of some of his experiences.

    Hi Joel, hopefully these words will jog a few people to “wake up and smell the coffee”. Too many so-called believers are so lukewarm towards the reality of what is creeping into our country that they embrace the “do-gooders philosophy” ie. Do good to them that hate you and despitefully use you to extremes. There is a point at which the freedom of such people ends at the end of my nose. Maybe I sound somewhat negative towards such a mindset, but we need to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves in what is taking place on the political front in our country.

    That’s a big AMEN Brother to the prayer.

    Very good but I believe this should be shared with your M.P. as well as your local newspaper.
    It could be serious.

    Boy howdy, yes, stuff like that is happening more and more, in various ways. We have occasionally talked about how this country preaches tolerance – you’re supposed to tolerate everything and everyone…except Christians. As you said, the New Testament is clear that we should expect this kind of thing.

    Dear Joel:
    It is scary, even discouraging to realize how Christians are treated.
    I have heard that that is sometimes what it takes for the church to grow.
    We pray for that result.

    Good Morning Joel:
    It is distressing to hear of the Christians’ plight in Holland. Yet, when the journalist wrote, “The more they are obstructed, the better it is,” he may be correct. God gave us a great example from ancient Egypt when the more the Israelites were oppressed, the greater they became (Exodus 1:8-12).
    So don’t be overly grieved, Joel. What God did in the past, he can do again.

    Hi Joel
    Don’t disagree with what you said … except that I find many Christians ARE judgmental, which is sad considering the One whose name we take was dangerously tolerant of others (dangerous to himself). I think the best we can do as Christians is to live as Christ would want us to live (without being too judgmental of others) and to have others judge us by our tolerance and inclusivity (as Jesus was tolerant and inclusive)
    Keep writing – I enjoy your devotionals!
    Dear Joel Jongkind,
    Thank you for the fine, scripture supported devotional.
    I know that God CAN cause the change if he chooses to do so.
    Keep writing.

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