He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son
– Colossians 1:13 (ESV)
We have been saved.
Our deliverance has come through Divine intervention in the Son of man who suffered, bled and died for sake, only to rise again from the tomb and conquer death itself to reign and rule this kingdom forever. He did it to save us and he asked for very little in return other than for us to accept Him as Lord and live under His Word as his servants.
However, He did share a caveat with His followers.
We will suffer for His sake.
Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. – John 15:20 (NKJV)
But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you,delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake. – Luke 21:12 (NKJV)
Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. – Matthew 5:11 (NKJV)
We may not see it, but many suffer for His sake. They claim His name in places where they face firing squads and lifelong imprisonment for doing so. They preach His Word in places where death stares them in the face for uttering a word of the sacred text that others find to be blasphemous. They walk in His ways in places where they are persecuted, punished and put out due to their newly found joy and freedom.
These are modern day martyrs. They are not the early church believers of the First Century of whom we read about in Acts. These are not the famed Apostles of Jesus who endured persecution by the Sanhedrin for speaking in His name. No, these are men, women and children who were once Hindu, Muslim (Moslem) and countless other faiths prior to coming out of the darkness that Paul speaks of and into the kingdom of the Son of God. They face terror and treachery, not for fame or glory. They do so for the sake of the Savior.
For those of us in the United States and other free countries in the West and elsewhere, we must look at all of the freedoms that we take for granted and all of the freedoms that He has granted to us in light of the realization that we do not suffer like these other Christians. The threat of losing your nonprofit status due to taking a public stance on abortion, immigration or same-sex unions/ marriages is not persecution. After all, there was a church that did good works and accepted free will offerings long before there was an IRS that provided an added tax benefit of a write-off for yearly contributions.
Let us renew our vision of working for the Lord. Let us recharge our spirit of joy and thanksgiving as we exercise our freedoms to spread the Good News with fervor and tenacity. Let use every ounce of our being to take this charge and calling of Christianity to a higher level of manifestation with prayer and through His power. Let us awaken American and all of the communities, barrios, ‘hoods and trailer parks within it by a force of faith that sweeps every street and attacks every avenue with the Word of Jesus Christ. Let us use Bible tracts, billboards, newspaper and magazine ads, Twitter feeds and hashtags, and everything else that we have within our legal means to spark a new spirit for the sake of the Savior.
There are those who still suffer for His name. We may not see them. We may never hear of them and their stories. Yet, we must do our part for the kingdom in His name and for His sake.