I recently read Killing Christians: Living the Faith Where It’s Not Safe to Believe by Tom Doyle… http://www.killingchristiansbook.com/ He also wrote Dreams and Visions.
He begins by explaining that the Church in America is not strong because the Church in America is not under persecution. Persecution is what grows the Church.
His stories are about Muslims in the Middle East today who have unique introductions to Christ, most by dreams and visions. It can be a death sentence for those who share their faith with others. We in the West cannot imagine the oppression these believers experience. They prefer torture or martyrdom over denying their faith.
Doyle suggests we ask ourselves two questions: “Am I willing to suffer for Jesus? Am I willing to die for Jesus? …From now until Jesus returns, persecution will increase and so will martyrdom.”
Doyle challenges us to pray for our brothers and sisters who live in danger. We all have good intentions, but we get busy. He suggests the 8thirty8 challenge. Set your watch or phone to 8:38 PM and when the alarm goes off, pray for those who, because of their faith in Christ, are in prison, persecution, or danger. Your prayers can be current and strategic, rather than the anemic Lord-bless-everyone-in-danger kind of prayers. Simply link to https://www.facebook.com/8thirty8 to learn specific needs. The page posts daily SOS prayer alerts for Jesus followers worldwide.
Doyle says, “The timing is significant. As nighttime falls on us in the West, daytime is just beginning in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. And what will they face today? It could be persecution or maybe even death. By praying each evening, you send believers there into the day with a prayer of blessing and hope–and with the promise found in Romans. Stand with your family.”
Where did 8thirty8 originate? It’s from Romans 8:38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
- Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Hebrews 13:3
- Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28
- SONG: GOD IS READY – Words & Music by Kathleen; Robin Poem by Elizabeth Cheney–circa 1931
[This life is temporary. This life is short. When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever. Where will the “real you” live? Will you live for all eternity separated from God? Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven? Learn more so you can make your most important decision: http://www.godlife.com/gospel/ and http://www.godlife.com/en/about-christianity