TOUGH SCRIPTURES ON TRIBULATION AND PERSECUTION BUT

Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles Matthew 10:16-18

As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.Matthew 13:20-21, Mark 4:16-17

strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.Acts 14:22

For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction, just as it has come to pass, and just as you know. For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain.1 Thessalonians 3:4-5

Here is the BUT

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” NO, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:35-39

Peter explained how Christians should respond when they suffer because of their beliefs. Called the “apostle of hope,” Peter’s primary message is to trust the Lord, live obediently no matter what your circumstances, and keep your hope fixed on God’s ultimate promise of deliverance. Suffering is to be expected, but it is temporary and yields great blessings for those who remain steadfast. Peter probably wrote 1 & 2 Peter in the mid-60s A.D.

God ordains, or appoints genuine believers to suffer, with the explicit purpose of bringing us to final glorification. It tests our faith, removes the impurities thereof, and produces perseverance in us so that we might behold Him face to face and enter the Kingdom of God. Naturally then, it must be restated that those who do not endure cannot obtain the crown of life. Suffering then not only waves a banner for us to see Christ more clearly and behold Him in faith, it separates the sheep from the goats (Matthew 13:20-21).

Remember what Jesus suffered for your salvation and that He made it possible for the Father to send the Holy Spirit to be your Comforter, Counsellor and Teacher. He will uphold you through all trials and tribulations.

DO YOU REALLY KNOW FULLY, WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST?

 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of the One having called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.1 Peter 2:9 

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 

Once you enter in the Light of Christ, where everything has meaning, everything is important, everyone has purpose, then, and only then, can you truly love others and live a life that is pleasing to God.  We become keenly aware of the importance of obedience to God and how we perceive and care for others.  This is not simply a gospel of “being nice” but a deep knowledge that the devil is “playing for keeps.”  We must view people as souls either on the path to destruction or walking the straight and narrow.  We are not permitted to “cross the road” or “look away” when we see someone taking a beating by Satan.  Like the Good Samaritan, we are to GET INVOLVED.

Remember, when Jesus sent out the 70 disciples “to heal the sick, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.” they returned saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” Luke 10:9,17

Jesus told them not to rejoice in this fact but rejoice instead that their names are written in the Book of Life (Luke 10:20), He nevertheless acknowledged the fact that devils MUST obey them. This is TRUTH! When passionate Christians wake up in the morning, Satan should literally SHAKE IN FEAR. We should be a daily reminder to him that his days are numbered. Sadly, how many of us believe and act out this TRUTH!

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, It is time for your army of spiritual warriors to be released.  Let us not be bound up with things of this earth but let us set our sights on Your Heavenly Kingdom. Let us never forget the One who died for us so that we may win the spiritual battle with the enemy of our souls.  Already, we are seeing more of our brothers and sisters in Christ being martyred for their faith and we know from end times prophecies, that in the last days before Jesus returns that will only increase. Help us to be fully cognisant of the sacrifices that will need to be made. Please send the power of Your Holy Spirit afresh this Pentecost to equip us so that we may be courageous warriors in Your service. 

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I HAVE DECIDED TO FOLLOW JESUS

What an inspiring story behind this song. ” I have decided to follow Jesus”. Listen to this short video and be inspired or at least challenged.

It tells the story of a family in the Garo tribe from Meghalaya, then called Assam in India, who faced persecution just because of their faith in Jesus Christ. The lyrics are based on the last words of a Garo tribesman.

May I suggest you share it widely amongst family and friends.

200 CHRISTIANS MURDERED IN PLATEAU STATE, NIGERIA

In a 60-hour killing spree about 200 Christians were slaughtered in Plateau State even as the U.S. ambassador at large for International Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback was departing Nigeria.

Sam Brownback’s one-week visit was pockmarked with six suicide bombings by Boko Haram in one day (the largest single day detonations), deadly Shiite clashes with the police, altercations between local Muslims and a community, and continuing killings by Muslim Fulani Herdsmen.

 

The grand finale of this perfect storm of violence was the triple-digit massacre in Plateau State. 

Overnight, I have been inundated with photos too gruesome to share here of horribly mutilated bodies of children hacked to death and even after death for maximal horror effect, charred corpses and bodies stacked in mass graves.

Already the Fulani have justified this heinous crime against humanity.

The sad thing is this is not the first time, nor will it be the last. In 2012 when Fulani massacred over 60 Christian villagers in Plateau State, an executive of the same cattle-rearing group said the same thing.

Worse still, some of the communities attacked this weekend were attacked previously. One community was part of the notorious 2010 Dogo Na Hawa Massacre in which 500 Christians were killed.

That massacre eight years ago spurred me to launch the “Justice For Jos” project that has evolved to covering Boko Haram atrocities. Ironically, the Herdsmen atrocities have continued unabated while Boko Haram hogged the spotlight.

We hear reports that authorities have ordered mass burials to hide the true casualties.

In amongst the horror, a kind-hearted and brave Muslim cleric told the BBC how he saved about 262 Christians from being killed in the last attack in villages in Plateau State by suspected Fulani herdsmen. He said “upon seeing victims fleeing from suspected herdsmen who attacked Nghar Yelwa village, I opened the door of the mosque and hid them.”

Report by Emmanuel Ogebe founded Jubilee Campaign’s Justice for Jos Project, in Abuja, Nigeria.