Persecution Will Come
Topic: Persecution Passage: Matthew 10:16–10:25
With some notable exceptions, when it comes to persecution, Christians in Amercia in the 19th, and the 20th, and 21st centuries, have had it pretty easy. This is quite an anomoly especially when compared to what the church has had to endure in other times and other places around the world.
I found some statisitics. Just about this year around the world, it's estimated that every month in 2017 an average of 322 Christians are murdered for their faith, 214 churches each month around the world are destroyed, burnt to the ground, and around 772 acts of violence per month are carried out and these are just the ones that are reported to Christian reporting agencies.
This year approximately 215 million Christians around the world experience high, or very high, or extreme persecution. North Korea remains the most dangerous place to be a Christian for fourteen straight years, according to Open Doors International. North Korea murders and imprison Christians all the time.
Islamic extremism remains the global dominant driver of persecution responsible for initiating oppression and conflict in thirty-five out of the fifty top countries for it. The total number of persecution incidents in the top fifty most dangerous countries has increased this year revealiing that persecution of Christians worldwide is a rising trend. The killing of believers in Nigeria saw an increase, in just this year so far, of 62%.
And the killings of Christians is now more geographically dispersed than in almost all the other time periods studied. Hitting closer to home, twenty-three Christian leaders in Mexico and four in Colombia were recently killed, specifically for their faith, according to Open Doors International.
Then of course, just last Sunday an evil man murdered twenty-six Christians in Sutherland Springs, TX during their worship service. But these wicked people will not succeed. As a matter of fact, when they kill Christians, they're actually doing the opposite of what they think they're doing. They think that they're destroying the church, but Tertullian said, "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church."
And it has been that way throughout church history. That whenever Christians are persecuted and murdered, that is the time when the Church experiences the most growth. When they kill us, we multiply. It's because these people don't understand. The enemies of Christ don't understand that for us, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. And when the world see believers in Jesus standing for their faith, standing strong, and returning hatred with love, when they see that, God seems to do something in the hearts of people in the world and turn their hearts. It makes them want to join the church.
May God help His Church to bear up under persecution. One thing we can do is to pray for our brothers and sisters around world.