Feeling Safe?

Most of us know the story of Jesus’ friend Lazarus. Basically, Lazarus died. He was dead and buried and beginning to decompose when Jesus arrived on the scene and raised him from the dead. For me this is the most spectacular of all Jesus’ miracles. It is all chronicled in John 11.

Interestingly, being raised from the dead is not the end of the story for Lazarus. We see in John 12 that because of Jesus’ interaction with Lazarus, he was now being noticed. John 12:9 records that that the same folks desiring to kill Jesus now want to take Lazarus out also. Can you imagine? Jesus brings you back from the dead and now there is a hit out on you.

The more I meditated on this story the more it hit home to me that this world isn’t always safe when you fly the banner of the kingdom. We are fortunate that living in America we are for the most part able to worship and spread the gospel without fear of a reprisal or violence. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for all Christians. I read a sad article (check it out here) today about Christians that are being targeted for assignation in India. The article said that one could receive up to $250 for killing a pastor. Now more than ever we need to pray for our brothers and sisters in foreign lands that risk their lives to share the good news about our King.

So what’s the take away? For me it’s realizing that we are all kind of like Lazarus. We were dead and rotting and now Jesus has called us forth to be alive, and if Lazarus wasn’t safe, and the Apostle Paul wasn’t safe, and Stephen wasn’t safe, and Dietrich Bonheoffer wasn’t safe, and Rachael Scott in Columbine wasn’t safe, and these Christians in India are not safe, and countless other martyrs who have paid the ultimate price to follow Jesus weren’t safe, then why should I be? Have I become too comfortable? I posted earlier that the reason I vote is because Americans have given sacrificed so that I may exercise that liberty. How much more valuable is the blood of Jesus? What is our response to that sacrifice?

Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to not be persecuted; I just hope if the time ever comes I will be ready to give it all. Just like Jesus did.

Thoughts?

Grace and Peace.

Tony

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Feeling Safe?

  1. Wow, $250 for a Pastor’s life! I realize that to somebody struggling in India that may be a lot of money but here in the States it’s not much. We have it so good here and we take it for granted. We are free to worship freely and even those who do not share our faith are allowed to worship without that type of persecution. Some say that religious persecution causes the Word to spread. I’m not so sure about that. It is a test that will weed out those who might just play along (if you know you could be killed for being a Christian and you still worship you’re either foolish or really mean it), and there will be a few who take the persecution as a dare but for the most part I don’t think it helps spread the Word. Oppression in a more general sense will cause people to seek meaning in an otherwise miserable existence and I think that is more likely to be the root cause of an outbreak of Christianity in areas where it is banned. This is a testament to the power of the Word. It gives meaning to the everyday struggles of life. Back on the point, I am glad I am safe and I’m not ready to go where I’m not, at least not yet. What would happen if it stopped being safe to worship openly here in the States? I think many would claim to care but it would just be because they are being told they can’t do something. Many others would go underground and worship anyway. It’s really hard to imagine. Who’s going to track my covert blogging and quiet-time behind a locked door? Could there really be a time when two or three would be attacked for meeting in His name? Apparently in India they are…

  2. Bro,

    Great post! I believe it was Nathan Hale who said “I regret that I have but one life to give for my country” I wonder how many Christians would say the same about Jesus. But none of us know for sure if we would be willing to die for our Lord and Savior. Even Peter denied Christ three times before the roster crowed. But the resurrection changed everything and seeing Jesus alive and well emboldened the Disciples and made them fearless. I think that’s what we as Christians need to do. We need to realize that Jesus does live and has promised us eternal life if we follow him. We need to stand boldly in our beliefs and show no fear.
    Your right, we are kind of like Lazarus. Just think before we were saved we were kind of like zombies just roaming the Earth, half dead and desperately trying to feed our flesh. And once we ate from the Bread of Life we were reborn and stood out from the rest of the world. I hate to use the Zombie reference but have you ever noticed that Zombies can tell the difference between themselves and people who are alive? I think we can apply that analogy to Christians and our persecutors. I believe we Christians stand out from others, especially in places we Jesus is not well known. I also feel very blessed to live in this country and not have to fear for my life because I am a Christian but I believe we still have to keep an eye out for the enemy. Although he might not be trying to physically kill us he has plenty of other ways to bring misery and spiritual death into our lives.

    Love ya Bro,

    Chris

  3. Great Post Tony! On a side note – i read ” Rachael’s Tears” a few months ago. Rachael Scott’s parents wrote this after the death of their daughter and it includes several of her journal entries. For such a young girl, her faith was incredible and her devotion to Jesus in a time of evil is remarkable. She stood strong 🙂

    I think we do take our safety and freedom to study God’s word for granted. I sit at Starbucks at lunch many days, reading my bible…….with my photo Id badge, full name displayed, open for everyone to see….and I’m safe. In light of Thanksgiving, I am so very thankful that I live in a country where that is possible. I hope I am always thankful for that.

    Happy Turkey Times!!!
    Tabitha

  4. Chris,
    I found you analogy very helpful so don’t apologize for the zombies reference, remember,

    Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

    So even in a non-Christian film (Dawn of the Dead, wasn’t it?) we can find a good analogy for Christian life. The zombies needed to feed on the living flesh as the dead have nothing to provide. Just as feeding the desires of the flesh is not profitable to the Christian, instead we need to feed on the living word of God. Fortunately God has made the supply abundant for all who desire it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s