The beauty of the Christian church is that we are all in mission together (even though with the disunity and in-fighting within the church it may not always seem that way). We all have a common conviction and are devoting our lives to the one Lord Jesus Christ; that is why we speak the words of the Apostles’ or Nicene Creed every Sunday. Those ancient words keep us accountable for our words and actions and they connect us to the church through time and space. Christians all over the world speak these same words as a reminder of why they gather. We are united with our brothers and sisters across the world in our common belief.
It is also important to pay attention to the persecuted church around the world because it may not be too long until we experience persecution. We like to think that we are already experiencing persecution (and to a certain extent we are seeing mild persecution on the rise) but it is nothing in comparison to what others around the world are experiencing and likely what we might experience in the years to come.
So what can you do? Here are three practical ways to be engaged:
1. Read and follow organizations dedicated to the persecuted church around the world. A great resource is the Voice of the Martyrs (www.persecution.net). Also, I shared a link (http://frrme.org/) earlier in the week about the work of the Bishop of Baghdad Canon Andrew White. You can check out his blog and one of the organizations that are supporting the Christian church in Iraq.
2. Pray for fellow brothers & sisters around the world who are giving up their lives, their families, their security, and all they own for the sake of Jesus Christ. Ask for God’s protection, strength, and encouragement as they stand for their belief.
3. Watch that we don’t get complacent with the Gospel and the rights/freedoms we have to meet and share the Goodnews of Jesus. Take advantage of the opportunities we have to share Jesus with those around us. Commit yourself to be a student of the Word that you will not be deceived or convinced to compromise on the whole truth of the Gospel.