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Suffering in the Footsteps of Jesus

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Title: Suffering in the Footsteps of Jesus


1
Suffering in the Footsteps of Jesus
  • Suffering for Christ in the U.S. how will we
    handle it? Rom. 816-18

2
Introduction
  • Weve already discussed the suffering that exists
    in this world because of sin.
  • How God cursed Satan, man, and the earth because
    of sin. Gen. 314-19
  • How sin further compounds the suffering
    experienced in this world.
  • How God allows/wills for His children to suffer
    in this sinful world. Lk. 2426 Jas. 12-4

3
Introduction
  • More specifically persecution comes against
    Christians for proclaiming the name of Jesus.

The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that
we are children of God, and if children, heirs
also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ,
if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also
be glorified with Him. Romans 816-17
4
Recent Worldwide Persecutions
  • Aug 04, 2009 BANGLADESH POLICE TORTURE PASTOR,
    TWO OTHERS
  • At the urging of local Muslim leaders, police in
    western Bangladesh have tortured a pastor
    (Habibur Rahman) and two other Christians for
    legally proclaiming Christ
  • The first question the police commander asked
    him, Rahman said, was, Why did you become
    Christian?
  • Using a lot of filthy words, he charged me that
    I was teaching the Bible and converting people to
    Christianity in this area, the pastor told
    Compass.

5
Recent Worldwide Persecutions
  • Aug 11, 2009 TEHRAN, IRAN Christian Women
    Pressured to Recant Faith in Christ
  • Maryam and Marzieh were originally arrested on
    March 5, 2009 and have suffered greatly while in
    prison, suffering ill health, solitary
    confinement and interrogations for many hours
    while blindfolded.
  • In its report, Elam Ministries says "On
    Saturday, August 8, Maryam and Marzieh were
    summoned to appear in court on Sunday, August 9
    in order to hear a verdict on their case.

6
Recent Worldwide Persecutions
  • In Court On August 9 Elam Ministries says that
    during one tense moment in the questioning,
    Maryam and Marzieh made reference to their
    belief that God had convicted them through the
    Holy Spirit. Mr. Haddad told them, "It is
    impossible for God to speak with humans."
  • Marzieh asked him in return, "Are you questioning
    whether God is Almighty? Mr. Haddad then
    replied, "You are not worthy for God to speak to
    you. Marzieh said, "It is God, and not you, who
    determines if I am worthy."

7
Recent Worldwide Persecutions
  • Aug 11, 2009 NIGERIA Death Toll Climbs
  • With 12 Christians confirmed killed in rioting
    ignited by an Islamic sect opposed to Western
    education, the Christian community in northern
    Nigeria's Borno state is still counting its
    lossesThe rioting instigated by an Islamic
    extremist sect known as Boko Haram left hundreds
    of people dead and large property losses. Islam's
    strict Shariah law is already in force for
    Muslims in 12 northern states, but the sect is
    fighting to have it enforced more broadly in
    those states and to impose it throughout Nigeria.

8
Introduction
  • The fact is, however, such affliction upon
    Christians in the U.S. has been relatively very
    mild.
  • The writing is on the wall our decades of
    comfort are turning to increasing conflict.
  • We need to gird up our loins, prepare ourselves
    to endure the coming afflictions, and count
    ourselves worthy to suffer shame for the name of
    Jesus. Cp. Acts 541

9
Why Have We Suffered So Little?
  • In the U.S. today our nation has had a history of
    security, peace, comfort and wealth.
  • We know that God is able to lift any nation who
    seeks after Him. Prov. 1434
  • Our history is filled with people/events in which
    our God and Savior was at the forefront of our
    conscience.
  • During this time the Lords church experienced
    great growth and untold peace. Cp. Acts 931

10
Why Have We Suffered So Little?
  • At some point our free society started
    minimizing our God and the name of Jesus Christ.
  • We have come to accept that Jesus is only
    acceptable within the walls of the church
    building.
  • Not coincidentally, we like Israel of old
    have become a prideful and complacent nation. Cp.
    Deut. 811-14

11
Why Have We Suffered So Little?
  • A weakened and materialistic church.
  • Instead of reaching the message of Christ to the
    lost we are content to limit the message of the
    cross to believers gospel meetings, bible
    studies, forums, lectures, etc.
  • Instead of primarily contending against
    non-Christian religions we primarily fight among
    other churches of Christ. cp. Mk. 325
  • Instead of being generously benevolent among our
    saints we stockpile the Lords money to protect
    ourselves from the proverbial rainy day (or more
    beautiful buildings).

12
Why Have We Suffered So Little?
  • In reality, were (currently) not being afflicted
    in our cause for Jesus Christ.
  • Satan doesnt have to attack Gods people if we
    are not trying to win souls for His cause. Cp.
    Mk. 325
  • If Satan is not attacking us will our Savior
    condemn us? Cp. Rev. 31-3

13
The Writing Is On The Wall From Comfort to
Conflict
14
Reports Within This Country are Steadily Growing.
  • Aug 05, 2009 LODI, CA The Right To Pray in
    Jesus Name
  • A former military chaplain who battled the U.S.
    Navy over the right to pray in Jesus' name is
    waging a similar fight in Lodi, Calif. In May,
    representatives from the Freedom From Religion
    Foundation sent the council a letter complaining
    about the practice, saying the prayers "lead a
    reasonable observer to believe that the Council
    is endorsing not only religion over nonreligion
    but also Christianity over other faiths."

15
Reports Within This Country are Steadily Growing.
  • Aug 10, 2009 COLUMBUS, OH Teen threatened
    with life converting from Islam.
  • Fathima Rifqa Bary, who turned 17 today, says
    her father twice threatened to kill her after
    learning she had become a Christian and had been
    baptizedShe is now seeking emancipation from her
    parents, claiming they would kill her to defend
    the family's honor if the Florida Department of
    Children and Families (DCF) returned her to their
    custodyShe and her family immigrated from Sri _
    Lanka and are not U.S. citizens.

16
Reports Within This Country are Steadily Growing.
  • Aug 10, 2009 LUBBOCK, TX Threatened by
    Muslims while teaching/preaching in local prison
  • Our guard was a female about the age of 50, and
    it is my firm belief that if those men had
    wanted to, they could have harmed or even killed
    us yesterday before she could have received the
    help needed to squelch the attacks. It is my
    conviction that yesterday was a glimpse of the
    future for all Christians in America.

17
The Writing Is On The Wall From Comfort to
Conflict
  • We need an attitude/endeavor shift if were going
    to meet the challenge.
  • Will we become like the church of old worthy to
    suffer shame for His name. Acts 541
  • This attitude is a paradox that many Christians
    in this country have difficulty grappling.
  • Many of us will fall away because we will not
    want to give up our comfort and ease.
  • Our endeavor needs to expand beyond the four
    walls of our fellowship teaching and preaching.
    Acts 542

18
The Writing Is On The Wall From Comfort to
Conflict
  • Our lives need more closely follow in the
    suffering of our Savior. 1 Pet. 41-2, 12-16
  • When this happens we shouldnt be surprised when
    our attitude/endeavors follow more closely to
    that of our Lord.
  • We will be hated by the world (not simply
    disliked) for Christs name. cp. Matt. 1022
  • By persecution/affliction coming from our
    government.
  • By jihadists.
  • By atheists.

19
Conclusion
  • Satan will take notice and start persecuting us
    like he has those who are martyrs for Christ.
    Cp. Rev. 213
  • The question is which one from among us will
    follow in the footsteps of our suffering Lord?
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