Posted in christian persecution, martyr, Sunday martyr moment

Sunday Martyr Moment: James, Timon, Parmenas, Philip

I am reading Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. According to this summary from Christian Book Summaries,

John_Foxe_from_NPG_cleaned“Writing in the mid-1500s, John Foxe was living in the midst of intense religious persecution at the hands of the dominant Roman Catholic Church. In graphic detail, he offers accounts of Christians being martyred for their belief in Jesus Christ, describing how God gave them extraordinary courage and stamina to endure unthinkable torture.” Continue reading “Sunday Martyr Moment: James, Timon, Parmenas, Philip”

Posted in christian persecution, theology

The days of Christian persecution in America are coming

By Elizabeth Prata

My good friend Pastor Phil Andrukaitis wrote this on Facebook this morning, with the accompanying photo-

The days are fast approaching when Christians in this country will be confronted face-to-face because of their faith in Jesus. Some saints will fearfully remain silent while other saints may fearfully proclaim the gospel in love. Either way, stand strong in the Lord. Scripture states that God will never leave or forsake those who trust in the Lord. He is our Rock and salvation.

 

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Many faithful pastors have been reminding and warning for years that Christians everywhere, including America, will face persecution. Scripture says,

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33).

strengthening the souls of the disciples and encouraging them to continue in the faith. “We must endure many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. (Acts 14:22).

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation. (1 Peter 4:12-13).

I’ve noticed, as I’m sure you have, that the unsaved world is blind to the glories of Christ.

They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch. (Matthew 15:14).

He does not understand the glories of Christ.

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14).

But there’s not understanding and not understanding. There’s blind and there’s blind. Let me explain.

Some in the Gospels who heard the Good News went away sad, as the Rich Young Ruler did. (Matthew 19:22). Others, even disciples, simply could not accept the hard truths Jesus was teaching, and simply drifted away. (John 6:60, 66).

However, others who were confronted with the truth had a much more drastic reaction. The Bible tells us that some will react harshly. We are actually warned against approaching these kind of people with holy words or deeds-

Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.  (Matthew 7:6).

The NASB says “tear you to pieces” which is apt for today’s discussion.

For example, anyone who rebuts, protests against, or refuses to bend to the homosexual agenda on the basis fo Christ is torn to pieces. Their business is ruined. Their character is assassinated. Their person or family is threatened. Their straits become dire because of the lawsuits they must defend or the job they lost, and so on.

Many Christians who who speak in the political arenas for conservative issues, or in any way positively about the current (or any Republican) President has been on the receiving end of all of the above as well.

Anti-abortion on the basis of what the Bible says? You’re torn to pieces.

Many people in these days who make a strong stand for Christ in the workplace or out, are also attacked viciously and bitterly. These kind of attacks are becoming more common in America. Social media makes it very easy to assassinate a person’s character in a moment’s time, with flash mobs inciting others getting whipped up so quickly. This is a fascinating article about that, and the subject who was fired was not even Christian:

The Scruton tapes: an anatomy of a modern hit job
How a character assassination unfolded on Twitter
By David Murray

We here in the States are not experiencing the hard persecution that our brethren do in places elsewhere. But we will. Jesus promised that we will have trouble, persecution, and anger against us. Should we escape the perils that Paul underwent? Should we be less hated even though our Savior was more hated? No.

The Hatred of the World
18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin,[a] but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’ (John 15:18-25).

They will hate you. They will hate me. We can be the kindest, most compassionate and personable people in the world, but holy words and holy deeds will incite them to violence. It’s only word violence now, though sadly with real and devastating consequences. But soon enough, as Pastor Phil noted above, we will suffer. It won’t be just character assassination any more, but bodily assassination.

Did you know that 16 of the 26 worshipers killed at Zion Church in Sri Lanka on Easter morning were children?

“How many of you are willing to die for Christ?” asked the teacher on Easter morning. Every one of the children dutifully raised their hands. [A few minutes later} Half the children died on the spot.

More of the story here. Had those children done anything to warrant assassination? Had they even thrown anything holy tothe dogs? No. As a matter of fact,t he suicide bomberwho detonated the bomb at Zion Church was in fact looking for the nearby Catholic church in Batticaloa but discovered on Easter morning that they had no Easter service and the church was empty. He wandered to the next available target instead, which happened to be Zion.

They were killed, just because.

I know you noticed that the politicos commenting on the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka refused even to mention those who were killed as Christians. That’s a soft persecution and one that shows their hatred even to the point of refusing to speak of the Name.

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11).

They refuse to bow. They refuse to name the name. But they will bow. Every tongue will confess to God. (Romans 14:11).

But between now and then, be prepared for hatred,persecution, anger, and trouble.

“The days are fast approaching when Christians in this country will be confronted face-to-face because of their faith in Jesus. Some saints will fearfully remain silent while other saints may fearfully proclaim the gospel in love. Either way, stand strong in the Lord. Scripture states that God will never leave or forsake those who trust in the Lord. He is our Rock and salvation.”

Posted in christian persecution, Uncategorized

Non-persecution guilt

I’m reading a martyr/persecution story called Hearts of Fire. Or, rather, I was reading it last summer. I stopped. I want to read the rest, but I feel too guilty.

Hearts of Fire is a publication from Voice of the Martyrs. The book blurb says,

The eight modern-day pilgrims featured in “Hearts of Fire” are the hidden jewels in the church universal. They are worthy role models of faith and passion, and women of every age will gain new strength and hope for their own times of crisis and trial as they read these inspiring stories.

Women, Men, families, and children undergo traumatic persecution which is recounted in the book. These are true stories. Some have happened in the recent past, others in the more recently distant past. Many Christians in this world experience these things every day. They run from men wielding machetes. The watch their church get bombed. They’re inside their church when it’s bombed. They come home to a burning house. Their children are kidnapped, or killed in front of them. They lose jobs, are exiled, flee to exile, and more.

Nothing of the sort is happening to me.

I live in America and Christians are not experiencing hard persecution yet. It is no risk to our lives to proclaim our faith. Not yet.

Even so, other people experience job pressures or soft persecution at their place of employment. Some live with the daily struggle of how to submit to an unbelieving spouse. Others in business experience the tidal wave of a litigious society bent on pushing the homosexual agenda. Still others live where there is no solid fellowship, doctrinal teaching, or support at their home churches. I don’t even have a dread disease to struggle with and learn how to exalt Jesus through it all.

To be clear, my life has not been a bed of roses. I have experienced traumatic events post-salvation for the cause of Jesus, but they haven’t lasted long or been life-threatening, or even put me off-kilter for more than a few weeks.

I’m not experiencing any of those pressures.

I feel guilty about it.

Of course, I don’t want persecution to come to me at this juncture, who would ask for it? I don’t want soft persecution in the form of harassment or employment pressure to come to me, who would? I don’t want hard living with a daily struggle of marital pressures of a child murder or spiritual wilderness living apart from any congregation of good doctrine.

But why should I escape?

If there is such a thing as survivor guilt, I have persecution guilt, or better stated, non-persecution guilt. If that makes sense.

Someone said to me that I am not going through a season of difficulty right now so that I can pray for others who are. That could be. It’s of some comfort. I do pray, so…

And yet I know the Lord is sovereign, and His ways are just and perfect. He has my life in His hands. He deems for it what is necessary for His glory and my sanctification. Who am I to grumble if I am in the pit of despair? Who am I to grumble if I am on the heights of comfort?

The lesson for me is to make the most of this time where my equanimity is abounding and I can study, pray, write, and help. I know that the Lord promised that any true believer will experience difficulties for His name. So I’m waiting. Tomorrow I may be diagnosed…be in a car crash…learn something terrible about my family…experience job loss…

Or I may go to the County Library book sale, get a coffee and come home.

The Lord is mysterious. Praise the Lord.

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Posted in america, christian persecution, decline, state of the church

Jesus Vomits: State of the Church 2015, part 1

State of the Church 2015, part 2
State of the Church 2015, part 3

Four years ago I assessed the State of the American Church in a multi-part series, writing from my own perspective in my own opinion based on Bible prophesies and warnings. (The links are on the right sidebar, scroll down.) The major themes and issues I wrote about in 2011 were–

  • Love among believers growing cold, something we’re prophetically warned about,
  • Failure to tend our anchor and look at the lighthouse, this translates to too many Christians not believing in the sufficiency of the word, something Hebrews imperatively warns us about,
  • Not having a biblical worldview, something the entire Bible repeatedly warns us about,
  • Believers, including pastors, who filled the vacuum of their non-biblical world view with a sinful attractional model, capturing goats instead of sheep, making church a carnal carnival, something Spurgeon predicted,
  • Carnality allowing the rise of spiritual abuse, something Jesus condemned in the Pharisees
  • The American church is increasingly not a safe place spiritually, something Peter prophesied.

How is the American church doing now, four years later?

The Great Wave Off Kanagawa, 1830, Wikipedia

So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of My mouth.  (Revelation 3:16 HCSB)

Four years are not a long time in an adult’s life. But in the church’s life, these past four years have been like dog years. According to this canine aging scale, a large scale dog’s age compared to a 4 year old human would be 34 years old now since I wrote the last State of the Church essay.

It has been a whirlwind of satanic activity and visible decline since the last time I’ve had an opportunity to prayerfully discern the State of the Church.

A few days ago I’d written two essays, here, and here, about the importance of memorizing scripture because persecution was coming to America and access to religious materials will be restricted. There will be suffering. I am not making a prophetic proclamation derived from direct revelation, I am stating what the scriptures say. (John 16:33, 1 Peter 1:6, 1 Peter 4:7, 1 Peter 4:12, & etc.)

We must memorize scripture and take the word seriously because the day is coming where oppression and persecution in America against Christians will play itself out in real ways. But the memorizing scripture is only the tip of the iceberg of the message I’m burdened to convey. Here is the rest. I’m saying it all at once because it is the time. It’s long I’ll break it up into several essays as I did the original State of the Church essay.

My heart’s desire is to equip the saints in the word and spark them to Godly action and holy living. I know that is yours too. We all come at it from different angles because we have different gifts. But every Christian has a mandate to boldly proclaim. And teachers are held to even higher standards.

THE BATTLE HAS NOW COME TO US

One of the things that I have observed in spiritual warfare is that events mount up, and there comes a tipping point. After the tipping point is reached, the events toward a particular path accelerate exponentially with rapidly reaching its inevitable outcome. This is of course usually the case in secular events. In spiritual events, especially prophecy, it seems that the set-up takes a long time but then it is fulfilled rapidly. The tipping point dramatically tips.
A time will come when instead of shepherds feeding the sheep, the church will have clowns entertaining the goats. CH Spurgeon

The particular path we’re on that’s accelerating so dramatically ends in the Tribulation with the saints overcome. June 26 and the Supreme Court’s decision about Homosexual Marriage was a major touchstone in the earthly battle for the soul of the church. Most mature Christians understand this.

Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, (Rev 13:7).

That’s where it’s all headed. The church won’t be overcome, the Revelation verse is another proof why the rapture will happen prior to the Tribulation because Jesus promised not to have the gates of hell prevail against His church. (Matthew 16:18) If the church hadn’t been raptured out prior to the Tribulation then the Matthew verse would be a lie. And God cannot lie. But suffice to say, the prophetic path that is laid out for us is near-obliteration of all saints from the earth.

Now, June 26 was a watershed moment in the church in America. This is easily seen and understood. What is not so well known or understood are the following things:

SATAN’S RELENTLESS HATRED

The relentless aggression and hatred satan and his minions have for Christ’s people and His church is something 99.9% of the American saints have no REAL clue as to the depth and evilness of. Oh, people intellectually acknowledge satan’s hatred, saying, “Sure, Jesus said trouble will come…” but they don’t believe it deep down. This is partly because satan’s hatred of us has been masked and suppressed all these decades and centuries since the first hard persecutions of antiquity, seen bubbling up for a while in the Catholic Church persecution of the true saints in the Middle Ages and once again briefly in the Holocaust, and today in ISIS for example, doing what they are doing to people now in the Middle East.

Meanwhile America had been enjoying a First Great Awakening, a Second Great Awakening, a Third Great Awakening, and according to the false prophets, another one is just on the horizon. Less discerning Christians have bought into that lie. In addition, each ‘awakening’ was less biblical than the last. Some consider that the “Jesus Movement” of the 1960-1980 era was a Fourth Awakening. These movements have lulled us. Why would we need to be awakened if we were consistently and properly zealous for the House of God in the first place?

Satan’s hatred for the church in America certainly has not been seen in visible ways as it has elsewhere. It’s mostly been hidden and underground, seen in the increase in false teachers, in accepted heresies, in tolerating sin. In America, we have not had physical persecution or limited-to-no access to Christian materials, and we have always had a voice in the public forum thanks to the Constitutional right of religious liberty. A Joel Osteen doesn’t seem like judgment to us as much as putting Christians in a cage and drowning them. Therefore we have mistakenly tended to believe either satan’s hatred of Jesus’ church isn’t as bad as we think or it won’t happen here.

The biggest problem facing the church is lack of discernment. If you can’t discern the truth you can die of a thousand heresies. – John MacArthur.
Paul saw this hatred in Galatians. He was astounded at the ease with which the false group had come in and polluted the Galatian church. He said that in Galatians 1:6- “I am astonished that you are so quickly…” the Greek word the Spirit used in Paul for ‘astonished’ is thaumazó, wonder at, be amazed (marvel), i.e. awestruck, “wondering very greatly,” astonished out of one’s senses;.

You get that feeling of Paul’s tone in the book. The tone is fervent, long sentences a bit jumbled and hurried, wanting badly to get the words out. Paul was astonished out of his senses. (“See what large letters I am writing with my own hand…”)

Note: I’m not talking about satan being more powerful than Jesus. He isn’t. I’m talking about Christians who don’t comprehend the depth of satan’s darkness and weaken themselves with lax battle preparation. You know how John 1:4-5 says in the KJV

“In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”

Well we “lights” don’t comprehend the darkness as deeply as we should. Add to that we are weak in battle because we don’t access the power that is given to us. More on that next.

Satan is like a Godzilla rampage, trampling city after city, stepping on puny humans and leaving carnage behind. That is the battle. It isn’t cozy and it isn’t clean. Satan fights dirty and he has massive power. For Pete’s sake he is god of the earth! (2 Corinthians 4:4). And here are the foolish American Charismatics marching up and down streets in prayer walks, thinking that they are binding satan with their stupid words, and deliverance ministers casting out satan with their tiny actions. It is not so!!

Most Christians in America have a wrong perception at the back of their minds, that somehow we’re saf(er) here in the US. That because our nation was founded on biblical principles, somehow we won’t get the brunt of what is coming. They think, ‘We’re in the Bible belt…” or ‘We’re protected by religious freedom…’ or simply ‘It won’t happen here.’

Well it will. It has started.

State of the Church 2015, part 2 State of the Church 2015, part 3

 

Posted in christian persecution, Sunday martyr moment

Sunday Martyr Moment: The name of Christian was so obnoxious to the pagans …

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. According to this summary from Christian Book Summaries,

Writing in the mid-1500s, John Foxe was living in the midst of intense religious persecution at the hands of the dominant Roman Catholic Church. In graphic detail, he offers accounts of Christians being martyred for their belief in Jesus Christ, describing how God gave them extraordinary courage and stamina to endure unthinkable torture.

From the same link, the book’s purpose was fourfold:

  • Showcase the courage of true believers who have willingly taken a stand for Jesus Christ throughout the ages, even if it meant death,
  • Demonstrate the grace of God in the lives of those martyred for their faith,
  • Expose the ruthlessness of religious and political leaders as they sought to suppress those with differing beliefs,
  • Celebrate the courage of those who risked their lives to translate the Bible into the common language of the people.

Text from Foxe’s Book of Martyrs

Last week we continued looking at the Ninth Persecution Under Aurelian, A.D. 274. It was a brief look, Emperor Aurelian was killed by his own brothers a short while after taking the throne. This week begins a look at The Tenth Persecution, Under Diocletian, A.D. 303. All the previous persecutions were the warm-up for persecution under Diocletian. It was the worst of all. His desire to revive the old pagan religions led to what was to be a massive persecution of Christians, but the last major persecution in the Roman Empire.

Foxe continues the story-

Under the Roman emperors, commonly called the Era of the Martyrs, was occasioned partly by the increasing number and luxury of the Christians, and the hatred of Galerius, the adopted son of Diocletian, who, being stimulated by his mother, a bigoted pagan, never ceased persuading the emperor to enter upon the persecution, until he had accomplished his purpose.

The fatal day fixed upon to commence the bloody work, was the twenty-third of February, A.D. 303, that being the day in which the Terminalia were celebrated, and on which, as the cruel pagans boasted, they hoped to put a termination to Christianity. On the appointed day, the persecution began in Nicomedia, on the morning of which the prefect of that city repaired, with a great number of officers and assistants, to the church of the Christians, where, having forced open the doors, they seized upon all the sacred books, and committed them to the flames.

The whole of this transaction was in the presence of Diocletian and Galerius, who, not contented with burning the books, had the church levelled with the ground. This was followed by a severe edict, commanding the destruction of all other Christian churches and books; and an order soon succeeded, to render Christians of all denomination outlaws.

The publication of this edict occasioned an immediate martyrdom, for a bold Christian [name currently unknown] not only tore it down from the place to which it was affixed, but execrated the name of the emperor for his injustice. A provocation like this was sufficient to call down pagan vengeance upon his head; he was accordingly seized, severely tortured, and then burned alive.

All the Christians were apprehended and imprisoned; and Galerius privately ordered the imperial palace to be set on fire, that the Christians might be charged as the incendiaries, and a plausible pretence given for carrying on the persecution with the greater severities. A general sacrifice was commenced, which occasioned various martyrdoms. No distinction was made of age or sex; the name of Christian was so obnoxious to the pagans that all who bore that name received no mercy from them. Many houses were set on fire, and whole Christian families perished in the flames; and others had stones fastened about their necks, and being tied together were driven into the sea. The persecution became general in all the Roman provinces, but more particularly in the east; and as it lasted ten years, it is impossible to ascertain the numbers martyred, or to enumerate the various modes of martyrdom.

Racks, scourges, swords, daggers, crosses, poison, and famine, were made use of in various parts to dispatch the Christians; and invention was exhausted to devise tortures against such as had no crime, but thinking differently from the votaries of superstition.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Romans 1:30 says that the angry unsaved are inventors of evil, and the persecutions certainly bear witness to the truth of this verse from God’s word.

We owe such a great debt to the ones who passed before us. Their reliance on the Holy Spirit for boldness sets such a wonderful example. Would I be so bold as to refuse to bow to the Emperor and tear down the edict, knowing tortures await? No. But in Him, I can do all things. (Philippians 4:13). The martyrs actually did.

Praise the Lord for raising up martyrs whose momentary affliction cannot be compared to the joy set before them. (2 Corinthians 4:17). I want to know the name of the Bold Christian who face the wrath of the Roman Empire, knowing the eternal love of God outweighs man’s momentary anger. Such faith!

and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5)
Posted in christian persecution, martyr

Sunday Martyr Moment

I am reading Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. According to this summary from Christian Book Summaries,

Wiki photo of John Foxe, 1517-1587

Writing in the mid-1500s, John Foxe was living in the midst of intense religious persecution at the hands of the dominant Roman Catholic Church. In graphic detail, he offers accounts of Christians being martyred for their belief in Jesus Christ, describing how God gave them extraordinary courage and stamina to endure unthinkable torture.

From the same link, the book’s purpose was fourfold:

  • Showcase the courage of true believers who have willingly taken a stand for Jesus Christ throughout the ages, even if it meant death,
  • Demonstrate the grace of God in the lives of those martyred for their faith,
  • Expose the ruthlessness of religious and political leaders as they sought to suppress those with differing beliefs,
  • Celebrate the courage of those who risked their lives to translate the Bible into the common language of the people.
 James, Timon, Parmenas, and Philip

James the son of Zebedee and Salome was the elder brother of the Apostle John. He was the first of the 12 Apostles to be martyred (Acts 12:2). His martyrdom may have been a fulfillment of what Jesus foretold about him in and his brother John (Mark 10:39).

It was ten years after the death of Stephen that the second martyrdom took place; for no sooner had Herod Agrippa been appointed governor of Judea, than, with a view to ingratiate himself with them, he raised a sharp persecution against the Christians, and determined to make an effectual blow by striking at their leaders. The account given us by an eminent primitive writer, Clemens Alexandrinus, ought not to be overlooked. As James was led to the place of martyrdom, his extraordinary courage impressed one of his captors to such a degree, that he fell on his knees before the Apostle, asked his forgiveness, and confessed he was a Christian too.

He said that James ought not to die alone, whereupon they were both beheaded.

Thus did the first apostolic martyr cheerfully and resolutely receive that cup, which he had told our Savior he was ready to drink. Two of the seven deacons, Timon and Parmenas suffered martyrdom about the same time; the one at Philippi, and the other in Macedonia. These events took place A.D. 44.

Ten years later, Apostle Philip is said to have been scourged, thrown into prison, and crucified at Hieropolis in Phyrigia.

Please pray for our brothers and sisters today enduring prison, beatings, and executions for the name of Jesus.

Posted in christian persecution

How do I stand up for Jesus?

Carlene Davis sings a reggae version of “Stand up, Stand up for Jesus”. I like that song a lot. Here is the story of its writing.

Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus, the Song and the Story
Composer George Duffield Writes Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus

Episcopalian Reverend Dudley A. Tyng (1825-1858) was a dynamic preacher known for taking strong stands against evil, no matter what the cost. His sermon regarding the evils of slavery in America is still in print today. This sermon resulted in him being removed from one of his pastorates.

On Tuesday, March 30, 1858, Tyng preached a sermon on Exodus 10:11, “Go now ye that are men and serve the Lord”, at a YMCA noon mass meeting. Tyng delivered his message to 5,000 men that day. More than 1,000 of those men responded to the altar call, to receive Jesus as their Savior. Just over a week later, Tyng lay dying as a result of a tragic accident. His final statement, whispered to friends and family, was “Let us all stand up for Jesus.”

The Sunday following Tyng’s death, Presbyterian Pastor George Duffield (1818-1888) preached a sermon on Ephesians 6:14, as a tribute to the final words of his friend Tyng. He concluded his sermon with a six-stanza poem. Duffield’s Sunday School superintendent printed copies of the poem and distributed them to all the congregation.

One of the pamphlets fell into the hands of the editor of a Baptist periodical. The editor was so impressed with the verses that he printed them in his widely read publication. The poem Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus, has since become one of the most recognized hymns in all English-speaking Christendom.

Several melodies have been written for Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus. The one used in most hymnals today was written by George J. Webb (1803-1907), founder of the Boston Academy of Music.

This devotional gives more specifics of Tyng’s life. It is a very great story.

Do we stand up for Jesus today? I am sure there are many times throughout a day, or a month, or a life, where we are called to make a stand for Jesus and stand up for His truth. Do we heed them? Even at a personal cost to ourselves? What does it mean to stand up for Him anyway?

First, remember that there is only One Person who matters. I know you love your husband or your wife, your children, your family, your beloved friend. Love is good. But the One who matters most is Jesus. In the end, perfect love of our friends and family on earth is made possible only through His love for us. We love Him first, and all the rest follows. (1 John 4:19, Revelation 2:4, Luke 14:26).

Stand Up for Jesus!
by Walter Martin

When we see idolatry, we are supposed to be provoked. When we see evil, we are supposed to get exercised about it. If you can calmly walk through this upholstered cesspool of earth; if you can see evil, filth, degeneracy, and hear vile language; if you can see the corruption of the media and the perversion of the gospel; if you can see the multiple forms of idolatry-the worship of things and of the creation more than the Creator; if you can see this today and you are not provoked about it, then you are not in touch with God the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is provoked by evil, and he stirs up the Church so that we may do something about it. (More at link.)

So when called, do we make a stand? If we are a pastor, do we make a stand even if it means risking loss of pastorate, as Pastor Tyng did? In this economy? Even if it means loss of family? (Mark 13:12). Even if it means being kicked out of your church and shunned by those with whom you used to break bread, worship, and take holy communion? Even if it means the world hates you? (John 15:18).  Even if it means loss of your own life? (Luke 21:12).

Persecution of Christians in the world is up, and coverage of it and attention to it is down. But there are Christians taking a stand every day, at peril of their lives.

Yet most of us will never be called to make that ultimate sacrifice for Jesus. Most of us can take a stand in ‘small’ ways every day. We can live for His glory through humble service- and give credit to Him. We can be teachable. We can repent publicly. We can witness gently to a co-worker. We can sharpen iron by helping a loved one see sin. We can read the word and take it into our heart. We can speak His name in public. All these things and more are taking a stand for Jesus.

What a privilege to stand for Him! He died on the cross in an excruciating death, taking a stand against sin and becoming sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). Please stand up for Jesus. He has all the glory, all of it. Let’s point to Him in all we think, say, and do!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross;
Lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss.
From victory unto victory His army shall He lead,
Till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the solemn watchword hear;
If while ye sleep He suffers, away with shame and fear;
Where’er ye meet with evil, within you or without,
Charge for the God of battles, and put the foe to rout.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the trumpet call obey;
Forth to the mighty conflict, in this His glorious day.
Ye that are brave now serve Him against unnumbered foes;
Let courage rise with danger, and strength to strength oppose.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in His strength alone;
The arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own.
Put on the Gospel armor, each piece put on with prayer;
Where duty calls or danger, be never wanting there.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, each soldier to his post,
Close up the broken column, and shout through all the host:
Make good the loss so heavy, in those that still remain,
And prove to all around you that death itself is gain.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long;
This day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song.
To him who overcometh a crown of life shall be;
They with the King of Glory shall reign eternally.

“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.” ( Ephesians 6:14)

Posted in christian persecution, christianity, jesus

Anti-Christian hatred is rising

Hatred. Hatred of each other, Hatred toward God. Vicious hatred of Jesus. It is all rising.

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.” (John 15:18).

“The righteous detest the dishonest; the wicked detest the upright.” (Proverbs 29:27)

“All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 10:22)

“Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you.” (1 John 3:13)

In Jerusalem, Christianity is increasingly targeted. The Jerusalem Post reports, “Vandals ‘price tag’ Jerusalem monastery
“JERUSALEM, Oct. 2 Assailants vandalized the Franciscan Convent on Jerusalem’s Mount Zion early Tuesday morning, in the third price tag attack against a Christian site this year. According to police, vandals spray-painted the words “price tag” and “Jesus is a bastard” on the door of the convent, located adjacent to the Dormition Abbey cathedral. … Assistant commander Moshe Bareket, chief of the David precinct in Jerusalem, confirmed that police were notified of the incident early Tuesday morning by a priest. “We will do everything we can to get to the bottom of whoever spray-painted these sentences,” Bareket said outside the convent.” (photo source)

It was not the first time that extremists had vandalized the church, and every few months authorities have to deal with some kind of graffiti in the area, the article states. Vandals scrawled “Jesus is a monkey” in large orange letters on the outside of the Latrun monastery. They also burned the wooden door at the monastery entrance. earlier this year, at the Valley of the Cross Monastery in Jerusalem, cars and a fence were covered with anti-Christian graffiti, and cars’ tires were slashed. The vandals wrote “Jesus drop dead,” “Death to Christians” and “Kahane was right.”

Though the hate-vandals are as yet unknown to authorities, the media outlet Russia Today displayed their own bias when they reported on the incident, by blaming Israeli settlers. The reporter wrote:

“Radical Jewish settlers vandalized a Christian church outside of Jerusalem, spray-painting “Jesus is a bastard” and “price tag” on its outer door. Such attacks have been on the rise despite police promises to curb hate crimes in the Holy Land.”

I must make a point. Most of the secular world and much of the Christian world believes Catholicism to be part of the Christian faith. Catholicism is not. It is a false religion. However, idolaters don’t know that and they target Monasteries anyway.

A horrific attack on a church service for children targeted a Christian church in Nairobi, Kenya this week. Worthy News reports, “A grenade attack by suspected Islamist militants rocked an Anglican church in Kenya’s capital Nairobi killing a nine-year-old boy and injuring several others, the church and police said Sunday, September 30. The blast occurred during a Sunday school service for young children at the Anglican Saint Polycarp Church, which lies in the Pangani district on the outskirts of Nairobi.” (photo source)

I read in one comment stream, “nothing a good Interfaith potluck supper won’t solve, eh?”

They hate Jesus.

“But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.” (John 15:25)

And they hate the faithful. Take heart. If they hate Jesus and they hate us because of Jesus, we are in good company! They may hate us, but we love each other! If you are in a part of the world where grenades are not being lobbed at your kids just for being Christian (hatred without cause) then please pray for those who are. And if you are in a part of the world where just living for Christ is cause for death, take heart. WE ARE PRAYING FOR YOU!

Posted in christian persecution, copts, Obama

Bolton: Obama Calls For Restraint From Egyptian Christians As They’re Being Killed

http://www.mrctv.org/embed/106413
Originally on Breitbart. Ambassador Bolton said:

“This will come as news to the Coptic Christians that they’re supposed to exercise restraint. They’re being attacked, they’re the ones being victimized both by mobs of fellow Egyptian citizens who are Muslims and by the government.”

Ambassador Bolton said that in the last year 100,000 Coptic Christians have fled Egypt. The violence is terrible and tonight’s remarks by Obama leave me at a loss. But I’m not without Hope, because I have Jesus, and He is in control.

http://s7.addthis.com/js/250/addthis_widget.js#pubid=xa-4e8f22d468013109