I have been thinking about the sharing of the gospel during this time of quarantine. We, at HOPE, are trying to do all we can to continue to worship by streaming online and do Bible study by Zoom meetings.
But, I received the April VOM (The Voices of the Martyrs) magazine this weekend and as I read it I thought, come on now, we think we have it rough getting the gospel message out. NOPE! We have it easy. The next few paragraphs are from the April edition, different stories from different countries and the difficulties they have in getting the gospel out. Believers in these restricted nations and hostile communities know how crucial it is to teach God’s truth to children surrounded by false religions and beliefs. Here are a few examples.
Communist Vietnam: When Tran ran out of storage space in his small home, he moved several boxes of illegally printed Bibles to his sister’s apartment, stowing them under her bed until he could distribute them in the Vietnamese highlands. His sister, who is not a believer, called him in a panic one evening after a friends who works for the police stopped by unexpectedly and asked her about the boxes. Thinking fast, she told her friend the boxes contained educational materials for her brother, who was a teacher. Still, she worried that the Bibles would be discovered. “Tran, come pick up your Bibles!” She told her brother. “It is very dangerous now!” Tran chuckles as he recalls piling the boxes on his small motorbike in the middle of the night and hoping the police would not stop him. Although he did get stopped, the police officer merely warned him that the his boxes could come loose and cause an accident. He then helped Tran tighten the ropes on the boxes of Bibles before waving him on.
Communist China: The Communist government prohibits religious instruction, specifically biblical teaching and discipleship, for children younger than 18.
Colombian “Red Zones”: Marxist guerrillas and paramilitary groups persecute pastors and other church leaders because these leaders discourage young people from joining their violent cause.
Some African countries: Muslims target children in Christian villages by offering free Islamic education, including room and board to lure them away from the Christian faith.
India: As the number of people placing their faith in Christ grows in India, so does persecution at the hands of family members and fellow villagers. Christians often face a life of poverty as members of the Indian’s lower castes, and some exist the caste system entirely. The steady increase in both believers and persecution underscores a resulting urgent need for more Bibles. At one recent distribution, about 75 percent of those receiving Bibles were new believers. “Most of the pastors… expressed that their churches are growing both in numbers as well as in spiritual maturity,” a Christian worker said. “Members are now sensing their responsibility of reading, listening and sharing with their friends and neighbors.” And as these new believers study God’s Word, they become better prepared to face persecution in the days ahead.
Folks, there are example after example of how in these persecuted, government strict nations where the Word of God is forbidden, God’s Word is being shared and people are coming to faith in Jesus Christ. They are sharing verbally, by audio Bibles, and by taking Bibles out into the community, running the risk of being caught, imprisoned, or even worse, killed.
We can live stream, Zoom, Go to Meeting, stand on the street corner (usually), and a variety of other methods to get the Word of God out. Getting the gospel message out is the most important thing a BELIEVER can do. This is our task, our responsibility, yes today!
In this different, what we deem as a difficult time, we need to continue to find ways to share our faith with others. God is still on the move folks and doing marvelous things around the world. He wants to use you as one of those instruments of faith. What better time to proclaim hope in the only One that provides Hope of life, eternal life with Him.
Blessings my friends,
Pastor Marty Duffell - HOPE Church Raleigh
Worship . Grow . Serve
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