Are we ready and willing to leap into persecution? Do we rejoice in the opportunities that follow? The honest answer is probably no! We like comfortable Christianity.
Do we see the positive side of fiery trials and attacks? Probably not. We like comfortable Christianity. Would anyone of us relish spending years in prison and building a secret church inside that prison? Probably not. You guessed it, we like comfortable Christianity.
Pastor Steve had a wonderful opportunity to leave Vietnam in 1975, however, he willingly chose to stay and serve his people. Each day of his life is filled with the potential for pain and prison.
Even death through martyrdom is possible. Steve is a secret underground agent of Jesus, who has and does pay the price many ways. Pastor Steve spent seven years in prison once and tells us he still has a suitcase packed by the door in case he is sent to prison again.
How about yourself, is your suitcase by the door? Mine is not. We in America still have great freedom to worship and share our Lord with others, but the times may be changing slowly.
In Vietnam, prior to 1975, a pastor could only visit prison one day a week and share Jesus with the prison population. Today, with many Jesus followers in prison, the gospel is shared seven days a week!
That is how positive and optimistic many believers live in persecuting countries. Every situation is an opportunity to further the Kingdom of God.
Jesus' crucifixion isn't comfy. Fear bristled that Spring day. The women followers of Jesus arrived at the scene of horror, yet, many of the men had vanished. My guess is, Pastor Steve would have been at the cross with the ladies. His suitcase beside him, just in case!
Kim Wenzel is a local Open Doors USA ministry representative who speaks in churches and groups about praying for the persecuted church. For more information, persons interested may contact Wenzel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-919-1490. Hear more about the persecuted church at 6 p.m., every Saturday on KWXC 88.9 FM Christian talk radio.