Hagerstown Christian Church Hagerstown Christian Church

Th'ot for Thursday

September 20, 2018

 

So it’s Thursday, September 20th, 2018 as I come to you with this weeks “Tho’t”.  Both my mind & my heart are heavy with concern & sadness over what our Christian brothers/sisters are facing in China. If you’ve not heard or followed what’s taking place, I urge you to “Google” about the Chinese church.

 

In the last 3 years, the Chinese government has started persecuting all kinds of “faiths” under the administration of the President of China – Xi Jinping.  This persecution has been especially strong against the Christian church. Though It has been taking place for many decades, is has intensified. Now, they are not only cracking down on Christian underground churches, but also their “government sponsored” churches – churches that are “okayed” by the government, but also watched & given certain things to teach & not teach their people.  It’s true though, that there are preachers & teachers in these churches as well, that have been able to stay true to God’s word as they’ve found ways to fly “under the radar”.

 

“It’s unprecedented persecution against the Church, where church leaders are going to prison, are being sent to mental institutions, are being beaten and tortured and where crosses have been forcibly removed from now over 1,800 churches since 2014.  There are policies that are coming out that come directly from the central government to basically persecute the Christian Church in China.”

 

Christian Persecution in China Is Even Worse Than You Thought

What's behind the communist government's recent crackdown.

                                                    Jesse Carey    February 18, 2016    7 minute read

 

My friends, we are seeing a huge injustice pressed upon our brothers & sisters. What can we do?  Pray! Prayer is the most powerful tool we have to help them in & through this persecution. And if we are called upon to help in any other way, as individuals or as a group – we must not be fearful,  but take action per our Lords leading. Don’t forget though, the  “power” --  “privilege” afforded us in going to God himself, on behalf of our Chinese “family”.  We take them directly before His very “throne of grace & mercy”!

 

And as I finish my “Tho’t”… I ask that you also remember the following:

 

  • Jesus told us that we would be hated, because society hated him.
  • We are also told that events like this will take place more & more in this world as each new day we live, leads us closer to His return.    And lastly…
  • Let us walk thru these difficult & treacherous days… rejoicing in the fact that we are privileged to suffer for our Savior – for no matter what, our citizenship isn’t here anyway, it’s with our Mighty, Wonderful, Amazing God for eternity! 

 

“But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened." 15But in your hearts revere Christ as LORD. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.   1 Peter 3:14-16

 

“Encourage each other with songs, hymns, and spiritual songs.  Sing & make music in your hearts to the Lord. Always give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Eph. 5:19-21

 

                                                                                                                                       

  Let our hearts be broken for not only our Christian “family” in China, but also for this man, who just like us, was made by God & is still loved by God. Remember how God humbled Nebuchadnezzar… & he finally professes God as the one true God?(Daniel 4)   Imagine the impact of Xi Jinping’s heart being humbled before God & changed for God’s glory!  Let’s bring him before our mighty, all-knowing God & His throne of grace & mercy!

 

Pray, pray, pray… for it is the source of our confidence, strength & power in & thru our GOD!

 

Pastor Brad