The BIBLE VIEW #955 — Assorted

In This Issue:
Listening for the Trumpet
“Hold the Fort for I am Coming!”
Fault Finding
The Christian’s Ruby Ring

Volume: 955     April 29, 2024
Theme: Assorted

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Listening for the Trumpet
Bill Brinkworth

“… 14 For if we believe Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord….” I Thessalonians 4:13-18

Hundreds of biblical prophecies have been fulfilled.  In I Thessalonians 4, there is one mentioned that will be the next to be fulfilled.  In the last two thousand years, millions have awaited that event (I Thessalonians 4:13-18).  It is the great catching up of the dead in Christ and the living Christians (I Thessalonians 4:16- 17).

The Greek word for “caught up” (I Thessalonians 4:17) is “harpazō,” and it means “to catch away, to seize, pluck, pull, and take by force” (Noah Webster, 1828).  It is very similar to the English word “rapture,” which means “transport, seizing away.” Although “rapture” is not used in the preserved King James text, this futuristic happening is often referred to by that name.

When the Lord shouts, the archangel’s voice is sounded, God’s trumpet will be blown, and the rapture will occur (I Thessalonians 4:16).  The first to ascend will be the dead in Christ.  Those that have trusted Christ as Saviour and died will be called up.  Their souls are already joined with him (II Corinthians. 5:8, Ecclesiastes. 12:7) as a soul never dies, but the body sleeps (I Thessalonians 4:14), awaiting its wake-up call by the rapture’s heavenly summoning.

The second group to meet the Lord in the air will be living Christians.  Before the tribulation’s terrible events occur, somewhere after Revelation 4:1, many Christians will be called up without dying.  No one knows when this catching away will occur (Matthew. 24:36).  It could be today.  It could be tomorrow or twenty years from now, but it will happen; God promised!

If the heavenly trumpet were blown to call the living saved from this world, are you sure you would be called home to Heaven?  It will be a terrible time when many well-intentioned, good-deeders and many religious-but-lost discover the heavenly call did not summon them.  It will be too late for those that have already heard God’s message and have rejected it.  What a frightful time it will be when the prophesied wrath of God is finally poured out on Earth to give those that have never heard the Gospel message a chance to turn to Christ for salvation.

If you are not sure you will go up during the catching away, make sure of your transport “ticket” today.  Admit your sinnership, and trust Christ’s death on the cross as the only payment for your sins.  If you do, then you may be one of many that will hear the heavenly trumpet sound its victory call to Christians one day soon.

“Hold the Fort, for I am Coming!”
D. L. Moody

I am told that when General Sherman went through Atlanta towards the sea, he left a few men in the fort at the Kennesaw Mountains to guard some rations that he brought there.  General Hood got into the outer rear and attacked the fort, driving the men in from the outer works into the inner works.  For a long time, the battle raged fearfully.

Half of the men were either killed or wounded.  The general, who was in command, was wounded seven different times.  When they were about ready to run up the white flag and surrender the fort, Sherman got within fifteen miles.  Through the signal corps on the mountain, he sent the message, “Hold the fort; I am coming.  W. T. Sherman.”   That message fired up their hearts, and they held the fort until reinforcements came, and the fort did not go into the hands of their enemies.

Mr. Bliss wrote a hymn entitled “Hold the Fort for I am coming.”  We must hold our “fort” and not give up serving the Lord.  Our Saviour is in command, and He is coming.

Ho!  My comrades, see the signal
Waving in the sky!
Reinforcements now appearing.
Victory is nigh!

Chorus: “Hold the fort, for I am coming,”
Jesus signals still,
Wave the answer back to heaven,
“By Thy grace we will.”

See the mighty hosts advancing,
Satan leading on;
Mighty men around us falling.
Courage almost gone.

Chorus: “Hold the fort, for I am coming,”
Jesus signals still,
Wave the answer back to heaven,
“By Thy grace we will.”

See the glorious banner waving.
Hear the bugle blow.
In our Leader’s name we’ll triumph
Over every foe.

Chours: “Hold the fort, for I am coming,”
Jesus signals still,
Wave the answer back to heaven,
“By Thy grace we will.”

Fierce and long the battle rages,
But our Help is near;
Onward comes our Great Commander,
Cheer, my comrades, cheer!

Chours: “Hold the fort, for I am coming,”
Jesus signals still,
Wave the answer back to heaven,
“By Thy grace we will.”

“Don’t shoot the rescuers if you are on a sinking ship!”  — Author Unknown

Fault Finding
J. West

Napoleon said that the man who never makes a mistake makes war.  Those who content themselves with standing aloof from revival and temperance work and devote their energies to pointing out the errors and blunders of those in the struggle are making themselves the greatest blunders.  Nothing is easier than fault-finding.  No talent, self-denial, brains, or character are required to set up in that grumbling business.

“In judging and criticizing our brethren, we meddle with that which does not belong to us.  We have enough work to do at home, and if we must judge, let us exercise our faculty upon our own hearts and ways.  —  Henry

The Christian’s Ruby Ring

A king once gave a ring to his favorite subject.  He said to him, “I know that tomorrow, a charge of heresy will be brought against you.  Answer them if you will when you come in, but you need be in no fear.  If you are in trouble, simply show them the ring, and they will go no further.  The accusation will be dropped.”

It is even so with us.  The Lord has given us the precious blood of Christ to be like a ruby ring upon our finger.  When accusations bother our conscience or guilt is laid on us by Satan, we have only to remember that Christ’s sacrifice covers all our sins.  Our accusations should then be behind us.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:18

Trust Christ, and you shall live.  The bloody sacrifice of Calvary is the only hope of sinners.”  — C. H. Spurgeon

The BIBLE VIEW #954 — The Bible

In This Issue:
Why Read It?
If the Bible Is Removed
The Bible
It’s of God
What They Said about the Bible

Volume: 954     April 22, 2024
Theme: The Bible

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Why Read It?
Bill Brinkworth

Much of man’s history has pivoted around the Bible.  Many have spent their lives preserving it for all to read.  Thousands upon thousands have been persecuted and even killed for reading, believing, and living by its teachings.  

Wars have been waged to stop people from violating commands the Book prohibited, and wars have also been started to halt people from living the way the Bible says to live.  People have even printed devious perversions of the Holy Bible and have eliminated teachings they disagree with.

Why all the history involving the Bible?  Because it is not just a book!  The King James Bible is a perfect copy of the Word of God for English-speaking people (Its root texts are also the basis for Bibles in other major languages)!  It comes from a preserved line of copies and translations that have not altered any of its meanings or words since God had first put His words in the hearts and minds of those who penned what He inspired them to write.

People have been changed by living the principles of God’s Word.  Lives have been altered from the inside out as they practiced and trusted God’s preserved words.  Many have been convicted of its truths and done all they can to forget the haunting reminders of God’s Word.

This precious Book is both loved and hated because it:

  • Commands real government.  Although the Bible has much to say about people ruling people, the real government encouraged in God’s Word is mostly concerned with who will govern whom.  Will man govern himself his way, or will he humble himself and let God direct His life?
  • Commands housekeeping.  The housekeeping the Bible is concerned with most is cleaning up one’s personal life.  Its convicting words put God’s spotlight on the sinful filth one is committing.  Once sin is exposed, it is up to the individual to rid oneself of what God warns will ruin one if iniquity is not dealt with and eliminated.  Not removing sin when God’s Word exposes it will also make the hearer of the Word responsible for not letting God govern their life.
  • Gives godly guidance.  The Bible’s advice guides all who obey it through a successful life.  God has raised billions of “children.”  Our heavenly Father’s advice is always best.  It will tell one with whom to befriend, whom to marry, how to work, how to make the right decision, how to raise children, how to live, how to die, how to prepare for eternity, and how to make decisions one will have to make during their lifetime.
  • Gives godly protection.  God’s advice will protect one from making the same mistakes that have ruined many lives.  It warns of dangers that have entrapped so many.  God’s advice offers a life of safety, if heeded.

The Bible was and always will be the most important Book to man.  It is essential because its principles, when followed, will make a difference to one who is obedient to God’s commands. 

Do you read the Bible regularly?  Are you obeying its pages’ truths you have already been shown? 

The Word of God has been preserved so you and others will know God’s will and way.  Is it an important influence in your personal history?                               

It is impossible to enslave a Bible-reading people.” — Horace Greeley 
This principle is may be why governments are trying hard to ridicule or eliminate God’s Word’s influences in lives!

If the Bible Is Removed
Dr. Payson, Before 1871

Destroy or change the Bible as the enemies of human happiness have vainly endeavored to do, and you render us profoundly ignorant of our Creator.  We will not know of the formation of the world we inhabit, of the origin and progenitors of our race, of our present-day and future destination, and consign us through life to the dominion of desire, doubt, and conjecture.

Destroy this volume, and you deprive us of true religion with its consolations, hopes, and prospects which it gives.  With its removal, nothing will be left of us but a miserable alternative between the cheerless gloom of infidelity and the monstrous shadows of paganism.

Destroy this volume, and you unpeople Heaven.  It will also bar from its entrance descendants of Adam’s race, gives Satan more freedom to cause wreck and havoc, bury hope in the same grave which receives our bodies, and allow us to expect nothing at death but a miserable fate in Hell.  

If more people would read and obey their Bible, liberal preachers would be out of a job, and dead churches would come alive and make a difference in this dark, sinful world.”                                                                          

The Bible
R. Pollock

The Bible!  Hast thou ever heard
Of such a book?  The author, God himself;
The subject, God and man, salvation, life
And death — eternal life — eternal death —
Dread words!  Whose meaning has no end, no bounds!
Most wondrous book!  Bright candle from the Lord!
This book — this Holy Book, on every line
Marked with the seal of high divinity,
On every leaf bedewed with drops of love
Divine; and with the eternal heraldry
And signature of God Almighty stamped
From first to last; this ray of sacred light,
This lamp, from off the everlasting throne,
Mercy took down and in the night of time
Stood, casting on the dark her gracious bow;
And evermore beseeching men, with tears
And earnest sighs to read, believe, and live.

“The Bible is God’s personal letter to you!”  — Author Unknown

It’s of God!
D. Simpson

The Bible must be the invention either of good men or angels, evil men or devils, or of God.

It could not be the invention of good men or angels, for they neither would nor could make such a perfect prophetic, scientific, and historical book.  They would also be lying if they did, as all through the Bible it is written, “Thus saith the Lord.”

It could not be the invention of bad men or devils, for they could not and would not make a book that commands all duty, forbids all sin, and condemns their souls to an eternal Hell.

We, therefore, draw this conclusion: the Bible must be given by Divine inspiration!

What They Said about the Bible

“That book accounts for the supremacy of England.” — Queen Victoria

“It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.” — George Washington

“I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to men.  All the good from the Saviour of the world is communicated to us through this Book.” — Abraham Lincoln

“That Book, sir, is the rock on which our republic rests.” — Andrew Jackson
That may be why government leaders are trying so hard to muzzle the Bible’s “voice” and influence.

“The Bible is the sheet-anchor (rope on a powerful sail) of our liberties.” — U. S. Grant

“In all my perplexities and distresses, the Bible has never failed to give me light and strength.” — Robert E. Lee

“I have made it a practice to read the Bible through every year.  The earlier my children begin to read it, the more confident will be my hope that they will prove to be useful citizens to their country and be respectable members of society.” — John Quincy Adams

“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”  Isaiah 40:8

The BIBLE VIEW #953 — Heaven

In This Issue:
 A Heavenly Mansion
Verses Describing Heaven
Shipwrecked Here on Earth
Christian, What Is Next for You?

Volume: 953     April 15, 2024
Theme: Heaven

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A Heavenly Mansion
Bill Brinkworth

Much is talked about Heaven, but the Bible does not describe it so we can get a clear picture of it.  However, when contemplating our future home, I was reminded of the mansions awaiting some in Glory Land.
“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2

When thinking about the Christian’s heavenly home, I was somewhat confused that “mansions” was only mentioned once in the New Testament.  I know that one should never base a biblical teaching on one verse, so I was perplexed.

After searching and reading what others assumed about Heaven’s treasures, I examined “mansions” another way.   Although I only know the Greek of the New Testament (The King James New Testament was originally written in Greek) found in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance,  I wanted to see if the Greek word for mansions in John 14 appeared elsewhere in the New Testament.  It was.

The Greek word for mansions, “meno,” did appear elsewhere, but it was used to describe something other than a mansion as we know it.  Some of the uses were found translated to:

“tarry ye” in Mat.  26:30, Mark 14:34…
“remain” in Luke 10:7, John 1:33…
“abide” in Mark 6:10, Luke 19:5…
“dwelleth thou” in John 1:38, John 5:36
“they continued” in John 2:12
“abide” in Mark 6:10, Luke 19:5…
“abode” in Luke 1:56, Luke 8:27…
“it would have remained,” in Mat.  11:23
“abideth” in John 3:36,  in John 8:35
“abiding” in John 5:38
“continue” inJohn 8:31 & John 15:9
“dwelt” in Acts 28:30
“that he would tarry”  in John 4:40
“endureth” in John 6:27
“should abode”  in John 12:46
“which remained” in II cor.  3:11

All those various usages of the Greek word defining “mansions” confused me further.  However, after examining all the different uses, I saw a pattern that made“mansions” more descriptive and clear.  They were all used to describe a situation where people would live permanently.  Here on Earth, our abodes are only “pup tents”; they are only temporary places to live as we await our permanent home with the Lord!

Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, written to better understand biblical words, clarifies that a “mansion” is a place of “residence, a house, habitation, the house of the lord of a manor, residence, and abode.”  Webster’s definition and the Greek usages revealed that the awaiting mansions are where we will live permanently with the Lord.

Verses Describing Heaven
Bill Brinkworth

  • “But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” Heb. 11:16
  • “For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.” Heb. 13:14
  • “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” II Cor. 5:1
  • “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.” Rev. 7:9 God’s throne is there along with innumerable people.
  • “For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” Rev. 7:17  Jesus is there.  Sadness will be missing in Heaven.
  • “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” I Cor. 2:9  Heaven is indescribable.  Perhaps that is why only a few details about it have been recorded.
  • “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” Revelation 14:13
  • “Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” Mat.  5:12  One’s rewards await them in their heavenly place.
  • “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” Eph.  5:5  Those who do not have their sins paid for by the blood of Jesus will not be found in Heaven.

Our abode on Earth is only temporary.  However, no one will see Heaven unless they are ”born again” into the family of God!  Are you absolutely sure it will be your eternal home?
“Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;  14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.” II Peter 1:13-14 
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3

“Where will you spend eternity?  Smoking or non-smoking?”
 — Author Unknown

Shipwrecked Here on Earth

Consider the situation of a man who, having been shipwrecked upon a dreary, inhospitable island, awaits when a ship will rescue him.  He paces the barren sands and looks up to the overcast sky, anxiously awaiting a rescuing arrival to carry him to a better land.

So the Christian, like the exile on a rock, feels far from his natural home and is looking for the day of our Lord Jesus Christ’s return.  He knows that His vessel is prepared, and the convoy ready to bear him hence from the baren wilderness to a happy land flowing with milk and honey.

Christian, What Is Next for You?
Bill Brinkworth

No one will escape the one part of life that is scary to many: death (unless the rapture takes the Christians home to Heaven first!).  Because of the uncertainty, most wonder what will happen when their body dies.

For born-again people, there is hope for a wonderful life after death (II Corinthians 5:1-2, 8).  The Bible does not mention, as some cults teach, that it will be the end when one dies. Physical death will not be the end because everyone has a soul that will live forever.  It will live in either Heaven or Hell.
“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” II Corinthians 5:1 Also: II Corinthians 5:8.

Because of God’s promise of Heaven, many “groan earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:” (II Corinthians 5:2).  While battling infirmities, hardships, and heartaches on this Earth, many Christians are looking forward to Heaven — a place of eternal joy and no suffering.

Paul was busy for the Lord while on this Earth but expectantly awaited his eternity in Glory.  One reason Paul looked forward to Heaven was one that today’s believers should also share.  That reason is now we live by faith (II Corinthians 5:7), but in Glory, the believer will live by sight.  Now, we must trust God’s Word and not always physically see that its promises are true.  One day, however, we will see all the glorious things God has promised will come to pass.

With all the positive things to look forward to, Christians should not be afraid of their eternal future.  When our body gives its last breath in this world, we may be “absent from the body,” but we will be instantly “present with the Lord” (II Corinthians 5:8).  We have God’s Word on that!
“We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” II Corinthians 5:8

“For the child of God, death is the way of entrance to Heaven.”  
— Author Unknown

The BIBLE VIEW #952 —Filling in the Gaps

In This Issue:
Devoted Workers Needed!
So Gread A Heritage

Volume: 952     April 8, 2024
Theme: Stand and Serve

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Devoted Workers Needed!
Bill Brinkworth

It has been a challenging, exciting 43+ years of being saved and serving the Lord.  During that time, there were many battles and sacrifices to preserve righteousness, souls saved from Hell, and society had some protection from many sinful influences.

Men and women quit high-paying jobs to teach the youth in Christian schools.  Often, many worked at the schools for minimum pay or nothing.  Christian education and to keep many from worldly false teachings were important in the minds of those believers.

Many who pioneered the Christian school movement went to jail rather than close their ministry.  Hosts of young people were saved in those outreaches, and worldly, godless philosophies were kept from our precious future, our youth.  Despite the world’s attempts to stop the schools, many grew and saturated their communities with God’s truths.  Lives were changed, and some areas dealt with less violence and sin that scarred many neighborhoods.

Preachers stood boldly behind pulpits and exposed false religious doctrines and preached God’s Word truths.  They stood bravely against sin, which so many were involved in, and were a tremendous influence to many. 

Many rebelled against those church leaders and did all they could to stop biblical teachings and those exposing unrighteousness.  However, those who endured criticism and challenges often saw miraculous changes in many lives.

Ministries grew to reach as many as possible.  Some outreached into dangerous neighborhoods and put themselves and their families in unpleasant situations so that the needy sinners could hear the saving words from God.  Multitudes turned their lives over to Him, resulting in them being changed and improved citizens.

Some surrendered all to go to foreign and domestic mission fields.  Most faced tremendous opposition.  Many faced dangers, diseases, and even death,  Still, those unsung heroes went and stayed and made great improvements in so many lives.!

Others got involved in their local government to stop the spread of ungodly practices.  They, too, faced great opposition and chastisement.  Still, they kept on despite the trials they endured.

Many of those who sacrificed what this world had to offer for what God would have them do are now fading off the scene.  Disease and age are silencing their great voices that once changed lives, helped those who had little hope, rebuilt families and relationships, and taught godly principles.

However, as their voices are no longer heard and many are going to their heavenly reward, I wonder who will pick up the burdens of those who no longer can?  Where are those who will carry the torch that will illuminate the future world with godly, biblical messages and proper lifestyles?  Who will fill the voids left by those that no longer can serve?

Some still obey their convictions and endure opposition so that others can hear God’s message.  However, their numbers are dwindling.  Even fewer are those who know what God’s Word commands and fewer are those who do not obey what they are shown to be His way.

Many church leaders who should stand for God’s Word, ways, and truths are not.  The populace’s cry to halt convicting messages, to stop preaching against sin, not to go door-to-door soul-winning, and to do what everyone else is doing sways them from standing against unrighteousness. 

Their message may be comfortable to sinners’ ears, but God’s truths are no longer pounded from many pulpits.  Biblical truths and practices are often ridiculed and taught to be false and unnecessary today.  Thus, few convictions against unrighteousness are experienced among churchgoers.  Outreaches are limited.  Workers are fewer, and communites succumb to the wiles and ways of ungodly, unbridled behavior.

Rarer are those ministries that see the damage done by worldly public school education and support or create Christian schools.  Many, including church leaders, send their children to public schools falsely believing that “I will teach them what is right at home, and they will know better than falling for the worldly teachings in the government schools.”

Children are saturated with propaganda about threatening global destruction, how they have rights to do whatever they want, and that “right” is whatever they think it should be.  Few hear how there is a God that can change any situation, loves them, and has great plans for them if they will only trust, obey, and follow His way.

Few surrender to serve and live for the Lord.  Worldly excuses justify their not filling in the gaps from aged, ailing servants of God.

“Why,  I need more money than the ministry offers.  It must not be God’s will for me to work in the ministry full time.”  The faith to trust God’s provision is missing in their life.  God met the needs of ministry predecessors.  He can do it today if people will only trust Him.

“I can’t teach that Sunday school class.  The kids are so rowdy.”  Those people, too, are not relying on the power God gives to those who do His will.

“Go soul-winning.  No way.  I don’t know what to say, and it could be dangerous going into some neighborhoods and homes.”  All have had to battle the same fear of speaking to strangers about salvation and God’s will and way.  However, they went, and God’s grace and protection were sufficient as they will be for those who will go now!

“Ride a Sunday school bus to bring children to church?  Not me.  I work all week and need to have some time to myself.” The bus workers of the past also had to sacrifice their time, but because of their volunteering, millions came to churches and were saved.

This world desperately needs another generation of convicted, concerned, and courageous believers.  Who will step to the front and stand for God’s righteousness?  Whoever you are, please start now.  The world must hear God’s Word’s saving and life-altering news today.  Who will go and tell?
“And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me?  And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.” Acts 8:31

“What about all the lost souls around you?  They have an eternity.  Please show them how to go to Heaven!  You may be their only hope in knowing God’s way!”  — Bill Brinkworth

So Great A Heritage
Bill Brinkworth

Christians today, both in America and worldwide, have so much for which to be grateful.  Our faith, Bible, doctrines, and freedoms were obtained at high prices paid by our Christian predecessors.  It cost many their lives and much suffering, yet we take for granted what believers of the past had to pay dearly for and place little value on our godly heritage.

Believers should not be surprised if they face persecution, as their namesake, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, also received much.  His righteousness and exposing of false teachings were so grievous to the followers of man-made worship that they ensured our Saviour was beaten, ridiculed, mocked, and eventually nailed to a cross.  If God allowed His Son not to escape the world’s wrath and hatred for the things of God, Christians should also expect it.
“If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.  Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord.  If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you….” John 15:19-20

We get upset if someone jokes about our faith or scoffs at us.  Most of us today have little understanding of what Christians before us suffered for their beliefs.  Here are some reminders of the sacrifices and suffering early Christians faced for their faith and godly lifestyles:

Millions of men, women, and children died for their faith in the past.  The walls of Rome’s catacombs and other hidden places reveal how many lived and died in fear of being caught and tortured for their beliefs.  Many had to worship in secret places for fear of being killed or imprisoned for attending a church service.  

Landmark Baptist College’s (Haines City, FL) collection of ancient Bibles has a Bible with fire-scorched pages.  It was plucked out of the flames that burned its owner.  A saint of the past refused to denounce his faith in Christ and His Word, and the man was burnt to death.  Today, his Bible is preserved as a reminder of what Christ and His Word meant to some and how many died for reading or living God’s way.

With the freedom that most have today, many professing Christians do not live for Christ, let alone die for Him.  It is easy to attend a nearby church, yet countless excuses are given by those not attending. 

Most households contain at least one copy of the Word of God.  However, few have bothered to read it.  Baptistries are now heated and always available, yet few follow the Lord in believer’s baptism.  Although we are quickly losing our religious freedoms in the United States, it is still possible for a believer to obey the Lord’s command and tell others how to go to Heaven, yet few do.

What does your faith in Christ mean to you?  Does God’s Word mean so much that you read it faithfully and would not sway from its teaching?  Is the price Christ paid on the cross for our salvation so precious to you that you are determined to live for Him, no matter the cost, socially or monetarily?  Are the Bible’s truths so important to you that you share them with others no matter the cost in time, money, or others’ opinions?

We are nearing an era’s end when many lived their faith in Christ and shared it with others without paying a high price.  However, because many have not stood up for their beliefs and freedoms, the ungodly are taking away those liberties.

For most of us, compared to what our predecessors have paid for their religious convictions, the cost to us has been minimal.  That fact may change shortly. 

Will you be willing to pay the price for your faith, no matter what it is?  Many say they will die for their faith, but for most of us, God only requires that we live for Him. Are you living boldly for Him today?

“If Christians do not tell the lost how to be saved from a tormenting eternity, who will?”  It is the responsibility of believers to tell others how to be saved!
— Bill Brinkworth