Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What are we really made of?

"Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad....

Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples....

[Just hours later...]

Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

And he went out, and wept bitterly."

Matthew 26:31,35,74,75

It is easy to say that I would never deny the Lord. But this passage is a sobering reminder that anybody can fall to the temptation, given the right circumstances.

It is getting more and more difficult to be true Christ-followers these days. The laws of the land are changing, and the direction they are taking is not Bible-friendly, to say the least.

Most likely great persecution is on its way to America, though most Christians think America is immune to persecution of the church. Preaching the truth will soon be "hate-speech", and giving out the gospel in public venues will be against city regulations. People have been and will be arrested for attempting to carry out Christ's commission to His disciples to GO and PREACH the Gospel.

In the book of John, chapter 17, is recorded a prayer Jesus prayed on behalf of His disciples, and several times He prayed for their (our) unity in the truth. We need that unity because we are rejected by the world as a whole. "I have given them Thy Word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world."

Let true believers be unified by the Truth, that we may stand faithful as times get more difficult! And let us pray for one another.


Persuaded said...

I am not of the mind that we will be facing true persecution here in the US, although I know that many would disagree with me on this☺ That said I completely agree with you that we need to be always humbly aware that we are no better than Peter, and we may likely follow in his sin. To our own horror.

But for the grace of God....

Have a blessed day my dear♥

Tammy said...

It sure seems that we are headed that way. Christians uniting in prayer, action, and VOTING will be the only thing to make a difference.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, it is so easy to say we won't deny Him, but when we go to the WORD we see that even those closest to Him fell. I have thought about this many times. It is hard to think about it.

Randy said...

I do believe we that are true followers of Christ will see persecution. to what degree time will tell.When it does happen I also think there will be a great falling away of those that are not true believers.Most churches today have made it far to easy to just add Jesus to your life and continue living as you where.

The one most single thing we can do is to get the word of God to people andsee their hearts changed. That is the only thing that will really change things.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tammy,

Do you have any persecution in Guatemala? Are people more open to the Gospel than they are here in the U.S.?

The thing that scares me most in the U.S. is the possibility of not being able to guide the education and upbringing of our children. There are a lot of people who are very opposed to homeschooling, and many who even call themselves Christians! Does that ever worry you? (Yes, I am a new Christian, and I know I'm not supposed to worry, but I do.)

Amy in MN

Tammy said...

Diane, I hope you are right. But when Jesus spoke of the terrible last days in Matt 24, He seems to be warning us. US. Why would he speak to believers about it if we are going to be gone (raptured out) before it comes to pass?

Paul said, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." So we can expect persecution in one form or another.

Throughout history, oppressive and controlling governments have persecuted the followers of Jesus, sometimes in unthinkable ways. There has never been a communistic gov't that was friendly to them, and communism is where our own government is headed.

Makes ya think!

Tammy said...

Tammy, I agree that we should do all that we can, especially prayer!

Miss Jocelyn, my only comfort there is that the disciples may or may not have had the benefit of the influence of the Holy Ghost. Soon after, however, they did, and we see the powerful results in the book of Acts! Today, we DO have that benefit, if we will allow ourselves to be filled with the Spirit.

Tammy said...

Randy, I see many today who have just added Jesus to their lives, as you put it, and go on living as they were. It's a counterfeit Christian lifestyle, and I agree that it is a sign of the end times (I Tim. 4:1,2).

Tammy said...

Amy, so far we are free to preach the gospel in Guatemala, and there are no government restrictions. As far as openness to the gospel, the people are rather receptive to what we say... However, the trouble is that they are so agreeable that it is hard to tell if they are really "hearing". We teach them, and hope to see the fruit of the Spirit develop in them.

Regarding homeschooling, I used to think that as ex-patriots we might be immune to those issues; sort of out-of-reach from U.S. restrictions b/c we live on foreign soil, and out-of-reach from Guatemalan policy b/c we are not Guatemalan citizens. However, I know of a missionary family in Spain who endured conflict with the Spanish gov't about their homeschooling. Their blog is at http://educarencasa-ketty.blogspot.com/ if you are interested in their story.

Within the U.S., I know the Christian Law Association has helped many homeschooling families with legal issues. We ought to thank the Lord for the freedoms we do have and not take them for granted!