Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. Revelation 12:12.
In all ages God’s appointed witnesses have exposed themselves to reproach and persecution for the truth’s sake. Joseph was maligned and persecuted.... David, the chosen messenger of God, was hunted like a beast of prey by his enemies.... Stephen was stoned because he preached Christ and Him crucified. Paul was imprisoned, beaten with rods, stoned, and finally put to death.... John was banished to the Isle of Patmos “for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
These examples of human steadfastness bear witness to the faithfulness of God’s promises—of His abiding presence and sustaining grace. They testify to the power of faith to withstand the powers of the world.48
The season of distress and anguish before us will require a faith that can endure weariness, delay, and hunger—a faith that will not faint though severely tried.49
Many of all nations and of all classes, high and low, rich and poor, black and white, will be cast into the most unjust and cruel bondage. The beloved of God pass weary days, bound in chains, shut in by prison bars, sentenced to be slain, some apparently left to die of starvation in dark and loathsome dungeons.... No human hand is ready to lend them help.
Will the Lord forget His people in this trying hour? Did He forget faithful Noah when judgments were visited upon the antediluvian world? Did He forget Lot when the fire came down from heaven to consume the cities of the plain? ... Did He forget Elijah when the oath of Jezebel threatened him with the fate of the prophets of Baal? Did He forget Jeremiah in the dark and dismal pit of his prison house? Did He forget the three worthies in the fiery furnace? or Daniel in the den of lions? ...
Though enemies may thrust them into prison, yet dungeon walls cannot cut off the communication between their souls and Christ. One who sees their every weakness, who is acquainted with every trial, is above all earthly powers; and angels will come to them in lonely cells, bringing light and peace from heaven.50
Up until now you may have considered yourself a fairly humble person. However, this short “Healthy Heart Challenge” is sure to challenge you in new ways, as you seek to go deeper in your walk with Christ. Remember, true revival can’t begin until we recognize how desperately we need Christ to change our hearts. Then as we fall broken at the foot of the Cross, surrendering our pride and self-sufficiency to Him, it is His joy to encircle us in the arms of His love, and make us new creatures that will display His glory!
In a stirring message, Sebastien Braxton challenges young people to step up to the plate and be the generation that will stand for the Lord. It's easy to get lost in the distractions of life, in the spiritual confusion that is taking over the world, but God has called us to rise up and be counted. This is a must-hear message for anyone who loves God's church.
How welcoming is your church? Is it a safe and inviting place for visitors to come? How can you make it even more welcoming for strangers that might walk through the door? In this practical and relevant article from Ministry Magazine, Alan Parker breaks down five keys to help church members be more effective in their welcome and witness.