Sunday Message: The Persecuted Church – 19th Apr 2015
Minister: Alison Moodie
Theme: Can we help our brothers and sisters in Christ who are persecuted around the world?
Summary: Christians are the most persecuted religious group worldwide. According to Open Doors USA, an average of at least 180 Christians around the world are killed each month for their faith. Today’s service came about because of this video by the charity Open Doors that Michelle Ward brought to the attention of Church Council recently.
We can and must help & stand beside all who are persecuted today, support them in prayers and support them through charities like Open Doors. What we want for Christ’s Bride, is something that we will only fully grasp in eternity. It’s our joy to think of one day gathering around the Throne of God to hear the stories of those who were martyred and imprisoned and to know, finally, how the Lord heard our prayers for their suffering, endurance & courage and made it so. We must pray that one day we can look upon the face of Christ and hear him say, “I was in prison, and you came to me. Well done, good and faithful servant.”
There are several ways that we, as ‘ordinary’ Christians, can go about standing with our brethren, including taking ‘the step of yes‘ to pray for those suffering and support the work Open Doors does to help them in their plight. We can also write to officials in our own government who have the power to influence governments that house those who persecute Christians. The strongest request I can make to you is to devote yourself to prayer for the persecuted.
Scripture reference: Matthew 5:43-48New International Version (NIV)