I have to admit something to all of you; I am sick and tired of nominal and lukewarm Christians. It is one of my greatest annoyances. I hate how our churches and youth groups are filled with people that say they are Christians, have “prayed a prayer”, and don’t do “bad” things, yet it stops right there. They are without all fire and passion and even love. Their “Christian” life only extends as far as Sunday mornings and other church events, except for the fact that they don’t take the Lord’s name in vain or such. It is a sickening ailment of the American and Western church.
When I look at the American and Western church then also look at the persecuted church, I am shocked by the difference. In the underground and persecuted church, people risk their lives to just go to a church service or to own a Bible. In the Western church, most people miss church to spend time at their cabins and to go hunting (at least where I live) and Bibles are in abundance, yet we barely even take time to read them. The persecuted church will not deny Christ even if it comes down to dying, when the Western church will deny Christ for the sake of popularity.
Now I know full well that there are Christians in the Western church that are willing to die for their Lord and Savior and have a passion for him, as well as people in the underground church that deny Christ or who betray others in the church. This is just a generalization of the majority.
There is such beauty in the persecuted church. I have been reading Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand and the stories he tells of himself and others that have been persecuted for Christ’s sake under the communists are amazing and heart wrenching. The love expressed by the underground church is nothing less than beautiful.
We need that. We need faith that stands the roughest storms. We need courage that will take a stand for what they believe and say, “Here I stand I can do no other”. We need lives that are ready to be laid down. We need passion alive in the hearts of those who claim to know the King of kings. We need to have the fire and power of God at work in the church of America. We need the stuff of the persecuted church.
The change starts with you and me. If we don’t have passion, fire, courage, strength, and faith present in our own lives we can’t expect it from the people around us. We are to lead by example and show the radiance of Christ in our own lives. I also think we need some persecution and testing to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff. We know nothing of persecution, but I know that in the years ahead we might get a taste of it. I know that it will be good for our church and will take away the dead and nominal Christians and just leave the ones that are truly followers of Jesus. Then maybe we will start to show some of the beauty of Christ. God bless.