The Worldly Cost Of Following Jesus

Since September 11, 2001, we have been bombarded with the message that Islam is a peaceful religion… that only a few fanatics have twisted the message. Islam is practiced by one-fifth of the world’s population and that number is growing every day. A Web search reveals over 125 million sites dedicated to Islam, or teach about the Muslim religion, but when I searched for “Islam the Religion of Peace”, I found only 2.2 million sites.

In the Koran, Surah 9 verse 29 states “Fight against…those who acknowledge not the religion of truth [Islam] among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” Mohammad also commands in Surah 47:4 how to treat unbelievers of Islam: “Smite at their necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly…” meaning to take them captive.

A young Iranian man named, Ali, said, “If there was peace in Islam, I wouldn’t have come to Christianity.”* This is a compelling testimony to the fact that Islam is not a peaceful religion.

A young man* from Indonesia said, “Because we have Jesus, it is not difficult being a Christian.” Only Christians can understand how Petrus can say this after what happened to him and his family.

Petrus’ father, Ishak Kristian, was a pastor*. On an October morning at 11:30 am, about 20 radical Muslims began to protest outside Ishak’s church. Ishak quietly stepped outside and tried to calm them, but the small crowd only grew in size and fury…

Pastor Kristian gathered together 6 of his family and friends and returned to the comparative safety of the church and they began to pray.

Shortly after noon, the small mob had grown to 200. They began smashing the church possessions and screaming for the pastor and the others to come out. Pastor Kristian and the others hid in the back room of the church.

Enraged, the mob lit the church on fire. Only one of the seven managed to escape alive. At the funeral, Petrus was told it was the will of Allah… it was their fate. Petrus said, “At first I was disappointed because I lost all of my beloved people. But this made me realize what really matters in my life. After the fire, most of our congregation became stronger in faith. In my opinion, because we have Jesus, it is not difficult to be a Christian.”

Today, our brothers and sisters in Christ in Indonesia are being slaughtered, kidnapped, raped and forcibly circumcised. The wombs of pregnant women have been slashed open. Children in the Sudan are being kidnapped for ransom, or for slavery. The Devil is desperate—anything but Jesus!

Why is this so? Because we are at war. Paul explains exactly what kind of war we wage in Ephesians 6. It isn’t against flesh and blood, but against the dark principalities, dark forces. Satan is doing anything and everything to keep the Gospel from being spread around the world.

To me, it is amazing that in Vietnam, Christians outnumber the Communist Party members. Just as Pharaoh became so angry when Moses shared Spiritual truths with the children of Israel, nothing has changed since then. People without Jesus still see Jesus in Believers and hate us for it. Nothing has changed except that the church Jesus promised to build on the Rock is alive and growing despite the persecution around the world; and despite the unbelief that God is more powerful than any problem or persecution abouding against the Bride of Christ.

We Americans have it so easy, yet we are persecuted if we live the kind of life Jesus would have us live instead of the lukewarm lifestyle of the politically correct.

* Stories taken from Voice of the Martyrs.

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