From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: I read the Book of Martyrs and was horrified at what they suffered because of their faith. We’re seeing a rise in the persecution of Christians. So many people accept God’s love but are violently against Christians who speak of Christ’s judgment. Why is this? – C.P.
A: Speak about the love of God and faces light up, but speak of God’s judgment, and attitudes change. God does judge sin and evil with perfect justice, and offers His grace, mercy, and love to all who will receive Him. This is difficult for some to accept, but it’s true.
Few things touch the heart more than the news that believers in Christ are persecuted, tortured, and killed for their devotion to Jesus and His Word. There’s been an expansion of Christianity in the last few centuries — often into places of great unbelief and hostility. There’s also the rise of militantly anti-religious political systems. Even where persecution isn’t an issue, an upsurge in secularism and religious intolerance is apparent, and religion has been scorned and removed from public life. Jesus warned that those who choose to follow Him would experience these things.
Persecution is one of the natural consequences of living the Christian life. The Bible tells us that it comes because of the word of the Lord (see Matthew 13:21). Faithful Christians will stand up for Him in the midst of it because they understand the purpose behind it: to glorify God, for He will strengthen those enduring trials for His Name’s sake.
Thank God for whatever measure of religious freedom is still present today. Christians in America have worshiped without the fear or threat of physical abuse for their beliefs, but others around the world have been tortured and martyred. We must pray for them and comfort one another with the knowledge that Jesus is coming back in glory and majesty to make all things right.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
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