The crime of being a Christian

Now imagine that you have been sentenced to hard labour in a prison camp behind the iron curtain.  You’ve been sentenced to five years and five years in exile.

In addition to hard labour the suffering also spills over on to your family so that your children’s education is interrupted and affected. All your possessions have been confiscated.  Your father before you had been in prison for the same crime, by the same kind of Government. In fact your father had died in prison.

The crime?  Being a Christian minister and refusing to toe the Party line.

Yes, you had broken the law. The State refused to let you fulfil your calling, but you per­sisted in saying I must obey God rather than men.  That’s your crime.  Then, when you are arrested you know you have broken the law.

But you also know that you are one of many other people who right now are in prison and suffering hardship because they insist on standing up to be counted as Christians in places where being a Christian is not only unpopular, it’s illegal.

Now don’t let it make you feel guilty that you are not in prison or being persecuted as a Christian, but rather let it lead you today to pray for those who are.

I have a card here before me that says, “If I were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict me?”  That’s the message for today. It’s the question I’m asking you.  “If you were to be arrested today for being & Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”

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Christ rose again, but our sins did not; they are buried for ever in his grave. (J. Brown)

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