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Hundreds of thousands of Christians are being killed and persecuted in the Middle East and many other countries whilst our leaders do or say nothing. Most of them have died rather than be converted to Islam. The world has lost its way and we know that we are facing a real danger within our own nations for being a Christian. The only option we have is to ask the Holy Spirit to give us the courage and resolve to face the humiliations, insults or even death.
The bible calls us the light of the world a city set on a hill cannot be hidden and no one lights a lamp to put it under a basket but to put it were everyone who comes in a room can see Matthew 5:14-16. Matthew 10:33 says if you deny me before men, I will also deny you before my Father who is in Heaven. Peter wept bitterly after denying the Lord three times to preserve himself. A true believer is one not necessarily with a badge for all to see but like Peter in 1 Peter 3:1 you will win them over not by a word but by your conduct. They were called Christian first at Antioch because of there actions that were of the Lord. I believe a true believer can't hide because it shows by the way they carry themselves there certain things they don't indulge in, sheep cannot became wolf suddenly.
In my humble opinion the short answer would be YES, willfully choosing to hide one's servant relationship with the Lord, so as to not suffer any temporal loss, is to deceive oneself that there is any relationship to begin with. It would be akin to having a friend that you visit only when it's dark and nobody is around, and your never seen in public together! Your friend will soon come to recognize and grow tired with the true nature of this one way relationship. Today in the public square, many choose not to take a public stand or if they do it's a watered down gospel and Christ they present, so as to not offend. Stripped of His masculinity, godliness, justice, righteousness, power, and His ability to save, is not HE who will one day return on a white horse, with a sword, to judge! We His servants are called to be the lights of the world and the salt of the earth, until the end of our temporal shift or His glorious return! But if the light is hidden and the salt remains in the container, of what good is it? Each person must choose for themselves what life they wish to preserve or keep separate from God, be it social, economic, professional, or his temporal loaner. What we choose to value more is where our heart really is, choose wisely this day. "If a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live" Dr. Martin Luther King jr. Stay alert, stand firm in the faith, show courage, be strong. 1 Cor. 16:13 In the Lord's freedom and courage always............warrior on
To save your life can be right and wrong. Brethren I think here the wisdom of God comes in. Mat 10:23 When they persecute you in one town [that is, pursue you in a manner that would injure you and cause you to suffer because of your belief], flee to another town; for truly I tell you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. This conduct of Saul was in accordance with the direction of the Lord Jesus Mat_10:23, “When they persecute you in one city, flee ye into another,” etc. Saul was certain of death if he remained; and as he could secure his life by flight without abandoning any principle of religion, or denying his Lord, it was his duty to do so. Christianity requires us to sacrifice our lives only when we cannot avoid it without denying the Saviour, or abandoning the principles of our religion. Act 9:23 After considerable time had elapsed, the Jews conspired to put Saul out of the way by slaying him, Act 9:24 But [the knowledge of] their plot was made known to Saul. They were guarding the [city's] gates day and night to kill him, Act 9:25 But his disciples took him at night and let him down through the [city's] wall, lowering him in a basket or hamper. 2Co 11:33 And I was [actually] let down in a [rope] basket or hamper through a window (a small door) in the wall, and I escaped through his fingers. Jos_2:15; Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was built into the [town] wall so that she dwelt in the wall. 1Sa_19:11-12; Saul sent messengers that night to David's house to watch him, that he might kill him in the morning. But Michal, David's wife, told him, If you do not save your life tonight, tomorrow you will be killed. 1Sa 19:12 So Michal let David down through the window, and he fled and escaped. At the right time your life will be taken. Where the Spirit leads to preach or witness we must obey. Normally we are directed to safer areas and later the dangerous areas and that to die for your witness. For now we smuggle bibles in, have underground church gathering until the time of our departure "death" all constructed by God. We must do the wise thing and that is not to go where God didn't ask you to go. Prov 22:3
Nowhere in scripture is it taught that one can practice the Christian faith in private. In fact Scripture is clear on the fact that the Christian life is a shared life. One must be openly in communion with fellow saints or believers in order to meet the biblical definition of a believer. Jesus always understood his followers on a collective basis and spoke to them with this in mind. His prayer in John 17 is a classic example of his attitude and idea of the church. He refered to them always in the plural sense; saying in John 17:12-15 (KJV): "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. 13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil." There is no Christianity apart from or beside one being a member of the church community. The idea of private Christianity is a counterfeit design by the enemy to confuse the children of God. Those who advance these ideas are certainly not members of Christ's body which is His church.
No... I don't believe it is offensive to God for you to protect yourself for whatever reason you're fearful of for your safety. It's easy to fantasize about being a strong soldier for a great cause, but many who support war of any kind for any reason do so from a rear position and not on the front line of said conflict. Remember Saint Peter? People might judge you as being unworthy of Christ if you're not willing to die for Him but He doesn't. He realizes that you're unworthy even if you don't cherish your life.... David said it best in one of his songs where he states that The Lord knows what we're made of, that we're only dust Psalms 103:14. Dust is blown away easily and has no defense of its own... If you boast about how fearless you are for the cause of Christ I believe you to be the one who is displeasing to The Lord.. see 2 Corinthians 11:30 where Paul says all such boasting is evil. The glory belongs to God and He is shown to be glorious when we own our weakness not in our pretense of strength....Peter walked with Jesus for about 3 years and said that he would die for Jesus and we know how that turned out. Mark 14:30 Hear ye, hear ye..... be careful of the things ye ask for.
I guess you really need to explore your heart. The question I have in response is "are you denying Christ"? Matthew 10:33 says "But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." What is your life really worth on this earth compared to eternity?
Without doubt we as Christians should not deny our faith in our Lord not shall we be boastful in his name. I understand that circumstances arise where evil uses force fear and sometimes love to dissuade you from following Christ. Jesus has known this and has made it very clear that such things will happen. It's very real. Find strength in small Christian communities in your area, get to know people who can help you. Make your situation known to people you can trust. Ask them to pay for you. Jesus is always with you.
Matt 10:32-34 the words confess and deny are very specific words of action. To verbally confess has as its direct opposite action of verbally denying. I’m not sure to remain silent while examining the situation and possible consequences is what Christ meant as denying Him. When someone is facing others that will do them harm or their loved ones we must be as wise as a serpent but humble as a dove. We must examine and evaluate the situation at hand. What will truly give Christ glory! History should assist us in understanding that when the possible peril faced is to the extreme, careful caution And referring to an old antidote “live today and fight tomorrow”. Which do you think is better: to live today and fight tomorrow, or to die fighting today with no more opportunity for a tomorrow? According to Albatrus.org: "When threatened by Romans in the first centuries after Christ, Christians used the fish symbol to mark meeting places and tombs, or to distinguish friends from foes." They were very careful, it appears, to guard their savior, testimony and self from those that may either harm them, family or cause them to be harmed. We are told to count the cost in Luke 14. The examples given I believe are to guide us in our life with difficult situations we encounter. Christians in the good ole USA may have experienced ridicule or embarrassment or even harassment to some degree, but not what the question seeks an answer for, literally the possibility of physical injury, mental torment or death. The answers given to this question are of the traditional response that rest on the views of most that appear to be strong in quoting Bible verses, but I’ll wager have never really faced the question at hand. Be strong in the Lord, seek the leadership of Gods Holy Spirit and rightly discern His word. You will know when to take a stand that may cause you harm or death to Christ glory and when to stay silent to fight another day. Those that face this real life and death situations in Christ, I and hopefully all Christians pray for you earnestly throughout each day that our Heavenly Father give you wisdom, protection and guidance to His glory in His Son.
Although I know it must be extremely scary, Jesus is clear on this. He said in Matthew 10:28,"And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him [God] who can destroy both soul and body in hell." (emphasis, mine).He was talking to His disciples; that's you and me, Christian. Jesus saying this is brought out SO dramatically in The Chosen Season 3 Episode 2.
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