Erwin Lutzer – Persecution and the Church in China and Africa

Persecution Countries – Photo credit findingjustice.org

What effect has persecution had on the churches in China and Africa?

Lutzer: When Chairman Mao gave his famous speech in 1949 in Tiananmen Square, all mission organizations agree that there were perhaps a half million Christians in China. After that, of course, persecutions began and many pastors were killed. It looked as if Christianity was being stamped out, which is exactly what Mao wanted to do. Today, what we have in China is, estimates vary, some people say 30 million Christians, Some 50 million Christians. How did that happen? No television, no radio, not a lot of Christian literature. It was one believer telling another believer about Christ. And as persecution drove the Christians throughout China, the gospel went throughout China. And that’s the good news.

You know, I love to tell that story about Montana, evidently a true story, where there were some miners who found gold in about 1850. And they were so tired, some of their number had died; they said, „We found all this gold in the river. Let’s make a vow that we will not tell anyone where the gold is. Then we’ll go to town. We’ll regroup. We’ll come back and get it all for ourselves.” Ten days later when they went to get their gold, 50 of the people in the town followed them. And they said, „How do you know  we found gold? I mean, did you tell, did you tell?” The townspeople said, „No.” The townspeople said, „We know that you found gold because of the smile that was on your faces.”

And what we need today, in the midst of a nation that’s lost its way, in the midst of despair, in tens of thousands of Christians who live knowing that they have found gold, and they’re inviting others to find it also.

Lutzer: Evidently this was a letter that was written by a young martyr in Africa. He writes, „I’m part of the fellowship of the unashamed.
The die has been cast.
I’ve stepped over the line.
The decision has been made.
I’m a disciple of Jesus Christ.
I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.
My past is redeemed.
My present makes sense.
My future is secure.
I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed vision, worldly talking, cheap giving and dwarfed goals.
My faith is set.
My gate is fast.
My goal is heaven.
My road is narrow.
My way is rough.
My companions are few.
My guide is reliable.
My mission is clear.
I won’t give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up for the cause of Jesus Christ.
I must go ‘til He comes, give ‘til I drop, preach ‘til everyone knows, work ‘til He stops me.
And when He comes for His own He will have no trouble recognizing me, because my banner will have been clear.

God help us to live that way! Perhaps you are saying today, „This kind of declaration is one you cannot make,” because you don’t know Jesus Christ personally and the energy and the joy that He brings to our lives. So let me simply say this, „If you believe that when Jesus Christ died on the cross He did all that will ever be necessary for you to stand in God’s presence, and then of course, He was raised again. If you believe that that is true and you receive it for yourself, you will be redeemed; you will be saved. And when that happens, the blessed Holy Spirit of God comes to live within you so that you become a new creature. And then you can say, along with the rest of us, and even along with this martyr, that Jesus Christ is first. After all, He is the only Savior of the world.

VIDEO by John Ankerberg

 

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