This week at FUEL, we’re going to be talking with our students about persecution, and how the body of Christ has always experienced persecution as a result of full commitment to the Gospel and evangelism. I’m looking forward to this being a really fun conversation for our students (because this is something that we don’t normally get to talk about), but also being a little tricky because persecution isn’t something that most of us are familiar with; at least not in the way we see it in scripture. And yet, persecution against Christians for their spreading of the Gospel is as violent and focused as it’s ever been. Some statistics below may open your eyes to the reality of persecution against Christians around the globe.
- Approximately 750,000 Christians are in labor camps in North Korea because of their faith in Christ
- ISIS murdered around 4,000 Christians for their faith in Nigeria in 2014. They then doubled their numbers in 2015, bringing the martyrdoms up to 8,000. That region is still at this very moment considered an extremely hostile environment for Christians to even go near.
- In this past year, the nation of Russia has now made it illegal to share the Gospel on the streets publically. Many have already been imprisoned by this new law.
For other statistics on modern day persecution, check out the website of the “Voice of the Martyr’s Ministry” link below:
Should we expect this type of persecution against our students in Elbert County if they live passionately for Jesus? Probably not. We are very fortunate to live in a country that allows us to worship freely and express our religious freedoms however we please (although there are some who believe this won’t be the case for much longer). But although our teens may not see this particular type of persecution, we would be totally wrong to say that they won’t and couldn’t experience persecution by living passionately for Christ today. Teens lose relationships with family members and friends every day for their belief in Christ. Christian teenagers are mocked and belittled in schools every day for their faith, and the movement our society as a whole doesn’t show any promising future for this getting better.
As our teens get older and become productive members of society as adults, they’ll be faced with tough decisions all the time that will test their resolve for Christ. “Should I share the Gospel with people that I work with, even if it means getting fired?” Or, “Should I continue to be passionate for the Gospel and evangelism even if it means that society thinks I am a hateful person?” These are questions that all Christians have to face, and hopefully our faith and devotion to Christ will outweigh any sort of fear of what may happen if we share the Gospel.
Our goal this Wednesday night at FUEL is to encourage our students to start making those right decisions today, so that they can be more grounded in their faith to make those some decisions in the future. Please pray for our youth tonight as we tackle this issue, and pray specifically that their hearts and minds will more devoted to Christ than ever – no matter what the cost.
Youth Pastor – FBC Elberton