India

Persecuted Christian! They Cannot Eliminate You

Image credit: Ben White, on Unsplash

Ever felt hurt, dejected or demotivated when people have persecuted you because you are a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ? Take heart from the Bible – I too have. Let me begin with a portion of Scripture:

1 Peter 4:12-14 says:
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 

Think of the martyrs who have shed blood and sacrificed their lives for the sake of the Gospel. Be thankful that you are at least alive. And while you are alive, get equipped to not just preach the Gospel boldly, but also be filled with the Holy Spirit. He will give you the power to demonstrate the Kingdom. If you preach the Gospel with signs following, unsaved people will lose most (if not all) of their resistance to the message that you bring. It will be clear who reigns – Jesus Christ the risen!

People who persecute others can, at the most, kill – but not eliminate – the victim. The spirit of the born again Christian will personally go to Heaven at death. In fact, positionally, you are already in Heaven if you are born again. So any which way you take it, your persecutors cannot eliminate you. In my view, your safest bet to minimize persecution and maximize your impact for the Kingdom is to operate in the way that Jesus operated. And he not only preached the Gospel of the Kingdom – he also healed the sick, raised the dead and cast out demons. Ask God to give you the power needed to do the same. According to the Bible, the key to getting filled with Holy Spirit is this, as stated in Ephesians 5:18-21

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. 

When the religious people of Jesus’ day tried to attack him physically, he escaped from their midst every single time. He knew that the time had not yet come for him to be hung on the Cross. So, with the Holy Spirit’s ability, he could escape unhurt, untouched. If we keep renewing our minds to the Word of God – the Bible – and keep preaching with signs following (or at least attempting to do so in obedience to the Bible), we too will be able to avoid being persecuted more than God allows us to be.

According to a preacher that I respect, Bro. Curry Blake, as you develop the reputation of being a warrior for Christ, demons will trouble you less. They will look for a more opportune time. But every time, you can beat them. So brother/sister! Keep reading the Bible, studying the Bible, meditating on its verses, and doing the Bible. There is nothing that comforts you more than Scripture. and there is nothing that gives you greater hope and strength. Above all, forgive those who persecute you. Encourage others by sharing your experiences overcoming persecution, in the comments section below, and offline too!

 

Posted by Ketan Rindani in Born-again, Christian, Gospel, Holy Spirit, India, Life Issues, Persecution, Prayer, Sacrifice, Suffering, 0 comments

What’s Common Between Gilbert Hill and Christians?

The picture above is that of Gilbert Hill, Mumbai, India. According to Wikipedia, Gilbert Hill is a 200 ft (61 m) monolith column of black basalt rock at Andheri, in Mumbai (my hometown). The rock has a sheer vertical face and was formed when molten lava was squeezed out of the Earth’s clefts during the Mesozoic Era about 65 million years ago. If you are a practicing Christian, you might know that the Earth is not that old, but probably only about 6000-7000 years old. Scientists seem to have proven that all it takes for the Earth to cool down is a fraction of a second (Refer to Josh McDowell’s free ebook Reasons Skeptics Should Consider Christianityhttp://www.josh.org/resources/free-book-downloads/).
Gilbert Hill is a national level prehistoric heritage site. Many people the world over might be thrilled to learn that the town they live in is home to a prehistoric site like this. I too was, until the Holy Spirit told me that every square inch of ground I walked on is a prehistoric site. It has always been existing since He created Earth! What’s more, He showed me another important fact – guess what it was – that I am a prehistoric site myself, being born again! And how? Of course, because as per the Bible, my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and the spirit of Jesus Christ lives in me. The Ancient of Days (God the Father – Jehovah) lives in me through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. So is not my body a prehistoric site? Yours too is, if you are a born again child of God through faith in His Son Jesus. Yet what a joyful irony, the Bible says that when you turn your life over to Jesus, old things pass away and all things become new and all things are of God!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God…” – 2 Corinthians 5:17,18

If you want to become a prehistoric site (yet recreated through faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God), read this blog post.


Posted by admin, 0 comments

Christian Persecuted: Have you ever been one?

“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.” – Matthew 5:11


A couple of months ago, I had been to my native state of Gujarat, where I became – sort of – a Christian persecuted. I gave some gospel tracts to Hindus. Their response wasn’t bad on my face. But when I came back to my hometown, I learned that there was a small verbal fight over the issue. I had given one tract to my relative’s maid. First she asked for our pastor’s phone number saying she wanted prayer. The next day though, her husband came and fought with my relatives. In fact, another relative of mine took my evangelism negatively and said that they could inform the police and get me arrested for trying to convert people’s religion! A brother-in-Christ later advised me that on every tract, you should print words like “We are not trying to convert your religion. Jesus did not come to (start or) establish a religion. Whether to believe in this message or not is your decision.”

Of course, Jesus says in the Bible that people would hate his followers. But what I found surprising was that this actually happens here in India even though we are a secular country. We aren’t theocratic – Hindu like Nepal or Islamic like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia etc.

A missionary pastor later advised me to abstain from handing out gospel tracts in that state as people there think differently than people in my hometown. Missionary pastors really have it tough and often risk death when, ironically, they are really trying to set people free from the clutches of sin, sickness, death etc.

It would be interesting to learn if you have ever been a Christian persecuted for preaching the gospel (even soft persecution – like just handing out tracts or praying for people…). Share your experiences in the comments here. God bless you!

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

Posted by admin, 0 comments

Led by the Spirit of God

“Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” – Hebrews 13:7
I remember those who led me to the Lord Jesus Christ. I got saved through a website www.demonbuster.com. Although I do not agree with some of their teachings on spiritual warfare, God used that website to plant the seed of His Word in me. I was hungry so I ate up that seed and by His grace and through the power of His Spirit, the seed is bearing fruit.
There have been several others who have led me along the Way. Heb 13:7 exhorts us to imitate their faith. Praise God for the solid faith of that uncle (I will keep all the names anonymous) who had lost an eye and has been on dialysis for the last few years. The devil has not succeeded in shaking his faith in God, despite the afflictions. Recently, this uncle’s doctor asked him to give a speech to about 60-70 people in the hospital where he regularly goes for dialysis. Uncle got up and shared the Gospel with them. Looks like he has decided to glorify the LORD come what may! By all means, physical fitness is necessary and you should aim for it/preserve it; but what good is it if you are not fit enough to preach the Gospel? This uncle truly gives God a ‘Sacrifice of Praise’.
There is another brother who has interceded for me quite a lot. He has seen countless miracles as a result of his faith in the Living God. His church’s managing committee once asked him whether he had a first class pass to commute in Mumbai’s suburban trains. He said he didn’t. They asked him to get one, but he refused. He said “the money that pays for my pass is the blood of the saints – they work hard and live out the Word of God. I cannot squander their hard-earned money to commute in comfort.” He often goes on house visitations in various parts of Mumbai. Mumbai is one of the largest and most populous cities in the world with a reasonably good but grossly inadequate mass transport system. A local train that is supposed to carry only 1,200 commuters carries 5,000! And to travel this way in 35 degrees Celsius with 80% relative humidity – not an easy task. But this soldier of God chooses the narrow, thorny road as Jesus his Master and Leader is with him wherever he goes (Joshua 1:9). He lives out the verse “I can do all things through Jesus who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
My local pastor graduated from Bible College at Baltimore, Maryland. He prayed about God’s call on his life and felt the Spirit tell him He wanted him to come back to India – God had a job for him here. He confirmed this with his pastor who prayed about it and felt the same. My pastor has now completed almost 20 years of ministry in India. It’s not easy – he’s been put in prison once for preaching the Gospel (though Christian evangelism is perfectly legal in India) – in the same Indian state where an Australian missionary was martyred many years ago. He’s had a tough job. Life would probably have been much less challenging had he stayed in the comforts of the US. But thanks be to God that he brought him back to India, as our church now has almost two dozen branches all over India and about seven in Nepal!
Why do you think some people seem to be able to overcome all odds? It’s not only because they have faith in Jesus. It’s because they have the faith OF Jesus!
I thank God for exhorting me to imitate the faith of those who have led me spiritually in one way or another. My real Leader is the Spirit of Jesus Christ, who leads me and guides me into all Truth. (John 16:13) Amen.
Posted by admin, 0 comments

“Mark of the Beast” – What is it?

In one of our services, Pastor Karl taught about this mark (the number 666 as stated in Revelation 13:18) that will be necessary if people are to buy or sell anything. The Bible says that those who do not bear this mark, will not be able to buy or sell anything (Revelation 13:17).

So what is this “mark?” Scholars suggest that this mark will be a microchip embedded under the skin of one’s forehead or the back of the hand. The subcutaneous (below the skin) chip will contain all biological, personal and financial information about the bearer. For every commercial transaction, the person will need to get his/her chip scanned by a chip-reader, the way bar codes are scanned by an optical reader at supermarkets. Sounds scary, doesn’t it?

The Indian Government has embarked on a massive project (see earlier post) to issue Biometric Unique Identification Cards (UID) to each of India’s 1.2 billion citizens! Jesus has blessed India with terrific talent in diverse fields, especially technology. If the management and logistics fall in place, this project is likely to succeed. Now here are 2 questions for you all:

  1. Is the Biometric ID Card the mark of the Beast?
  2. Can a Christian who wilfully chooses receives this mark become “un-saved” and therefore hell-bound?

Drop-in your comments and opinions. It’ll make for an interesting discussion, I’m sure.

Posted by admin, 0 comments

Unique Identification (UID) for Indian Citizens

Indian Citizens may soon get a single Smart Card containing a Unique Identification (UID) that will be linked to documents like the Voter’s ID, Passport, Driving Licence etc. The key benefit will be that when you produce the UID, all details that are required for verification while transacting with government and private agencies, will be accessible in one shot. A side benefit is that, say, if you changed your residential address, you will not need to liaise with different agencies to get your various documents modified/updated. One change in the UID and all official records will reflect this change.

Looks like happy days are ’round the corner. If this one becomes a hit, living in India may never be the same again! Read this post for more.

Posted by admin, 0 comments