I don’t know why I feel this way, but I do. I’m really worried about the Christians I know. I’m not sure if they know the value of their soul. I’m not sure that American Christians are ready to die for Christ. When I say that, people just look back at me and smile. I don’t know what you think, but I think part of being a Christian is being willing to die for Christ.
Why? You may wonder why I think this way. Is it because the Holy Spirit has prompted me? I think so. Seven years ago, I had the privilege of getting to hear JI Packer speak. He was just about to turn ninety, and he thought his speaking days were over due to deteriorating back and hip issues. However, after a hip surgery he recovered to the place that he felt able to travel so he arranged a last-minute retreat. Fresh into the preaching circuit, he was happy to explain the focus of the rest of his life and any teaching/preaching he would accept. He explained that he saw himself as a “catechism-est.” He would spend the rest of his life preparing Christians to be real Christians. His text was Ephesians 6.
He opened my eyes to the vitality of this important passage of Scripture. He said that it is the first truth He would teach Christians. He believed it vital to our survival. In my heart I disagreed with him. I believed the most important spiritual truth for Christians to comprehend was that we are dearly loved children of God and then teach them about the forces of evil that are constantly attacking our relationship with God.
I would say that the most fruitful part of my work for God has been helping people know and believe their dearness to God. Is that enough? Am I helping to build up a kingdom of cultural Christians? Are we merely connecting to the goodness of God, yet not understanding that we are literally in a war for our souls even more so after we have placed our faith in Christ than before? There is nothing Satan can use more than self-centered, self-indulgent Christians who think they are all set for heaven so nothing else matters but enjoying their blessings in this life.
Okay…. I will stop my rant, but I wanted to get your attention. This is serious. We are at war. Most Americans don’t know much about real war in their personal experience. I see the first signs of this war on Christians in social media and specifically FACEBOOK. You may wonder why I am posting a Christian devotion on Facebook if I am accusing Facebook of persecuting Christians. Well, I had a little taste of it myself. It bothered me a lot. I mentioned it to a woman who had commented on my post by “calling me out” about whether a Christian should be saying what I said.
She is a Christian and she was concerned about my Christian voice. A conversation ensued, and everyone else supported me; but that’s not the point. The point I want to make is that I let her know my post was taken down because it did not meet the FACEBOOK community standards (yet, for the life of me I don’t see what standard I broke when I read their standards), and I asked her what she thought of that in a private conversation.
It didn’t concern her at all. She is a Christian, just like me. She is my sister. We are both on the same side. If this happened to me, it will soon happen to her. What bothered me was that she didn’t have a concern that my Christian view was considered against Facebook’s community standards and that it was deleted. I didn’t write on this topic until this week when a pastor friend posted that his posts were taken down—for the same reason and his post was simply the Bible! A verse from the Bible—not even one of those controversial ones either. It was Titus 3:4-5. He asked me to repost the screenshot of it. It wasn’t taken down when I posted it. But it caused me to want to write this to you. Are you prepared to die for your faith?
I’m with JI Packer. I’m getting clarity. I am concerned. I don’t want anyone to lose their great salvation by sacrificing their soul. Who knows what is going on at FACEBOOK and why they take some posts down and not others? This is a tinge of persecution for Christians. It’s mild. But it’s real.
When will it get worse? Will it get worse? All I know is that I want to be the kind of Christian that fights for other Christians and never gives up the fight to be a Christian. Matthew 16:26: “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?”
A most important question for every Christian to answer.