For the last thirty years or so, Northern Nigeria, where I live, has seen a series of riots, persecutions and destruction. Sometimes whole families or communities are decimated; sometimes it is individuals who just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and who refused to deny Christ, choosing rather to be killed. In the vast majority of instances the names of these martyrs will be known and remembered only by their close relatives — and by the Lord. Some were those who were working for peace and reconciliation between Muslims and Christians; some were pastors; many were ordinary church members.
No-one in their right mind actually wants persecution; persecution is something which we work to eliminate. Modern translations which render Matthew 5:10 as “Happy are you who are persecuted” may encourage a dangerously wrong interpretation of Christian faith and practice. Suffering and persecution do not ensure a safe passage to heaven! We should not look for suffering. We must debunk the idea that passively accepting a state of suffering is a sign of being a believer.
Persecution and suffering are, however, part of life. God has never promised his people that they would escape all trouble, but he has always promised to go through the troubles with us. This is clear even in the Old Testament….
Archbishop Ben Kwashi, Gafcon General Secretary (elect), explains that external persecution is not the only pressure that he feels against his evangelistic ministry. Timidity is more endemic when it comes to sharing the gospel. Read the full interview here:https://t.co/ZgquT1eJ7o pic.twitter.com/g2Cdv0IG9e
— GAFCON (@gafconference) November 16, 2018