• Chris Steele

Could This Happen Here?

Be Strong, Be Well — Saturday, October 10, 2020

An owner of a Chinese Christian bookstore, who sells online, was arrested, tried, and sentenced to seven years in prison. The Chinese communist government destroyed his entire inventory of nearly 13,000 books and publications. Now they are hunting down all of his customers throughout China. They have vowed to destroy anything they can find that was purchased from his bookstore.

Long ago there were many powerful political forces who tried to destroy Christianity and its influence throughout the world. They did not succeed.

While Jesus Christ was on this earth, the Jewish leadership, the powerful and influential Sanhedrin, tried to stop His plans to build His eternal spiritual kingdom. When they schemed to have God’s Son killed, they thought that would be the end of it.They were wrong.

Weeks before His death Jesus told His disciples He would accomplish His goal of building His church and establishing His kingdom, and the “gates of Hades” (death) would not stop Him.

He rose from the grave and some weeks later His kingdom was established on Pentecost (Acts 2). But the Jews continued to persecute Christians to try to stop the movement (Acts 4 and 5). Even though God’s people were not spared the trouble of being forced from their houses and homeland, they continued to preach the message of Christ wherever they went (Acts 8:1, 4).

Persecution got worse and Christians were facing the threat of imprisonment and death for their beliefs and practices (Acts 9:1, 2; Acts 22:4, 5; Galatians 1:13).

Things turned from bad to worse when the Roman empire got involved. Christians suffered unbelievable torture and death at the hands of pagan Emperors Nero, Diocletian, and others.

Regardless of all of these things, people who heard the gospel were still becoming Christians. The church and kingdom continued to grow. Just as Jesus said it would. Death and the grave did not stop the church from growing then, and it will not stop the church from growing now.

Could what’s happening in China happen here? Yes! It seems like it’s already started in many places in our country. Will this stop believers in God, His Son, and His word? It will not!

We may suffer mistreatment as Christians (2 Timothy 3:12), but we must continue to preach the word! We will spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to every person throughout the world. Everyone has a soul that needs saving. “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). —Chris 

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