The past few weeks while travelling, I had witnessed to several people about Jesus in the same manner as had in the first few weeks of my trip. I told them that he loves him and testified to them of great things he had done in my life (which is daily) and in the life’s of others.
One person in particular was someone who provided me with a guest room overnight, a shower and meals. I met him through warmshowers.com a website for travelling cyclists. He was kind, friendly and accommodating. When I mentioned to him about my ministry trip he listened for a moment and then changed the subject… Throughout the evening whenever I had mentioned anything about religion or God he never responded. He just talked about something else. The next day he did make a comment about how he had been a Christian and going to church and that it never worked out for him but he was glad that I was having a good experience…
Another person was an elderly man I met early one morning at a variety store in small village east of Kingston. I had spent the night at a small marina and was enjoying a coffee at the variety store around the corner. This man was also riding a bike and lived in the area. He came to greet me and was full of questions about my trip. We chatted for quite sometime. He was friendly, warm and sincere. He told me that when he was in world war 2 in the trenches, all he could do is pray to God and do the little he could do that he was taught in bible school as a child. When he got out of the war he began going to church and was surprised on how people in the church didn’t follow the scriptures or do what was in the bible. He got so caught up with this he told me that he had to give going up to church all together and seek help from a psychiatrist! The doctor told him to give up on religion… So he stopped going to that church but he walked away from relationship with God too! I encouraged him to continue to seek Jesus just like he did at the beginning in the trenches and forgive those who hurt him.
It is not the unbelievers that persecute us, it is other Christians! Many times it is necessary to separate the church from God! Realize that it is not building or the people within it that govern our personal relationship with our Heavenly Father. How sad is God when he sees his children turn away from him because of mistreatment of other Christians!
14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled,
15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.
17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.
2 Timothy 3:12
12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;
9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
Read in Revelation 2 Jesus’s warning to the Church of Ephesus:
1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.
1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus, write the following: “This is the solemn pronouncement of the one who has a firm grasp on the seven stars in his right hand – the one who walks among the seven golden lampstands:
2 “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false.
3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary.
4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.
5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.