John 15:18 "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.”
When Brother Richie first arrived at our church, he and I had a brief discussion about how little we know in the United States about how the world actually works (not that I do either). We know little about the complete backwards way those in most of the world live as opposed to here.
He asked me if I had read “The Insanity of God”, I hadn’t so he gave me a copy to read. I put it to the side because I felt it was another book like many I had read and I was reading about 3 or 4 books at the time.
Then I heard that Lifeway was putting out a onetime showing of the movie named after the book and it piqued my interest. So I picked it up and started reading.
And it was a very good read.
The book was story after story of Christians persecuted and told from by Nik Ripken (a pseudonym). It started with he and his wife’s work in Somalia and the obstacles they faced there and then story after story from people living in China, Russia, Afghanistan and other countries.
There was the story of the Chinese house church meeting illegally and asking if anyone had heard of Jesus outside of the United States.
It was the story of a Russian who thought his wife and child had been killed by authorities and The Holy Spirit speaking to him letting him that his captors had lied to him.
It was story after story where The Holy Spirit was speaking and living in the lives of these people. It was The Old Testament and New Testament stories coming alive. God is still working in the lives of people today, though we often feel that He isn’t here.
There were a couple of pieces in this book that really stuck with me.
- These people did not want prayers for the end of their persecution, it is what has grown their faith.
- Will persecution come to the USA? Why would Satan want to “wake-up” the richest, most powerful Christian country in the world? We are asleep.
- We shouldn’t ask why is there persecution in other countries, but we should ask why there is none here?
There are stats that say very few people who are born in the church, raised in the church and die in the church will ever share their faith in Jesus Christ with anyone.
The more we feel potential persecution, why do we cower? Why do want to stay in the relatively safe, comfortable Christian lifestyle?
Why aren’t we a little crazy? A little insane when it comes to our love for God?
We’re comfortable…we’re asleep.