Whose honour matters most?

Much of the Western church has become used to being comfortable. We enjoy our fellowship and teaching in church and home groups, youth camps, family and senior activities; but we like to stay out of the danger zone.

Where is the danger?

It may not be really dangerous but it feels risky; we might not be liked and we fear some friends might turn their backs on us; or we could be professionally 'cancelled'.

Here are some examples: telling a friend that we we love Jesus ... be seen reading a Bible ... offering to pray for a work colleague who is distressed ... standing up for biblical doctrine in conversation with family and friends ... teaching our children how to understand the difference between Bible truth and unbiblical societal values ... and how they can represent the truth in the classroom.

Western society - founded on biblical standards of identity, morality, sexuality, and divine accountability - seems to have adopted a very different value set.  Claiming to be tolerant of everything (except biblical truth), our generation (and those up and coming) need the gospel more than ever, and yet treat it as a quaint anachronism.

But people who believe it are considered dangerous because they disturb the new fantasy (really, ancient Satanic lies) that we can be our own god and create our own truth in order to live our own lives without any restraint.  And many Christians, including some of their leaders, are more concerned about losing their social credibility than their eternal reward.

Consider the believers in Myanmar where, last year, the death-toll from the media-muted civil war was only exceeded by the killings in Ukraine. They have taken BeaconLight evangelistic tools to neighbours, hospitals and outlying villages: as a result more people are believing in Jesus. A few have had their homes burnt, losing all their possessions, but they are being cared for by other belivers who love as Jesus loved.

Consider the heartache of a senior pastor in Ethiopia who has not been able to reach his flock in over 200 churches for 2-3 years. First covid, and now terrorist guerrilla groups, prevent travel - and all the while the local church leaders are doing their best to care for Jesus' sheep and teach God's Word, while false teachers abound and there is no security.

Consider the threats of arrest or imprisonment for influencing a friend to 'convert' from their family religion. When we asked why they continue to go out to spiritually dark villages to explain the gospel, their leaders say that it is worse for the unbeliver to go to hell than for the believer to go to prison.

Jude talks about, " ... save others, snatching them from the fire  ... "

These are just three parts of the world where God's people are holding onto Him, His Word, His promises, His call, and His Spirit's presence. The same is true for evangelical pastors in Ukraine. They work day and night with scant resources to feed and shelter as many as they can, not knowing if they will see another day. Many of them have hardly any material posessions. Compared to us they have nothing, certainly no comfort; but they have Jesus, they have His joy and they find fresh supplies of energy to share the fresh provisions which arrive at God's command.

These believers and their pastors are the real heroes of BeaconLight. We supply literature but nothing happens until they take it and share it from home to home, in hospitals and prisons, and on the street. Like our community, prison, miltary and police chaplains, theirs is the daily decision to 'go public' about Jesus - sharing our books and advertising our Apps in the face of secular and religious opposition.

May the Lord rouse His church to stay true to Bible doctrine and advertise Jesus, whatever the cost.

And thank you, you who pray.

The battle is the Lord's and you who pray are true warriors with Him against the tides of evil which threaten to swamp the truth and the church.

In the end, the Lord will reign and the earth will be filled with the knowledge of God as the waters cover the sea. Until then, let us abandon our comfort zones and dare to be like Daniel - who prayed and spoke and lived the truth - without fear - for he was more concerned about God's honour than his own.

© Dr Paul Adams