A Christian Mission
Jesus was born and grew up under the shadow of a tyrannical government. The religion He practiced would have been persecuted by the government if there had not been a special exemption granted to the Jews in order to keep the peace in Palestine.
When Jesus’ public ministry began, the people were hungry for relief from the taxation of the Roman government. They were waiting for the prophesied Messiah, a military savior that would overthrow the tyranny of Rome.
Jesus was not the messiah the Jews were expecting. He promised an overthrow of the tyranny of sin and death. His followers saw the Truth in what He taught. When He was crucified, He had a devoted following who were committed to preaching His gospel to the world.
Since the gospel was not what the “Establishment” Jews expected, Jesus’ followers were persecuted. One man in particular struck fear into the hearts of the followers of the Way, Saul of Tarsus. He was a Pharisee and a Roman citizen. When he would arrive in a town with a budding Christian community, he would have them executed. However, God saw a purpose for Saul. He knocked him off his horse and struck him blind so that Saul would see the light. When Saul converted to Christianity, he took the name Paul. He truly believed that God called him to repent and to preach the gospel, not to the Jews but to the gentiles.
In the first century the followers of Jesus were few in number compared to the fast following that Jesus has today. Now, in the 21st century, the Christian church is again being persecuted by tyrannical governments. Even in the United States where the Constitution states that freedom of religion is protected from government interference, Christians are constantly under fire for their beliefs. Their holidays are marginalized, and the gospel can no longer be taught to children in government schools.
Saint Paul was called to preach the gospel as is this current generation. One of the last things Jesus said to his followers before He joined the Father in heaven was that we are to bring people to know Him. What is being done today? Churches are more like social clubs and networking sites rather than houses of worship. When Jesus came upon the secularism in the Temple in Jerusalem, He took a whip and drove them out.
A wise man once said that there are three criteria upon which God judges a nation: child sacrifice, worship of idols, and tolerance of homosexual behavior. One can look around and see how far our nation’s culture has strayed from God’s will for His people. Women line up in droves at abortion clinics to sacrifice their first born children to the god of convenience. Money has become god to many rather than a tool for fulfilling needs and being generous. The media is rife with content that encourages people to accept same sex relationships as normal.
One may ask, “What can be done?” Many believe that they may be in the minority. Some devout Christians have had to compromise their beliefs to remain friends with people or to be accepted by their families. Others may choose to keep silent about immorality in order to maintain their employment. We must be willing to sacrifice for Jesus. Jesus gave his life to rescue us from sin and death. Paul was imprisoned for preaching the gospel. The founders of the United States gave up everything to fight for freedom from tyranny. The greatest generation fought against the empires of Japan and Germany to keep their tyranny from invading our shores. It is now up to this generation. Citizens must rise up and speak out against the tyranny that has been slowly creeping into our local, state, and federal governments. They must stay in contact with their elected officials to let them know what they think about what they are doing. They must not stop until the job is done.