It was so touching reading and realising the courage and devoted love for Christ these men had, and how they were prepared to go through – unflinching and unwavering – in their faith.
The question then arose, as to why most of today’s Christians rarely encounter such persecution as the Apostles – save for those in the Arab world, and other parts, who still endure gruesome persecution.
Christians in majority Moslem countries, and others such as Russia, are still subjected to untold persecution for their beliefs.
However, that is where it all ends, as the rest of us – the majority of Christians – hardly face any persecution.
The question is why?
Has the Devil fled our nations, such that he does not fight us anymore?
Certainly not, as he is still very much in our midst, as can be witnessed by the continued moral decadence, and the dwindling of the Church.
So what is happening…why is the Devil not fighting us?
Well, the answer is quite simple: we pose absolutely no threat to the Devil whatsoever, as we are a useless and selfish lot, and he is fully in control.
As much as a significant majority of us may profess to be devout Christians, if the truth be told, we are not!
The major reason Christians these days are not being persecuted is that we are not really doing what Jesus Christ commanded us to do…go and make disciples of all nations (Mark 16:15).
That was His last, and most important commandment to us – so as to grow His Kingdom.
In fact, in Matthew 24:14, Jesus says, ‘And this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come’.
The Apostles were doing exactly that.
That’s why they were brutally persecuted.
However, we spend most of our time at church, or reading and studying the Bible, or at church choir, or praying, or fasting, or observing the Sabbath, or preaching to the same congregation week in and week out.
None of these is wrong, but we have made them the core of our Christianity, yet the main commandment was to ‘go and make disciples of all nations’.
So if we are not doing that, why would the Devil fight us?
He doesn’t really care much if we spend most of our time edifying our own selves.
However, he will make a big deal of it if we went around spreading the Word of God to all the corners of the earth.
That’s when real persecution comes.
The Devil is more worried if the Kingdom of God expands, but he does not give a hoot if it remains stagnant and even rejoices when it is declining – as is surely happening.
Today we seem to consider fighting over the already converted Christians as ‘spreading the gospel’.
We witness various so-called ‘men of God’ scrambling over each other to recruit members of another denomination to their own.
These would already be ‘saved’ individuals, so what would be the point?
It appears as though these ‘men of God’, and the congregants themselves, are not truly interested in the cumbersome task of reaching out to the multitudes of unbelievers out there.
They just want to go where there are easy pickings.
How many of us Christians and ‘men of God’ are prepared to go into the very depths of the Amazon – on foot, in a jungle full of snakes and other unpleasant parasites – so as to reach out to communities in the middle of nowhere, who have never even seen a car, let alone heard of a man called Jesus?
Why are we not doing that?
Why do we find it easy to just preach week in and week out to the same congregation of the already saved?
Is it not because we are too lazy, too scared, and too selfish and greedy to actually do what Christ commanded us to do?
If we truly feel like ‘reaching out’, all we do is arrange some comfortable ‘crusade’ – with some fancy theme, like ‘Judgement Day’ or something – in the hope that people will come there and some will be saved.
Furthermore, others may launch a television station, or publish book after book on the Gospel, whilst in the leisure of their homes or offices.
Nonetheless, is all this with the genuine intention of saving souls, and taking the Gospel to the furthest and most remote parts of the earth?
Most of those still in the dark about Christ do not even have access to television or books – as there would not be any television coverage at all, or any Christian material banned by the authorities – and neither can most read and write.
They need us to go to them, through the most hazardous and inhospitable places on earth.
Our lukewarm approach to spreading the Gospel to all nations has ulterior motives, as ‘men of God’ simply want to do that which gives them a quick buck.
All they desire is to have as many members in their churches as possible – as this equates to more money – even if all of the ‘new’ members were already believers in Christ.
Where is the growth of the Kingdom of Heaven, when all we are doing is recycling the same believers over and over again?
That is the main reason the churches are dwindling in numbers, as this idleness leads to the ritualization of the Gospel.
As ‘men of God’ vegetate in the same place, with the same congregation – week after week – they end up burdening their congregants.
That is why it becomes easier for people to prefer to go to bars and even worship celebrities as no one has ritualised this worship.
Yet Christianity has been turned into a wearisome and tormenting religion.
It is no longer a private and personal relationship with Jehovah God, but has been turned into a cumbersome academic pursuit whereby followers are lectured day in and day out (even writing notes in church) on how to worship Christ Jesus – turning it into something complex and only understood by those with PhDs.
Yet Christianity is a very simple PERSONAL relationship with Jesus – whereby only the Holy Spirit can lead one into all knowledge and truth.
Christians should relate to Jesus in their own personal way, the next person in his or her own way…just as any other personal relationships we have.
The same goes for our relationship with Christ – in that way the relationship is enjoyable and more people will come to enjoy Christ.
However, because these ‘men of God’ and their congregants have nothing better to do with their time – such as, to go to all nations – they would rather make Christianity as burdensome as possible – just to find something to be busy with.
Jesus’ Apostles never stayed in one place, but were always on the move spreading the Gospel – that is why they were a threat to the Devil.
Additionally, the launching of television channels, and publishing of books also ensures a steady flow of income for the ‘men of God’ – as this material is always sold – thereby, further deepening their pockets.
Other activities, as purported charity work, further enhances this purpose of personal enrichment – as we seek donations from all over the place, yet most of these end up in our own pockets.
As for the rest of the Christian community, we are more than satisfied just attending church regularly, fasting for weeks on end, observing the Sabbath religiously, attending Bible studies, and singing in the choir and winning all manner of competitions – none of which has anything to do with reaching all nations with the Gospel.
So why would the Devil feel threatened by us, as Christians, that he would fight us?
Jesus wanted His Kingdom to expand, so that as many could enter into it.
He was not, and still is not, interested in our own selfish interests – that as long as I am saved, then that is okay.
His desire has always been for all to be reached out with His Word – yet all we are concerned about is our own selfish relationship with Him, and to make money.
That is why we spend most of our time in selfish worship, whilst billions of people are still in the dark.
In fact, we would rather go from one church to another, in search of personal wealth, healing and other miracles because we only think of ourselves.
We are not a threat to the Devil at all, that is why there is seldom any persecution of the vast majority of Christians – as we are simply useless and are failing to do what Christ was most concerned about…taking the Gospel to all nations, and expanding His Kingdom.
° F is a social justice activist, writer, and author. Please WhatsApp/call: +263782283975, or email: [email protected]Post published in: Featured