The thought of the Righteous King taking His rightful place on the throne of Israel was too much for Herod to take. He wanted him dead. So Joseph and Mary flew to Egypt on God's angel counsel. And the child was safe. The Pharisees and all those legalists in the Jewish Council wanted Him dead also when He was preaching the kingdom of God to the lost people of Israel. His own kin did not understand Him. They did not recognise Him as the Messiah.
Now remember the rich man who went to hell and poor Lazarus who was taken to heaven in Abraham's bosom. Poor Lazarus suffered the poor man's suffering on earth while the rich man enjoyed all the pleasures of the rich on earth. He had no heart for poor Lazarus. But God is just.
So let's learn something from the sufferings of Christ's bride in Pakistan. They do not have a place of worship. They do not wear new clothes. They cannot give gifts to their children, They do no have a Christmas tree to decorate. Maybe they do not have food on Christmas day. They may lose dear ones today. There will be more grief today on this great day when we celebrate the birth of the Mighty king and Saviour.
Yet in many places on this earth where people are really enjoying Christmas with worship, sermons, songs, great food, splendid decorations, smart clothes, still is Christ in their midst?
The Lord never knew all this in His lifetime. The only thing He came for: to do His Father's will, that is to save lost souls.
The persecuted church taught me a lot about true Christianity. I have learnt to shrug off my shoulder over hurts. I don't have time to ponder on offences. When I look at my life I find so much sin that if I were God, I would send me to hell right away. But I love the Lord because He loves me so much. He is so gracious to me always. The free church wastes precious time to nurse supposed offences, to work out conflicts, to criticise other churches, to believe that we have it right, they have it wrong. But something we forget. Until Christ returns, we will never have it right.There will still be many things that we assume are correct the way we interpret them. Only Christ will know what is the correct teaching. Can't we tolerate each other on the basis of Christ shedding His blood for our sins and try to understand each other viewpoints and if we don't agree, leave it but continue to pray together and live lives worthy of Christ to bear the fruits of regeneration.
We need to have more time to think about, to pray for the persecuted church, to fast for them, to help them with resources and basic necessities of life, with finances. Remember all proceeds from God. We have absolutely nothing on this earth. Everything belongs to the King of Kings and His Father. Yet when He came on this earth, He was born of a poor virgin in a manger. He lived the life of a poor artisan. He died on a Cross. He bore God's mighty wrath for our sins. He was crushed for us.
If we seek God earnestly, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year and we teach our families to do the same, our pastors teach us to do the same and all churches do the same, God is a promise keeper. The mighty blood of Jesus will cleanse people, will change their hearts and minds. Is this task too difficult for God: to make rapists, kidnappers of His daughters His children? It is NOT!!!!
We need to pray. It will happen. We have to be broken, on our knees, bodies fragmented, near collapse.
God bless you all this Christmas when we celebrate the One who made the universe and galaxies and the wonders of nature, babies, dogs and horses, fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, grandads, grandmas, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, friends and flowers and birds.