Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Are you a disappearing Christian

But the harder the Egyptians worked them the more children the Israelites had—children everywhere! - Ex 1 v 12 (Mess)

Petrified at the explosive population explosion amongst the Israelites the King of Egypt started to persecute them. Even to the point of trying to kill new born babies. In this situation the surprising thing is that the birth rate increased!

In the midst of slavery, forced labour & child murder they kept having more and more babies. It seems contrary to what should happen.

The same happened in Acts when the church came against persecution and the believers scattered around the known earth. They didn't pack up, go silent and give up. They shared the gospel and saw new Christians born where ever they went.

I can't say I have ever experienced a level of persecution of more than a bit of name calling and I guess that would be similar for the vast majority of the UK church.

What I have noticed is the proclivity for us Christians to disappear from church when we hit some difficulty. Faced with a crisis, illness, bereavement, financial etc. etc. we withdraw from the the very environment that can assist.

Yes I know that it is in God we find refuge but honestly in most situations I have witnessed a withdrawal from church and Christian brothers and sisters is a an outward sign of a heart that has withdrawn from God.

The Christian life is not like holding a "Get out of jail free" card. Paul uses words continually in his letters to the believers like: Hold on, persevere, finish the race.

As we reach out our hand to hold on we find that God already has us in His hands.

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