By a Media team member
Flogged. Struck. Ridiculed. Slapped. Mocked. Spat upon. Beaten. Insulted. Stripped.
These are some of the words the Bible uses to describe what happened to Jesus in the hours before his crucifixion. The Son of God was utterly humiliated. He was tortured, then murdered, by the people he came to save.
Then, as the early church grew, there was opposition. Stephen was stoned. The church was scattered. Saul pursued them. We know that all but one of the disciples died for the faith. Death and suffering were there at the beginning of Christianity.
Most of us will not experience this kind of persecution in our lifetime. As a UK resident, I feel fairly safe and do not expect things to drastically change for a very long time. In other parts of the world, however, believers are experiencing and witnessing horrific things for the ‘sake of righteousness’ (Matthew 5:10), just like Jesus and the early believers did.
Isis is committing all sorts of evil acts against those they deem to be infidels. How do we respond to this? The term ‘love your enemy’ surely has a deeper meaning.
As we see this true evil being committed by people who actually believe they are serving God, our response needs to be one of love. Satan is leading men and women blindly to their own destruction. Only the Holy Spirit can intervene.
If you are not already doing so, I would urge you to pray regularly for the men and women of Isis – that their eyes would be opened, that they would know Jesus, and that they would glorify him as they respond to his call. Dreams and visions will be a key way of reaching them. But the web will also play a part. With this in mind, please also remember to pray for our safety, particularly from cyber attacks. Pray that the content we share would be thought-provoking but not too divisive. Pray that our love for the Lord would flow through everything we do so that the people we interact with will know we have been with Jesus!