3 so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them. 4 In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know. 1 Thessalonians 3:3-4 NIV

Don’t be unsettled by persecution

Taliban militants are even pulling people off public transport and killing them on the spot if they’re Christians or considered ethnically “unpure,” according to shocking reports from Middle East media ministry SAT-7 (www.sat7usa.org).

“We’re hearing from reliable sources that the Taliban demand people’s phones, and if they find a downloaded Bible on your device, they will kill you immediately,” said SAT-7 North America President Dr. Rex Rogers. “It’s incredibly dangerous right now for Afghans to have anything Christian on their phones. The Taliban have spies and informants everywhere.”  https://religionnews.com/2021/08/17/media-ministry-offers-lifeline-to-fearful-afghans-as-taliban-kill-christians/

Why did Paul feel it was necessary to warn the Thessalonians about being persecuted?

How would you respond if your favorite Pastor or speaker endured suffering and persectuion such as Paul?

23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 2 Corinthians 11:23-28

What is the Christian response to Christian persecution in Afghanistan or other countries in the world?

  • PRAY – Our whole lives become sensitive to the request which we bring before God. Being upset about the situation is not praying. Take it to the Lord in prayer
    • Pray for boldness. One of the core characteristics of the presence of the Holy Spirit is strength and boldness in the face of death
    • Pray for those on the sidelines to give their heart to Christ. The early church multiplied during persecution. True love shines bright in the darkness
    • Pray for the salvation of Taliban and other persecutors...Paul was on the road to Damascus to persecute Chritsians when Jesus met him on the road
  • Read from trusted sources such as  Open Doors USA
  • Spend less time talking with others ABOUT the problems and pray in groups
  • Pray for governmental leaders to have a “wisdom” response

Paul understood that our message of hope and life creates waves in the spiritual plane. The crucifixion of Jesus looked as if Satan would win, but the light of Sunday’s resurrection meant the war was won. The battles continue but the victory is secured.

 Let me close with Paul’s words of hope and life in 2 Corinthians 4:6-11

6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”[a] made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 

Blessings Love Y’all