Bishop Thomas Okinyi our CONECTer in Kenya sent an email with pictures of an attack that occurred yesterday, Sunday July 1, 2012 in Kenya. Two churches of the African Inland Mission were attacked. Two of the 15 killed were police officers who were guarding one of the churches.
Jason Straziuso of the Associated Press reported in Kenya Police: church attacks kill 15 wound 40 that;
"The bloodiest of the two attacks came against the African Inland Church in Garissa, a city some 195 kilometers (120 miles) west of the Somali border. Ndolo said 15 people were killed and at least 40 wounded. A grenade attack against a second church in Garissa wounded three people.
The police were guarding the church because of the increasingly dangerous security situation near the border with Somalia and because Somalia's Islamist militants have made Christian churches a common target."
It was only two months ago that our National CONECTer in Pakistan reported how one of the pastors who works with us as a CONECTer in Operation Rolling Thunder was shot in front of his church. Just a few days ago I found another example of Christians being stoned in the United States! Click here for a video titled American Muslims Stone Christians in Dearborn.
Who is behind the the persecution? It is Satan. Revelation 12:1-17 describes the spiritual war that occurred and how Satan, angry at his defeat went with great hatred and wrath to make war with those who keep the commandments of God. Just like God works through people to serve, bless, set free, heal etc. our adversary the Devil and his demonic spirits also works through people to destroy. The working of Satan is like this, armed men sneak up and attack defenseless men, women and children or send their young people laden with bombs into crowds to commit suicide and kill many innocent people. They call them martyrs but the truth is they are murders. For example, here is a website that reports that since 9/11 19,148 Islamic terrorist attacks have been carried out.
What a contrast. Jesus gave His life so that others might live. The Christian martyrs follow in His footsteps laying their lives down to save others. Islamic terrorist leaders send suicide bombers to murder innocent people. What a contrast!
So what does the bible say? The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan but.....
Matthew 5:11-12 "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. NKJVMatthew 5:44-46 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. NKJV
Jesus goes on to say in John 15:19-24 "If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also." NKJV
Revelation 17:3-6 So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. 5 And on her forehead a name was written:
MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement. NKJV
What Did the Martyrs Pray?
Revelation 6:9-11 - When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed. NKJV
Perfect Love Casts Out All Fear
Some may wonder why I shared this report. First I want us to remember our CONECTers like Bishop Thomas (Kenya), Pastor Shabaz (Pakistan) and Apostle John Mark in Burma (Myanmar) as they regularly face persecution in their nations more violent than ours. Pray for them. Pray for their protection, provision and boldness to speak the truth in love, move in power and glory with signs, wonders, healings and miracles following their testimony of Jesus. Recognize that there are many enemies of the cross of Christ and that persecution, violent persecution is growing even in America. We all have go to be prepared. If we prepare this will be the Church's finest hour.
How do we prepare? More love! Faith works by love and the bible says in 1 John 4:18 that;
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love."
If we ever needed an infusion of love, it is now! Join me in praying for "more Lord."
More scriptures to pray for protection from persecutors.