Saturday, July 17, 2010

They Don’t Know


Luke 23
33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left.
34 Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." And they divided His garments and cast lots.

Why didn’t these people know what they were doing? They did not know what they were doing because they did not know God.

All manner of evil is possible from those who do not know God.

1 John 4:8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

It is unconscionable what people will do when they do not know God.

All over the world today people are being persecuted, tortured and killed for no reason other than their persecutors do not know God.

Here are some headlines from around the world concerning the persecution of Christians … these are a few current events from just the past 45 days or so, June and July, 2010:

BREAKING NEWS: Iran Pastor Facing Execution
A well-known Iranian pastor faces execution after two judges agreed to make him "liable to capital punishment," as part of a crackdown on the growing Protestant church movement in the Islamic nation, Worthy News and its partner agency BosNewsLife learned Tuesday, July 13.

Eight Christians Killed in Nigerian Muslim Attacks
Christians in two states of Nigeria were mourning Wednesday, July 7, the killings of at least eight Christian believers, after Muslim militants reportedly attacked several villages.

BREAKING NEWS: Afghanistan Christians Detained Amid Execution Threats Over 20 Afghan Christians have been detained in Afghanistan after high-level leaders called for the arrest and execution of converts to Christianity in the Islamic nation, an advocacy group said Friday, June 25.

Militants Order Lebanon Christians To Leave; Blast Kills One
Lebanese security forces prepared to crackdown on Islamic insurgents Friday, June 25, after threatening leaflets were found calling on Christians to leave a key port city and a bomb blast that killed at least one person in a predominantly Christian town.

BREAKING NEWS: Iran Crackdown On National Protestant Movement, Members Detained (Exclusive)
Iran's security forces detained eight members of a nationwide Protestant church movement in Tehran Friday, June 19, as part of a government crackdown on the growing number of Christians in the strict Islamic nation, a Christian leader told Worthy News and its news partner BosNewsLife.

Pakistan Christian Worker Dies In Police Custody
Impoverished frail parents were still awaiting justice Monday, June 14, for the death of their son who they and Christian investigators said died of "mental and physical torture" while in police custody in the city of Lahore.

Afghanistan Halts Work Church Groups; Christians Concerned
Christian aid workers in Afghanistan faced legal challenges Wednesday, June 2, after authorities ordered two Western church groups to stop their activities amid suspicions they were converting Muslims to Christianity -- an offense that carries the death penalty under Afghan law.

India Police Detain Hindu Militants Amid Spreading Anti-Christian Violence
Police in India's eastern state of Orissa say they have detained five suspected Hindu militants for their alleged involvement in attacking a devoted young Christian boy and threatening to kill him and his family.

More than 20 million Christians were martyred in the 20th Century. That is more than were martyred in the prior 1900 years combined.

Close to 165,000 Christians are martyred every year. One every 3 minutes.

More than 250 million Christians in over 60 countries around the world live in threat of persecution daily … 60% of these are children.

The video I am about to show is not made by actors and the events are not staged. This video contains images which some may consider objectionable due to the violent nature of the acts captured on film. If you have young children with you here or viewing this broadcast with you, you may want to consider them as we view but a small portion of the persecution and violence perpetrated against Christians in the state of Orissa in Eastern India today.

The Persecution in Orissa: (show video)

All over the world today people are being persecuted, tortured and killed for no reason other than their persecutors do not know God. There is only one answer to this evil – His name is Jesus.

John 15:21 "But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.

It is unconscionable what people will do when they do not know God.

How can someone not know God in this day and age? “I thought that all anyone had to do was to call upon the name of the Lord and they would be saved.” Well, that is true however there is a little more to it than that:

Romans 10
13 For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved."
14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? …

I cannot stress enough the importance of our world mission’s efforts and keeping the salvation of souls as our highest priority. And unless you think that this cannot happen in America or Europe or Australia, think again.

We cannot allow for one generation to slip into spiritual unconsciousness and lethargy. We must be ever sober, ever vigilant, ever moving forward in our work to enhance and advance the Kingdom of God in our community and communities like ours around the world.

There is only one answer and it is Jesus Christ, Messiah of the Jews and Savior of the World. Salvation by His blood sacrifice and submission to His Lordship is the hope of the world.

We are told to turn the other cheek when we are persecuted, but we are not told to turn our heads when others are being tortured and killed. We who are not being persecuted are told to take a different approach.

1. Proverbs 31
8 Open your mouth for the speechless, In the cause of all who are appointed to die.
9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, And plead the cause of the poor and needy.

2. Hebrews 13:3 Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.

3. Matthew 28:18-20 Go & Tell & Teach

If you do not … who will? If you do not love the world and your enemies enough to tell them about Jesus, you need to hear the story again yourself.

You see … They just don’t know … They just haven’t heard … Yet!