Christians around the world are experiencing growing pressure to be silent, not to preach, not to speak what Jesus taught, and to edit the Bible, so people don’t read out loud a Bible verse that offends someone or their government. Even in our neighbor to the North, Canada, there are portions of the Bible which cannot be read aloud in public or preached.
Recently, I was shocked when reading an online New International Version of the Bible because it didn’t align with the book copy I held in my hand. Very significant changes have been made to the NIV. So much so that I will probably be switching the English Standard Version (ESV).
Astonishingly, the very concept of countries is rapidly disintegrating with the vacuum filled by philosophies, religious alliances, and multi-national corporations. After all, with auto-language translation, automatic currency conversion, and even sans-national currencies like Bitcoin, the “group think” seems to think, “Who needs sovereign nations any more?”
So, what can we expect? Since history repeats itself, then we might find ourselves as those Christians the writer of Hebrews addressed, saying, “Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.” (Hebrews 10:32-35)
So, while we’re alive, be an imitator of Jesus. Speak truth when silence is expected, show mercy when judgment is expected, show grace when nothing was earned, show temperance when willfulness is expected, show piety when foolish arguments are expected, show boldness when fear is expected, show humility when exultation is offered, remain steadfast when compromise is offered, fall to your knees in prayer when temptation assails, preserve when powers assail, rejoice in the joy of others, mourn when others mourn, love no matter the cost, and above all, be obedient to Jesus.
The world we grew up in is rapidly changing, but God’s Word never changes. That’s why we see in Hebrews 13:14, “For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.” Don’t worry; help is on the way.
Photo by Bobby Johnson on Unsplash