Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Pastor Jay Forseth

Journeys in FaithWill Christians ever be persecuted in Stillwater County?

Will Christians ever be persecuted in Stillwater County?

In short, yes!
It may not look like the events in other parts of our world, but persecution is coming. Why would we be immune to persecution? Christ was persecuted, therefore we should actually rejoice that we are counted worthy to stand with Him (John 15:18-19). It is not a mistake when the Bible says we will be “hated” because of our faith.
I was very surprised when our church recently received more than one visit from the Montana Department of Revenue out of Red Lodge. I was told that a small group of Montana legislators was having these workers visit the non-profits of our community to secure their building blueprints.
Why, after our church has been here for 90 years, was this strange request leveled? I think I will get together with our local Montana senator to try to find out.
I am not sure which of the other 21 churches in our county were also visited (if you were I would love to hear from you) but this has my mind racing.
Is there some type of movement to take away the non-profit status of our churches? And is it only the churches, or should every non-profit be looking over their shoulder, like the senior center and the fire hall for instance?
If it is ONLY churches or maybe other religious organizations like the Stillwater Youth Center as well, then I suppose we should not really be so surprised. Religious persecution is a promise in the Bible.
The apostle Paul warned us that “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). I feel there will be a time, and probably not too far in the future, where the ONLY name you will not be able to declare in public is the name of Jesus.
The Voice of the Martyrs states that the days we now live in are among the highest in history for religious persecution, and not just in the Middle East. More and more people are being martyred for their faith today. Watching media reports worldwide would corroborate this claim.
I would encourage you to pray heartedly for many who are being forced to flee their homes and churches because of religious persecution.
We certainly haven’t seen violent outbreaks against Christians in our county, but there are plenty of recent examples in America where being Christian has cost someone their earthly life.
I heard the most courageous young person in America was the second Christian martyred in Roseburg, Ore., after witnessing a Christian classmate shot to death.
I close this article by wondering if I would be that courageous for Christ if someone was holding a gun to my head. Would you?