This morning I have been studying for tonight’s women’s bible study. I’ve had my bible open in my comfortable dining room, worship music playing softly in the background. After a couple of hours or so I decided to take a break. So I got a cold bottled water and casually sat down in the living room on the sofa. What I saw on the screen and heard being sung, randomly on my Spotify playlist, stopped me cold.
It was the song “All I Have is Christ” by Shane and Shane.
How many times have I heard and sung this beautiful hymn? All without truly giving it thought?
Immediately my mind went to what is happening to our fellow Christians in what to us is another world. A world where women are shot for not wearing a burqa. A nation where converting to Christianity is punishable by death. My heart hurts for our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan, who are desperately clinging to Christ because He truly is ALL they have. I have so many comforts here and so many things that I take for granted. I have never had to worry about trying to save my children from martyrdom, knowing what lays ahead when the Taliban comes knocking at my door. A Religious News Service article from August 17, 2021 says:
“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.”
I’ve never lived in terror of my bible apps on my phone being discovered.
The article also says,
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″
In Afghanistan, the Taliban are going door-to-door, executing believers who refuse to renounce their faith.
And we get bent out of shape over the air conditioning setting at church. May we repent ( as I had to do! ) of our lack of concern for persecuted Christians across the globe, and may God forgive us for becoming so complacent in our Christian comforts that we rarely if ever consider what our brothers and sisters outside the freedom of the United States are experiencing. They are losing everything. Except Christ. As they face certain death, they cling to Him as their only source of hope in a dark place in the world.
Please, stop today, and every day while this holocaust continues, and pray for those in Afghanistan and elsewhere who are suffering for the cause of Christ. Be an intercessor for those who will not renounce His name under threat of death.
Jeff has preached many times the true meaning of “confessing Christ as Lord”. This is it. When the sword is at our neck, will we refuse to renounce His name? A true believer will stand firm in his faith. A true follower of Christ will not waver while saying, “Hallelujah, All I have is Christ”, even when the sword is raised.
How You Can Pray for Afghanistan ( from Voice of the Martyrs )
- PRAY FOR GOD’S PROTECTION. The situation on the ground is fluid right now. Pray for God’s protection over His people.
- PRAY FOR WISDOM. Ask God to bless our brothers and sisters with discernment as they decide whether to stay or go and even with whom they should talk.
- PRAY FOR FELLOWSHIP. Believers in Afghanistan often must keep their faith a secret — even from family members. Pray that God will help each Afghan believer to connect and fellowship with at least one other believer in person, by phone or through some other technology. Pray that God will remind them that they are not alone, but are part of the global body of Christ.
- PRAY FOR SAFE PASSAGE. Pray that God will provide safe passage to those who feel led by God to leave Afghanistan and provide for their immediate needs in their new location.
- PRAY THAT MUSLIMS WILL MEET CHRIST. The Taliban claim to be “true Muslims,” strictly adhering to Sharia (Islamic law). As Muslims in Afghanistan see this cruel face of Islam, pray that they will be drawn to Jesus Christ, the shepherd Savior who doesn’t oppress but instead chose to lay down His life for His sheep.
- PRAY FOR CHRISTIANS TRYING TO HELP. For decades, VOM has provided help and encouragement to Christians in Afghanistan. Pray for the wisdom of front-line workers, and pray that God will open new pathways for them to continue their work under Taliban control.