We have just had a blessed and challenging weekend with Brother Jun, (The Heavenly Man, ), the Chinese Pastor who has suffered so much for his faith and calling.
If you became a Christian in the late 1950’s as I did, you will know that we were raised on a diet of suffering Chinese Missionaries, (Isobel Kuhn books), and the persecutions in the church behind the Iron Curtain, in communist countries such as Russia.
Regularly during those early years as a young teenage Christian from an unsaved background, I would ask myself, how much do I really love Jesus? Would I be prepared to die for my faith? Would I be willing to go to prison for Jesus? And even more disturbingly as a young mother, Would I give up my children for my faith? This apparently happened to Christian parents in Russia during that period.
The number of church meetings in those days, was multiple each week and at least three on Sundays. Yet it never seemed arduous or a burden. We stood in open airs and spoke of our love for Jesus and what He would do in people’s lives. We knocked on doors, yes, often timidly, to invite people to church and special meetings, praying for openings to share the Gospel. I proudly wore my ‘Ambassador for Christ’ badge, which opened so many opportunities to witness. It was that wonderful, all consuming, ’First Love’!
Brother Jun talked of ‘believers’ who give Jesus 3 hours a week as an insurance policy against ‘burning in hell’! Now that is definitely not me and I am certain, not many of you, I am a 24/7 Christian, but how long since I asked myself, ‘Would I die for Him?’
How have we become so weak, so fragile and weary that one meeting a week is all many manage? How did we become so unwilling to be ‘fools for Christ’ that we have allowed impersonal technology to dominate our evangelism?
If God called us today to give up our security to serve Him as He did 40 years ago, would we do it? Would we say, ‘Here I am Lord, send me’.
It was a challenging weekend, but I think there are crucial questions we should regularly ask ourselves, especially when we have been on the Christian road many years.
In Revelation 2, God challenges the church in Ephesus with these words,
“You have left your first love”.
Before He challenges us, we should challenge ourselves.
In our world today, to ask ourselves, would I die for Jesus, remains relevant. Just the night before Brother Jun spoke to us, two of his missionary colleagues working in Pakistan were killed for their faith.