Madeline Crabb
Christianity is NOT a game...Christianity is serious business! Part one
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By Madeline Crabb
September 21, 2017

Are there any professing Christians reading this message who actually care a whit about honoring Jesus Christ and His Father? I mean, really, truly respecting, obeying, and following them – even to the grave, if necessary?

Looking around, it doesn't appear that there are many who take God very seriously. In fact, even most of the so-called pastors and teachers, particularly in the ever-growing, ever-popular American mega churches, seem to mock God, not honor Him. So it stands to reason that whatever comes from the pulpit – or what is now mostly known as the stage – will be what the parishioners will believe and practice. Warning: God wants us know He will not be mocked. He means what He says, and He only says what He means. Christianity is NOT a game...Christianity is serious business!

It seems that every time we turn around, someone is being "triggered" into behaving badly. So, let's say something has been triggered inside of me. It happened when I began reading Fox's Book of Martyrs. Author John Fox lived in England in the 1500's, and wrote extensively about Christian martyrdom dating back to the first century A.D. This book is a Christian classic that every true Christian should read. In his critical introduction, author James Miller Dodds wrote, "After the Bible itself, no book so profoundly influenced early Protestant sentiment as the Book of Martyrs. Even in our own time it is still a living force. It is more than a record of persecution. It is an arsenal of controversy, a storehouse of romance, as well as a source of edification." I concur.

Contrast these sentiments to those coming from within the lukewarm at best, backslidden, apostate Church in America. Today's so-called Christians in general are afraid of their own shadows. It is far more important to most of us to be liked than it is to be faithful to our gracious Father. If we actually stand for God's Word, someone may make a bad comment about us, or give us a thumbs down or frowny face on Facebook. So?!

Why are we more concerned about how we are perceived by these so-called friends than we are about speaking truth? Newsflash: You may have hundreds, even thousands of "friends" on Facebook, but they are not real friends. And hey, if they really are our friends, shouldn't we be able to speak truth to them about Jesus and His Father?

And for that matter, if we were to speak this Truth, and we got a thumbs down emoji in return, isn't that the time to un-friend them? The Bible says that if people don't receive us and the truth we speak – God's Truth from His Word – we are to shake the dust off our feet and move on. (Matt. 10:14)

We shake in our boots when we receive criticism for even the smallest stance we might take. Conversely, the martyrs of old not only vigorously preached the Gospel of Jesus, they lost jobs, family, friends, countries, fortunes, and ultimately, their lives. These martyrs, had such strong faith and belief in the Lord Jesus that even in the midst of their brutal and heinous executions, they generally had such grace and peace that many onlookers converted to Christianity.

Dear friends, after reading just the account of what happened to our Lord's closest disciples, our lives should be changed. Consider these accounts from the first chapter of the Book of Martyrs:

    Stephen – Stoned to death
    James (elder brother of John) – Beheaded
    Philip – Scourged (whipped), imprisoned, then crucified
    Matthew – Slain with a halberd (battle axe)
    James the Less – Beaten, stoned, and finally had his brains dashed out with a fuller's club. (He was 94 years old.)
    Matthias – Stoned, then beheaded
    Andrew – Crucified
    Mark – Dragged to pieces
    Peter – Crucified (upside down)
    Paul – Beheaded
    Jude (Thaddeus) – Crucified
    Bartholomew – Beaten, then crucified
    Thomas (Didymus) – Thrust through with a spear
    Luke – Hanged
    Simon – Crucified
    John – Cast into a cauldron of oil, then banished to the prison Isle of Patmos. (Nerva, successor of Domitian, recalled him, making him the only apostle who escaped a violent death.)

Of course, anyone who has attended an Easter Sunday service knows the account of Jesus and His horrible death, followed by His glorious resurrection.

Jesus Christ literally paid it all – for us. As the old hymn says, "Jesus paid it all; all to Him I owe." Then if we call ourselves Christians, our lives have indeed been bought with a price – a monumental price. And how should we repay Jesus and our heavenly Father? By being cowards?

Additionally, don't we owe something to all those faithful servants who have fought the enemies of the Cross at every turn?

When we read Fox's book, we will realize the Church of Rome and the papists were responsible for most of this brutality. Oh...some people will not like to hear this, but history is what it is. As they say, the truth hurts. King Solomon once said, "That which has been is that which shall be; and that which has been done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun." (Ecc. 1:9 WEB) Yes, the persecution continues today...

Jesus Christ is still under attack around the world, even from today's Church of Rome. While the pope may not wield a sword today, Islam does. Christians worldwide are still losing their lives for Jesus. In fact, Fox News reported that in 2016, 90,000 Christians worldwide were killed for their faith in Jesus Christ. Also during the past year, a reported 600 million Christians were prevented from practicing their faith. These statistics come from Robert Nicholson of the Philos Project.

We will discuss this further in the next column. But right now, the question is: If you were being prosecuted for being a Christian, is there enough evidence to convict you? You see, Christianity is NOT a game...Christianity is serious business! To anyone willing to hear....

© Madeline Crabb

 

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Madeline Crabb

Madeline Crabb is a Christian, a Constitutional Conservative, and a patriot. Holding a degree in journalism and public relations, and training from the Leadership Institute, she has been a columnist since 2000, and has written for various Christian newspapers around the country. As a “watchwoman” on the wall (Is.62:67), Madeline calls all citizens to awaken, arise, and act in restoring one nation under God.

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