June 15, 2017

Banning the Word of God?

In this morning’s local newspaper, a Christian school reports that the government might force them to remove Bible verses from a document containing their statement of faith. It may not happen, but I’m thinking how this has historical precedence. It happened to countries that went on to forbid Christianity or the public meeting of Christians. While some might think ‘good riddance’ these countries also forbid other things, such as access to the outside world through the Internet or restriction of other activities allowed in the so-called free world.

Is our country headed in that direction? Some who study history think we are in grave danger. While our nation seems to support free speech, speaking against sin is frowned upon, even forbidden in some cases. Many speak against the Christian faith, even against those who claim to believe in ‘tolerance.’

Today’s devotional reading basically fills my heart with ‘don’t worry or be anxious’ for no matter what the powers that be decide about what I believe, they cannot change what God has done for me. Jesus Christ, the Son of God said this:

“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:28)

I belong to the Lord. He has given me eternal life, an eternal destiny, and eternal security. Of course, I’m concerned for others who do not enjoy the same gifts and assurance, yet at the same time, no matter what laws might be legislated against God and His Word, this security gives me a great deal of peace, even of courage. This is described by the Apostle Paul in a letter to a young pastor, Timothy . . .

“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me. Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.” (2 Timothy 1:8–14)

Jesus said that Christians would suffer because of our faith, but we have been called by God! He abolished death and brought eternal life to us. We know Him and are completely certain that He will guard this life that He has given us. He tells us to follow those “sound words” we have heard from Him and guard the faith entrusted to us.

Even if the world takes away those sound words in their printed form, no one can take Jesus from the hearts of those who put their faith in Him. Those who suffer and die for their faith are ushered into glory and spend the rest of forever with Jesus. Those who must live out their lives under threats and restrictions cannot lose the life of Christ who dwells in our hearts, or the freedom of knowing His grace and forgiveness. No matter what those in authority over us decide, nothing can snatch us out of His hand.

Jesus, I am somewhat dismayed at this news article and hope that this threat is groundless. But even if it does happen, I pray You will grace Your people with assurance and peace, knowing that we are always safe in Your care no matter what others might do to us. 

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