Unstoppable Gospel - Your Daily Forward Devotional

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Unstoppable Gospel

 

October 26

 

Read Acts 12:1-3, 24

It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to size Peter also...But the word of God continued to spread and flourish.

 

Reflect

Have you seen leaders or governments try to suppress or ban God’s Word? Was it effective? Why or why not?

 

According to the Open Doors World Watch List, Iran is ranked number 9 out of 50 countries in the world who exhibit high to extreme levels of persecution towards Christians. Given this information, one would think that the Gospel is being stifled in those areas. And yet, amazingly, that doesn’t seem to be the case. In Iran, it is illegal to preach the gospel or be a part of a house church but that has not stopped the Gospel from going forward. This same organization cited a study of 50,000 Iranians aged 20 or above. 1.5% of the people who responded said that they identify as Christians. This data suggests that when extrapolated across the population of Iran, there may be as many as 1.2 million converts to Christianity in Iran.

 

This is not the first time persecution increased the spread of God’s Word rather than prevented it. The Book of Acts records the growth of the early church in the midst of persecution. In Acts chapter 12, we see James, the brother of John killed by the sword and Peter imprisoned. But Acts 12:24 tells us that the word of God flourished, or multiplied.

 

When one considers the persecution the church has faced over the course of history, it’s a miracle in itself that the Word of God has survived, let alone thrived. Since the very beginning of the church to the present day, Christians have been stoned, crucified, imprisoned, beaten, burned at the stake, fed to wild animals, beheaded, restricted, mocked, had their private property confiscated, were exiled, etc. But people keep coming to faith in Christ! Despite initial church persecution, here we are over 2,000 years later reading the Word of God, gathering with other believers, and sharing the Gospel with others.

 

The prophet Isaiah said, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.”  Men can try but they cannot thwart God’s plans. The great commission continues and the Word goes forth unhindered by the very measures meant to contain it. The Gospel has proven itself unstoppable. Friends, let’s allow God to use us to keep sending the Word of God out into the world no matter what persecution we may face as a consequence.

 

Pray

Father, I pray for my brothers and sisters who are facing terrible persecution because of their faith in You. Protect them and encourage them to continue to stand firmly on Your Word. Give me the strength and courage to keep the faith despite the cost. Amen.



~ Pastor Nat Crawford

 

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8 months ago
God, please, continue to hold those who believe in You by your hand. God, please, continue to direct the steps of the godly. (those who are praising and obeying you despite their circumstances). God, we know, as stated by your Word, that you delight in every detail of their life. God, we know, as stated by Your Word, that though they stumble, they will not fall, for You hold them by the hand. (Psalm 37:23-24)

God, I ask you to please continue to guide and protect my family. Let us continue to be strong in faith and Your Word. God, though we will stumble, please, do not let us fall. God, please, continue to use us for Your Will.
In Your Almighty Name, I pray.
Amen.
1
8 months ago
DEAR HEAVENLY FATHER;JESUS & THE HOLY SPIRIT HELP ME KEEP THE FAITH THROUGH YOUR BLOOD JESUS;*THANKYOUJESUS 1*
2
8 months ago
I expect that (with so much access to the internet) that a higher percentage of Christians replied.
Since Open Doors World Watch List is a Christian group, I expect MOST that were surveyed did Not reply... remember the internet gives information to believers and non-believers.

If you have a survey done by a NON religious group (NOT Open Doors World Watch List) you would receive a more accurate feedback.

For instance... if Joe Brown stood on the street corner and handed out the survey with only a return address that did NOT link to any business...maybe a PO box?? The results would be TRUE.

I hate it when Statistics are twisted.
8 months ago
Help me dear Lord Jesus to be light and salt in my community.
1
8 months ago
Amen
1
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