Ever imagined being arrested for speaking about Jesus?

While Peter and John were addressing the people, the priests, the chief of the Temple police, and some Sadducees came up, indignant that these upstart apostles were instructing the people and proclaiming that the resurrection from the dead had taken place in Jesus. They arrested them and threw them in jail until morning, for by now it was late in the evening. But many of those who listened had already believed the Message—in round numbers about five thousand! Acts 4:1-4 (The Message)

When I became a Christian, over twenty-three years ago, it was still the time of the USSR and two years before the fall of the Berlin Wall. I became involved with a group that prayed for Christian’s in countries whose governments objected to their faith. In the Eastern Block countries, China, other communist and Muslim countries people who spoke about Jesus could be arrested, put in prison, be placed in mental hospitals or have to do hard labour. It is unimaginable to think that the faith of Christ could solicit such inhumanity on the part of people and authorities. It isn’t something we have ever heard about on our news broadcasts or in our papers.

It made me think at the time, and makes me think today as persecuation of Christians who speak the name of Jesus and seek to practice their faith still happens, what about me? Do I take for granted the freedom that our society gives? Do I soft soap the message of saving faith by grace from the sacrifice of Jesus? Will I be confident to speak about the gospel and challenge others to accept it despite any possible consequence today?

May my freedom in Christ give me the confidence to use the freedom I own in my society today to speak about the gospel to others. Let it be without fear of any consequences driven on by the recognition that others still lose liberty and life in order that the name of Jesus should be spread abroad. Amen.

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