I live in a country where I am not persecuted for my faith.
I can read my Bible in public, pray wherever I want to, and talk about my faith to anyone. Worst case scenario: someone gives me a strange look. Chances are, your country is the same.
You probably live in a country that has religious freedom. You can probably worship God wherever and whenever you want to. If that is the case, then this article is for you.
You and I—we are blessed. Privileged. We have the freedom to believe what we want to. And we do. But sometimes our faith becomes a very secret thing. Something we hide behind our bedroom doors and keep for Sundays or at home.
What would a Christian from a persecuted country say?
I have often wondered what a teen would do, who comes from a country in which persecution is real. What would they say if they saw the way Christians in Europe and America conceal their faith, hide it away?
What would they say when they see that we keep silent just because there might be some strange stares?
What would a teen do who suddenly had the freedom to talk about their faith? Would they be shocked by the way we live?
You and I, we are blessed and privileged, but with privilege comes responsibility.
I live in a country with religious freedom. You probably do too. Acutually, I need to redo that sentence. I live in a country that has religious freedom at the moment.
None of us knows what the future holds, but persecution can come anytime. Maybe in twenty years we will look back at this time. This time where we had absolute religious freedom. What will you think, looking back?
We have a command from the highest position. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20a).
It is so easy to share the gospel in the countries you and I live in. You could even say it’s too easy. It’s so easy that we don’t.
Why? Why don’t we? We live in a free country. We have everything we need to share the gospel. And we don’t.
As Mack Stiles says, “Most Christians in the world must fear the raised fist; Americans [and other Christians that aren’t severely persecuted] fear the raised eyebrow.”
We have nothing to fear. It’s time to live our faith openly.
Will you have regrets?
There is a saying that says, “You only truly appreciate something as soon as it is taken from you.”
Do we want it to be like that? If you and I are robbed of our religious freedom, will we look back saying, “If only…”?
“If only I had talked when I had the chance. If only I had shared the gospel with my friends. If only I had lived my faith openly. Because now it is too late.”
When the time comes that we are persecuted for our faith, I don’t want to look back with regrets. You probably don’t either.
You and I, we live in a country in which we can read our Bibles wherever and whenever we want to. A country in which we can pray out loud without having to fear being locked up. A country in which we can live out our faith openly.
That is a privilege, but it is also a responsibility.
This is a call for all Christians out there, who aren’t persecuted: Don’t hide your faith.
Use opportunities while you still have them.
Because one day, it may be too late.