Thursday, July 18 2024 - 2:10 PM

Sharing Scripture — June 15, 2024

The Impending Conflict

 

For use: June 9 – 15, 2024
Texts: Revelation 14:7, 9, 12; Revelation 4:11; Revelation 13:1, 2; Revelation 12:3–5, 17; Revelation 13:11–18

As the governments of India and Nepal promote the Hindu faith and enforce penalties against proselytism, within these countries the violence against Christians spreads like wildfire.

The U.S. Embassy in Nepal states that Nepal’s constitution, which was ratified in 2015, strives to preserve the traditional religion and culture of the region while providing for the right of citizens to profess and practice their own religion. “The constitution prohibits converting persons from one religion to another and prohibits religious behavior disturbing public order or contrary to public health, decency, and morality. The law prohibits both proselytism and ‘harming the religious sentiment’ of any caste, ethnic community, or class.”

Unfortunately, the actions of the state, ostensibly promoting religious freedom, actually seem to support religious intolerance and persecution.

The result is that many Christians have stopped sharing the gospel.

Yet, in the face of eviction, mob violence and imprisonment, a handful of Christian pastors and believers throughout India and Nepal continue bravely preaching the gospel.

Open Doors’ partners in Nepal offer persecution preparedness training for these bold believers.

One Nepalese pastor, using the pseudonym Mukesh, attended the training.

“I learned about Satan’s strategy to make us far from God,” he shared with Open Doors. “It uses people to persecute us. It brings religious intolerance among people. Amidst this, it is necessary to stand firm in our faith. … Many times, Christians waver from their faith during difficult situations; however, this seminar has motivated us to stand strong in our beliefs. God will surely bless us and give us strength.”

Testimonies from believers like Mukesh offer a glimpse into what it is like standing for Jesus in the face of great religio-political opposition. Bible prophecy tells us that as Satan’s strategy continues unfolding, all people will be forced to either trust in God or to fall under Satan’s grasp. There will be no middle ground.

Sadly, only a remnant of believers will be willing to die for their faith (Revelation 12:11).

Just as Mukesh has come to realize, now is the time to prepare and to hold fast to God’s Word.

For Reflection

 

Connecting: Stories like that of Mukesh offer a glimpse into being a persecuted minority. What does persecution look like within our own trusted circles (family and friends, church, the denomination, etc.)?

Sharing: How does understanding last day-events impact your life?

  1. In the light of prophecy, the current state of the world fills me with anxiety and dread
  2. It’s something I don’t reflect on that much
  3. I’m preaching the gospel to everyone
  4. It draws me closer to Jesus
  5. I think we take the prophecy too literally, it’s actually figurative
  6. Other

Applying: At the 1936 Olympics, German long jumper Luz Long befriended Jesse Owens (a Black man), and by observing Owens’ prayerful conduct, Long learned a valuable spiritual lesson. In tense situations, how can you spread the good news of the gospel?

Valuing: Visit the link in the previous prompt. How do testimonies like that of Mukesh and Jesse Owens make you feel? What value do you derive from such testimonies?

~ Stefani Leeper


Your Center for Creative Ministry Team

The Center for Creative Ministry is fully recognized by the North American Division (NAD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church; it is also a 501c3 nonprofit organization which makes donations tax deductible in the U.S.

 

© 2017 - 2024 Center for Creative Ministry. All rights reserved. Click here for content usage information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *