There’s great need to pray for those brothers and sisters in Christ in various countries who have been/are persecuted simply for doing what is stated in this poem post–identifying themselves as followers of Jesus Christ.
“Father, we bring them before You and ask for Your protection, wisdom, and encouragement to be upon their lives. We ask for needed healing for some, due to things they’ve suffered and deliverance for those wrongly imprisoned. We ask that those in authority in restrictive governments will come to recognize and turn to You themselves. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Groups that give supportive help: Voice of the Martyrs, Open Doors, and ACLJ
After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, because it is written, ‘I will strike down the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered.’ But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.”
But Peter said to Him, “Even though all may fall away, yet I will not.” And Jesus said to him, “Truly I say to you, that this very night, before a rooster crows twice, you yourself will deny Me three times.” But Peter kept saying insistently, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And they all were saying the same thing also. Mark 14:26-31
As Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high priest came, and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Nazarene.” But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you are talking about.” And he went out onto the porch.
The servant-girl saw him, and began once more to say to the bystanders, “This is one of them!” But again he denied it. And after a little while, the bystanders were again saying to Peter, “Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean too.” But he began to curse and swear, “I do not know this man you are talking about!” Immediately a rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had made the remark to him, “Before a rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And he began to weep. Mark 14:66-72
Will you defend the Lord Jesus, learning a lesson from Peter?
It may take courage, yet it’s the path Jesus calls sweeter (“blessed.”)
If you find yourself among those who openly reject Him,
will you stand up and share that you greatly respect Him?
Or will you go to the fire to pause and be comfortable and warm,
rather than to speak out to those who need to be spiritually reborn?
No, the “fire” you should seek is the Holy Ghost’s torch;
then you won’t have remorse, as Peter did on that porch.
Don’t wait for the “rooster to crow,” as in this Bible account’s denial;
but identify yourself as a follower of Christ whenever He’s “under trial.”
P. A. Oltrogge
“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 10:32-33
“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men cast insults at you and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.” Matthew 5:10-13
“But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
“If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.” 1 Peter 4:14
On Stephen, from Acts 6:
“They put forward false witnesses who said, ‘This man incessantly speaks against this holy place and the Law; for we have heard him say that this Nazarene, Jesus, will destroy this place and alter the customs which Moses handed down to us.’ And fixing their gaze on him, all who were sitting in the Council saw his face like the face of an angel.”
“They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces will never be ashamed.” Psalm 34:5
From the Executive Order on Advancing International Religious Freedom, signed by President Trump on June 2nd of this year:
“Religious freedom, America’s first freedom, is a moral and national security imperative. Religious freedom for all people worldwide is a foreign policy priority of the United States, and the United States will respect and vigorously promote this freedom.”