|Posted by email@example.com on March 8, 2020 at 8:40 PM|
Forgiving the Persecutors
Guest Writer: Floyd Sullivan
The persecution of Christians that is so prevalent in many countries today is not a new circumstance for Christians. Our faith would be in vain and our salvation null and void if Jesus didn't shed His blood on calvary's cross for our sins. And Jesus said,"...A servant is no greater than his master.' If they persecute me, they will persecute you also...' The first Christian martyr was Stephen, he was accused of blasphemy and then stoned to death. In an issue of Voice of The Martyrs magazine, the story is told of Khin Maung a Myanmar army officer who made a mistake that led to his imprisonment and a life-changing encounter with six pastors who met in prison. Before he lost his firearm, which sent him to prison he had a reputation for brutality towards Christian. He took every opportunity to publicly mock and embarrass Christians. When Christians prayed, he interrupted them and beat them when they read their bibles. When they ate, he knocks their meals off the table and made them clean up the mess. "I kicked them with my military boots and whipped them with a rope," he said I kick [one soldier�??s] teeth in." And Khin treated Christians worse, particularly the ethnic Burmese who had left Buddhism to follow Christ. He would force pastors to get drunk to defame them and destroy their reputation. But after Khin fell afoul of his military superiors and had to face beatings and torture. He was subsequently sent to prison where he met these six pastors who shared the gospel with him and always responded to his attacks with patience and love. One day Khin made a promise to them. "I told them, 'If Jesus is a true savior, if he can save me from my suffering, then I will serve him until the day I die." They continue to pray for him and spend time teaching him about the bible. Khin was eventually freed when his friend who took his firearm testified to doing so. The charges against him for selling the firearm were dismissed and Khin cried out "Hallelujah!" and gave his life to Christ. Khin refused to be reinstated and promoted in the army. He instead chose to commit his life to serve Jesus Christ. He went straight to a church and pastors helped him attend a bible school for two years. And when he began doing the work of the ministry he came under persecution, but he had already decided to be a soldier for Jesus Christ. Khin was ready in mind and body for whatever came his way. However, after Khin experience persecution he felt the need to seek forgiveness from those he had persecuted. They gave him the name Paul. But it is significant to note that it was those Christians he had met in prison who had forgiven him before he asked for forgiveness, it was those Christians who showed patience and love to him in his unregenerate state that set his redemption in motion. One of the highest calling for us as Christians are to forgive those who hate us. We forgive for our health and we forgive because Jesus Christ first forgave us. Please join me as we pray for the persecuted church! How if any have you been persecuted for your faith? Please share your stories with us. Standing Strong for Christ!