Faithful unto Death

Shortly after 18th April I received an Internet link that posted a report under the heading – “A letter to the Global Church from the Protestant Church of Smyrna”. The link was

http://izmirprotestan.org/docs/Letter_to_the_Global_Church.pdf

This report gave the horrific details of how 3 Christian leaders in the area of Smyrna in Turkey had been savagely butchered to death by members of a Muslim ‘tarikat’ – a group of Islamic ‘faithful believers’. These 3 brothers in Christ, missionary and father of 3, Tilman Geske, pastor and father of 2, Necati Aydin, and former Muslim [like Pastor Aydin] Ugur Yuksel had all been involved in both printing and proclaiming God’s TRUTH and had arranged to meet with these Muslim men to give them a Bible study. Tragically this was merely a ruse to lure God’s servants to a meeting where they would be martyred for seeking to spread God’s TRUTH.

This is but one of many equally horrendous instances in recent years where God’s faithful servants have paid the ultimate price in the cause of God’s TRUTH. All these brutal slayings give the lie to Tony Campolo’s devilish statement in his book ‘Speaking My Mind’where he wrote [page 139] ‘It is… wrong for us… to define Allah as a god who wills the annihilation of non-Muslims’.

As I write this article I have just started to read Pastor John MacArthur’s latest book ‘The TRUTH War’ and I want to quote some extracts from his introduction. On page XV he starts a section headed ‘What is truth’ and writes [pages XV-XVIII] ‘God and truth are inseparable…to reject God is to reject the Giver of all truth, the final Judge of what really is true, and the very essence and embodiment of truth itself…The contemporary aversion to truth is simply a natural expression of fallen humanity’s innate hostility towards God [“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither, indeed, can be” Romans 8:7]. It is exactly the same attitude with which Pilate summarily dismissed Christ [“What is truth?” John 18:38]…the contemporary refusal to regard any truth as sure and certain is the worst kind of infidelity…We have been given a clear message for the purpose of confronting the world’s unbelief…Faithfulness to Christ demands it. The honour of God requires it…the ages-old conflict over truth is spiritual warfare – a cosmic battle between God and the powers of darkness [Ephesians 6:12]…it has become a very serious problem in the current generation…The Church has grown lazy, worldly, and self-satisfied. Church leaders are obsessed with style and methodology, losing interest in the glory of God and becoming grossly apathetic about TRUTH and sound doctrine…it is very believer’s solemn duty to resist every attack on the TRUTH…The TRUTH War is, after all, war. Warfare is always serious, but this is the battle of the ages for the highest of prizes, and therefore it requires of us the utmost diligence’.

Our 3 brothers in Christ gave their lives in this warfare to proclaim God’s TRUTH. Earlier in his introduction in a section headed ‘The Eternal Value Of The Truth’ Pastor MacArthur wrote [pages XII-XV] ‘the church is supposed to be “the pillar and ground of the truth” [1st Timothy 3:15]…Much of the visible church nowadays seems to think Christians are supposed to be at play rather than at war…Contemporary Christians are determined to get the world to like them…the thought of even identifying someone else’s teaching as false (much less “contending earnestly” for the faith) is a distasteful and dangerously counter cultural suggestion…But Christians of all people ought to be most willing to live and die for the TRUTH…And if called upon to sacrifice for the TRUTH’S sake, we need to be willing and prepared to give our lives…that is exactly what Jesus was speaking about when He called His disciples to take up a cross [Matthew 16:24].

In the light of the reality of these terrible events in Turkey and also faced today as we are with a seemingly never-ending flood of ‘purpose driven’, ‘seeker sensitive’ ‘health and wealth,’ ‘inspiration-only’, ‘non-offensive’ “gospel” messages and movements, these words by Pastor MacArthur on page XIV of his introduction should come as a sombre challenge in particular to all who identify with these branches of ‘Contemporary Christianity’ – ‘Does anyone really imagine that many of the entertainment-hungry churchgoers who pack today’s megachurches would be willing to give their lives for the TRUTH?’

Let me close this item, in memory of our late brothers, with these words from Christ Himself to the Church at Smyrna almost two thousand years ago “I know thy works and tribulation…and I know the blasphemy of them who…are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things, which thou shalt suffer…be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life” Revelation 2: 9-10.

In the UK, to inquire about obtaining a copy of Pastor MacArthur’s book,

“The TRUTH War” you can phone ‘Grace to You’ on 01233 662262

 

Cecil Andrews – ‘Take Heed’ Ministries – 17 May 2007

 

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