Religious violence in Nigeria is a live example of what all Christians should be ready to experience anytime of their lives in this world. I know it may be easy to write about it but living up to the Christian standard is another issue. It is not easy to practice what Jesus said we Christians should do ‘turn the other cheek’ (Matthew 5:39). He, Jesus Christ, did it when He was crucified.
Am I as committed to this Word as Jesus was? It should be the case for all Christians but we need some supernatural power from God to remain calm and turn the other cheek whenever someone slaps us. Our model, Jesus Christ, turned the other check long enough such that it eventually led to death. I know any other Christian my turn the other cheek maybe once or twice, but might not sustain the pain to the point of death. ‘I suggest The Required Cutting Edge Gospel of Jesus Christ’ for every believer that want to sustain their faith when persecuted.
What then is our comfort as Christians if we are faced with violence?
- We know one thing that He never leaves us nor forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5, Deuteronomy 31:6). There are times when it will seem like He has left us, but He never does. So, when you feel the pain, you must call Him to get even closer, take away the pain, sustain you and help you preach the gospel even to your enemy.
- We know that our God can fight on our behalf; He is the God of the battle (2 Chronicles 20:15). God did not only fight battles in the olden times of the Bible, but there are testimonies even today of people that have experienced God’s shield when they were persecuted. If you read the testimony of Emmanuel Eni, you will know that when three guys wanted to kill him, their weapons never worked. I must emphasize that God can only protect you or fight for you when you are in His will and when you have your total faith in Him.
- We know that we are pilgrims in this world (1 Peter 2:11). A time will definitely come that will have to open the gate to our home and whatever pain you feel, it could be that gate. Death is only a gateway into glory and we will die anyway.
- We know that whatever pain we experience in this world is nothing compared to the pain of dying outside the will of God. We don’t want the worldly pain to draw us away from the heavenly treasure of eternal life. No pain in worth sacrificing your Christian faith. Hell is incomparably painful than any pain you may experience in this world.
Therefore, if you die doing what Jesus forbids, you go straight to hell. It does not matter whether you died fighting for the gospel, but if you fight for it the wrong way, you simply get disqualified. Sad but true!
I would like to encourage our brothers in Nigeria and everywhere else to keep holding on even to the point of death. Strive to die under the cover of the will of God so that you do not lose it all in the last minute. I appreciate that it may be tough but with the Lord on your side, who you have to invite, you can make it to your eternal rest.