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Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Arrested in America for Preaching the Gospel

 

Russ Jones

A pastor in Wichita, Kansas, heads to court today to defend himself against charges involving his efforts to witness for Christ outside a mosque.

Pastor Mark Holick says the incident in late August occurred as members of the Islamic Society of Wichita were marking the holy month of Ramadan. Police were called when Islamists witnessed Holick and 13 others handing out packets that included the Gospel of John, the Book of Romans in English and Arabic, and a DVD with testimonies of former Muslims who have converted to Christianity.

Holick claims he was basically ignored by the arresting officer. “I asked him, ‘What am I being charged with?’ — and he wouldn’t answer me,” the pastor tells OneNewsNow. “And I asked him a second time and I asked him a third time…and neither time would he even respond to me.”

Mark Holick (pastor, Spirit One Christian Ctr, Wichita)The Kansas pastor, who was ultimately charged with loitering and failure to disburse, is no stranger to controversy. In 2009 he won a $10,000 judgment after the City of Wichita admitted it had violated his civil rights when he was arrested for witnessing on a public city sidewalk during a homosexual event at a nearby park.

“It’s really good for Christians to see what has really happened to our court system,” he shares, “because if you haven’t gone through it before, you really have no idea what it has become. But I think it’s going to be good at trial, regardless of the verdict.”

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It seems almost unbelievable that any American Citizen could find themselves in handcuffs and under arrest for simply preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Doesn’t the first amendment guarantee the right to free speech, which includes the right to tell someone about your faith? Every time I read a story such as this one that happened in Kansas, it brings me to the realization that before Jesus returns American Christians may find themselves arrested in their own church for simply assembling to worship God.

During the period of history in which the church of Smyrna existed, 100 to 313 A. D., Foxes Book of Martyrs records that over five million Christians were killed during the reign of ten separate Roman Emperors for simply worshiping Jesus Christ.

Jesus promised this church that if they would be faithful to Him even unto death, they would receive the “Crown of Life” and that they would not be hurt by the “Second Death”.

Revelation 2:10 “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

The “Ten Days” that Jesus refers to here, were ten periods of intense persecution under these Roman Emperor’s:

1. Nero (54-68)

2. Domitian (95-96)

3. Trajan (104-117)

4. Marcus Aurelius (161-180)

5. Septimus Severus (200-211)

6. Maximinus (235-237)

7. Decius (249-251)

8. Valerian (257-260)

9. Aurelian, (270-275)

10. Diocletian (303-313)

Those who lived during the reign of terror of these ten Roman Rulers most likely were living casual lives a Christians before they were called upon to take a stand for what they believed about Jesus. It is during those moments of intense trial that most who call on the name of the Lord will turn back to Jesus from a lukewarm relationship and find that they will not turn away from the Lord, even in the midst of intense persecution.

Persecution and trials, even those that have led to the death of the believer, have never hurt the church but instead have served to cause the church to grow. When we see others suffering for simply believing in Jesus, it causes something within us to swell up and rise to the surface to live for Jesus in a ways we had not experienced previously. It is good to hear about the plight of those who are suffering today for their faith in Jesus Christ as it will motivate us to be ready for our turn when we are called to take a stand for Jesus and live the life of faith no matter what the cost.

Are you ready to live for Jesus not matter what the cost?

Rob Robinson

http://www.bibleprophecyupdate.com/?p=7454

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