Grace Under Fire

Ethiopia is experiencing an incredible outpouring of the Holy Spirit with hundreds of thousands coming to faith in Jesus Christ every year. It is a thrilling moment in history and we can find great encouragement knowing the Lord is working diligently to build His Church, but those of us who are believers know there is a cost to following Jesus.

Paul warned us in 2 Timothy 3: 12, that all who desire to live Godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. This is an inescapable truth but one that comes with great fruit as we see time and time again in Ethiopia. Recently, a group of church planters, desperate to share the Gospel and hungry to see souls won for the Kingdom, set out for an area in Ethiopia that had yet to hear about Jesus. As they spread the Good News, they encountered resistance from some and interest from others. As a result of their efforts, many souls were won for the Kingdom in a short period of time, while others, unfortunately, dedicated themselves to attempting to tear it down. Soon after establishing the thriving congregations, persecutors set fire to each of the small wooden and mud church buildings that the believers had erected, burning them entirely to the ground. The religious militant’s message was clear; the Gospel was unwelcome in their villages. But the new believers could not be discouraged, and they did not let the persecution keep them from coming together. They continued to gather and worship the Lord in houses and open areas, persevering against the opposition, and as a result, they saw a great harvest of souls come to know Jesus. As the unbelieving people in the surrounding villages observed the peace and forgiveness in the hearts of the Christians, many were amazed at the transformation of the believers, and they too put their faith in Christ.

In Romans 5:3 – 4, we read: And not only this, but we also exalt in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance, and perseverance, proven character, and proven character, hope.

The message of the Cross has never been more needed than it is today. People around the world need hope that only can be found in Christ.

The Gospel was unwelcome in their villages.”

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