Imagine being a chaperone heading for a field trip to enjoy a weekend of prayer, when suddenly three trucks pull alongside and armed men begin shooting into the vehicle.
Glass shatters. Mothers scream. Children cry.
Your bus swerves to the side of the road and stops. Unknown gunmen climb aboard and begin to shoot people, including the children, at point-blank range. What would you do?
This describes the scenario Egyptian Christians faced leaving 28 dead and 25 serious wounded. ISIS has since claimed responsibility and has promised attacks against Christians will continue.
It is reminiscent of what happened to the Byzantine Empire, headquartered in Constantinople, now Istanbul. For the Byzantine Empire, the eastern leg of the Roman Empire was considered to be Christian. Islamists terrorized village after village of professing Christians, beheaded men, raped women and took young people as sex slaves. Muslim doctrine considers it an honor to kill Christians and Jews.
We read news stories like this from Egypt and think, "Well, that's just over there, far from me." I'm sure that's what nominal Christians of the Byzantine Empire believed when the beheadings, rapes and kidnapping were occurring in countries far away. But, in time, the terrorism arrived in every country in the entire empire, until it became the Ottoman Islamic Empire.
It's happening in Europe now. Just last week, a pop concert in Manchester was attacked by a suicide bomber, claiming the lives of 22 concertgoers and sending another 59 injured to hospitals.
Jesus identified the works of the devil when he said, "The thief does not come, except to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). Where there is stealing, killing and destroying, you find the devil's fingerprints.
For those who reject or ignore the One who came to give us life and abundance, there will ultimately be nothing but death, loss and decimation.
But the good news is that Jesus promised His followers power over all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19). We have weapons not of this world (2 Cor. 10:4) intercessory prayer, prophetic declaring of God's Word and are working arm in arm with the angels.
What Can We as Believers Do?
First, pray for our brothers and sisters facing severe persecution (Gal. 6:2).
Second, start using the authority God gave you to pull down strongholds of thinking among those in deception and delusion. Those thinking they are doing God's work through stealing, killing and destroying (2 Cor. 10:4).
Third, daily plead the precious blood of Jesus over your life, your family, your city, state, nation and those in harm's way (Rev. 12:11).
Fourth, get involved with a few faith-filled intercessors and begin working in the spirit with the angels to protect and preserve (Dan. 4:13-17; 1 Tim. 5:21).
Fifth, walk in God's forgiveness and favor. Turn from any wicked (twisted) ways in your life (2 Chron. 7:14).
Sixth, study the ancient biblical prophecies that will show what's coming (Rev. 4:1).
Seventh, trust the Lord with all your heart, and listen for His gentle instructions to your heart (Prov. 3:5-6).
Believers—followers of Jesus Christ—have been given authority from the Master to do exploits and greater things. Let's show this world the power and love of our God who gives life and life more abundantly.
Dr. Dave Williams served for over 30 years as pastor of Mount Hope Church in Lansing, Michigan, with over 500 outreach ministries around the world. Dave led the church in giving over $40,000,000 to world and local missions. His leadership training course, The Art of Pacesetting Leadership, is credited with catapulting one church from 226 to over 4,000. Another church went from 8 to over 1,000. His all-time best-selling book, The New Life: The Start of Something Wonderful, is a practical, step-by-step guide to help new believers become established in their Christian walk and has sold over 2.5 million copies. His latest book, Hope in the Last Days, is published by Charisma House. Dave now focuses on helping young ministers whenever he has an opportunity.
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