Would You Face Death to Follow Jesus?

(Obtained by iHOPE Empowers via Canva)

You probably don't have to worry about your family killing you tonight for being a Christian, yet Talia did. Once she accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior in Iran, she faced immediate life-threatening danger. A "yes" to Jesus there is starkly different than a "yes" in America.

Entire generations of Americans, Canadians and Europeans haven't had to deeply weigh a decision for Christ knowing that we might face communal pressure, shame or death. We were never purified by fiery trials of persecution like our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ in China or Iran. Our churches haven't been bulldozed. Our pastors haven't been jailed. Instead, in the spirit of embracing diversity and inclusion, we've become very concerned with pleasing our coworkers, families, friends, neighbors.

"You do you. I'll be me. You worship your Hindu gods. I'll worship my Christian God. Let's all just love each other and get along." I've heard phrases like this a lot lately. In this day and age, especially to my son's generation, on the surface it sounds like the best and most loving thing to do. However, does it really impart the depth and breadth of what it means to be a Christ-follower?

It's no wonder that many Christians are struggling not to offend coworkers, families, friends and neighbors with a message that sounds non-inclusive. It seems that as we've embraced comfort and security, we have forgotten that the gospel is a stumbling block to some and offensive to others.

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Jesus told us, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6). We are foolish if we think we can be all things to all people and somehow make Christianity popular. Rather, He warned us that following Him could possibly lead to our death.

If we believe what the Bible plainly declares—that our sovereign God is calling a great multitude of people to be His own—we must also embrace the wonderful, breathtaking privilege to proclaim the hope of Jesus—even if it's not popular.

Talia had to count the cost for her faith. She knew that her "sufferings of this present life are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us and in us" (Rom. 8:18, AMP). She believed that Jesus is worth it all. "When I made the decision to follow Jesus in Iran, I became a child of light. Then it was like I had a diamond in my hand, power to face the world and all its darkness. How could I not share it? How could I hide the Good News of Jesus Christ?" Today, Talia is living in America's heartland as a passionate ambassador for Christ.

Hear her remarkable story and what it means to her to be a follower of Jesus on this episode of iHOPE Empowers on the Charisma Podcast Network. Then, read more about her life-changing journey here.

Karen Bejjani is the co-founder and executive director of iHOPE Ministries, a non-profit ministry that is changing the way Christians think about sharing their biblical faith with people of other faiths. Since 2011, iHOPE has empowered tens of thousands of Christians with the courage, confidence and know-how to cross religious boundaries and extend God's transformative love. As a fearless, relatable visionary and empowering coach, Karen has trained, coached and mentored thousands of entrepreneurs to build successful businesses while a senior corporate executive. Now she uses those same strategic skills to catalyze everyday Christian women to cross religious boundaries to share their faith. Karen champions iHOPE Ministries' women's initiative called the Blue Cord. Her powerful stories and practical coaching have catalyzed believers around the world to change lives for eternity. When she's not empowering others to cross religious boundaries to share Jesus, Karen spends her time hiking forests and enjoying good Lebanese food with family and friends.

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