I wish you all a blessed and Happy Easter and pray this day we remember the one man who gave His life so that we could have eternal life and salvation. This will be my only post for the Easter weekend as I will be traveling back to South Florida to be with family and friends — and attend my home Community Christian Church in Tamarac. So I would just like to share some thoughts as we enter Easter weekend 2015.
The times are truly troubling for those who have accepted Jesus Christ — Christians. In Kenya, college students were awakened and asked to repeat a Koranic verse to validate if they were Muslim. When they could not, they were horribly killed. They were killed for being Christian — nearly 150. This was done by the Islamic terrorist group Al Shabab who not too long ago committed an atrocious attack in the Westgate Mall in Nairobi. And let us not forget the U.S. embassy bombing back during the Clinton administration by al-Qaida in Kenya.
Over on the west coast of Africa in Nigeria, there has been a discovery of a mass grave, and the murders of women and children have been attributed to the Islamic terror group, Boko Haram. And I pray that the promise of Nigeria’s new Muslim president will come to fruition — to hunt down and kill Boko Haram.
Elsewhere in the Middle East, TheHill.com reports, “more than 25,000 foreign militants are fighting alongside al-Qaida and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to a new United Nations report obtained by The Associated Press. That’s a 71 percent increase over the past year, with most of the 20,000 who traveled to Syria and Iraq joining ISIS. The report also warns that defeating ISIS could dissipate those foreign terrorists around the world, where they could end up joining other groups. The threat of foreign fighters has been a key concern with many lawmakers as America continues a coalition effort to remove ISIS from power. Last week, an Air Force veteran was arrested for trying to join the group, and a number of Americans have been stopped with the intent to travel to Syria to join the terrorist group. The report calls the foreign fighters “an immediate and long-term threat” and the likelihood of a terrorist strike “growing, particularly with attacks targeting hotels, public spaces and venues.”
And we know what has been the fate of Christians at the hand of ISIS — their own propaganda videos illustrate it. So it seems the West isn’t having an adverse effect upon their recruitment and growth. And worse, there were just two females in New York City arrested on terrorist charges as they sought to utilize pressure cooker bombs — just as the Tsarnaev brothers did in Boston.And let me be very clear, when a small business pizzeria owner in Indiana receives death threats and has to shut down his business because he told some reporter that he wouldn’t want to cater a gay wedding, it’s just another form of violence. Our country sits at a negotiating table to develop a “framework” for a nuclear deal with a theocratic Islamic regime ruled by a mystic mullah which is holding a Christian minister Saeed Abedini as a prisoner – the same country behind just about every single instance of Islamic terrorism and combat operations in the Middle East. A country that shouts “Death to America” and clearly stated that the destruction of the Judeo-Christian homeland, the State of Israel, is “nonnegotiable.” We cannot naively believe we must succumb to this arrangement or the only other course of action is war. Hate to tell you folks, but Iran has been at war with America since they took our hostages back in 1979 in their Islamic Revolution.
With all this as a backdrop, we Christians, people of that faith, can find strength in knowing that Christ died but He rose again. And in that strength we will persevere against the forces that are arraying themselves — it may seem dark at this moment, but joy cometh. Just as we remember the horror, pain, and blood that was shed on the Cross, we must fix our eyes upon the triumphant Sunday morning when the stone was rolled away. Stand tall and proud because that is what Jesus would have us do.
Go to Ephesians Chapter 6: 10-17 (NIV): “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
These are indeed troubling times, times of persecution, but our reward was secured some two thousand years ago — that is what Easter is all about. It’s not about sorrow but rather the greatest comeback!
And doggone, we shall come back in a resounding way, and I will be honored to stand with you all, right there in the front ranks.
Happy Easter to Christians all over the world, Steadfast and Loyal!