Heard about Hope and Change in the political world?
Francis Chan, author, evangelist, and founder of Radius International described the Good News: “the core of the Gospel is about change.”
And repentance, change of mind, requires suffering.
Chan quoted 1 Peter 4: 1-3 to explain:
1Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 2That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. 3For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries …
From this verse, Chan turned to the example of Chinese families in the Underground Church, and its five pillars:
- Commitment to the Bible
- Share the Gospel
- Expectation of miracles
- Embrace suffering for the glory of Christ
The more that Christians understand that suffering will come in our walk with God, the more that they will not be confused or disillusioned by the hardships which will come:
Jesus comforted His disciples during His earthly ministry—and comforts us today—with this truth:
“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15: 18-19)
Jesus did not come to us expecting to be loved and admired. He came to die for us that we could live in Him.
Chan emphasized this key aspect of suffering—and Chinese Christians’ acceptance of this truth—so that more people would stay true to their faith in Christ, and not flee or return to their old lives when times get hard.
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