Lesson for the Lord’s Day

But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the Gospel. Philippians 1:12

How many Christians do you suppose there are in North Korea? It’s one of the worst environments in the world for Christians, who can be executed if found out, and where the communist government has created an enforced religion of worshipping the country’s former and existing leaders. In a land where Bibles are forbidden, where religious tolerance is unknown, and where absolute devotion to the Kim family is mandated, the government assumes that there are no Christians in North Korea. The government assumes wrongly! An organization that smuggles Bibles into North Korea is confident that in that tortured nation of fewer than 25 million people, the number of true believers may exceed one million! Sorry as we feel for the persecution of the Lord’s people in North Korea, that persecution has served only to further the Gospel.

In peaceful, free North America, we have little idea how persecution fans the flames of revival and blessing. We struggle to get people interested in a Gospel that can be freely accessed; We can’t get people to read Bibles that can be bought at dollar stores. We can’t imagine the life of dear saints in North Korea who read God’s Word, when they can access it, under threat of death. When we gather for regular meetings of the Assembly, we little realize that such gatherings are unknown in North Korea, where companies of believers can seldom safely extend beyond immediate family. Those dear saints would have difficulty understanding the concept of a conference! And yet, under such repression and opposition, the Gospel is being spread much more effectively than we are doing it in our free society. Freedom has nothing to do with the furtherance of the Gospel, as the apostle Paul reminds the Philippians in today’s text.

In the coming years, as the rapidly growing influence of the homosexual sector places heavy restrictions on access to the Bible, and as Mohammedanism and other satanic religions surge in their opposition to the truth, will we see the Gospel flag or flourish? These things are happening now, so we need to be prepared. Blood will flow. Assemblies will be pushed underground, Public preaching will disappear. Much as we dread these things, more souls will be saved than are being reached now. And that is the most important. -Jim MacIntosh

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