A commotion interrupted the service.
Two men walked down the aisle to the front row. They took hold of a husband (a board member of the church) and abruptly marched him out of the sanctuary. The audience had not noticed the missionary’s signal for the ushers to begin the dramatization.
There were a few nervous laughs hoping this was a joke. The audience kept looking toward the missionary and then to the pastor to see what this was all about.
“Who will take his place?” the missionary asked.
And then he explained. “Around the world every three minutes a Christian is martyred by Jesus-haters. In fact, more people have been martyred because of Jesus’ name in my lifetime than in all 2000 years since Calvary.”
As the missionary continued to speak the two men accosted a mother sitting with her children and marched her out of the sanctuary.
Three minutes had elapsed.
This time there were no nervous laughs. Weeping could be heard.
“Who will take her place?” the missionary asked again.
“We Christians in America have been so insulated and isolated from the perils the majority of our brothers and sisters in Christ must face. It’s like we believe nobody would ever do that to us—not here in America.
“Many take comfort in thinking, “That won’t happen to me because I’ll never be in a third world country where they do that.
Once again the three minutes were up and the two men were taking away their next victim.
And the weeping intensified.
Maybe this will not happen in America, but many of us believe the politically correct mentality is shaping the will and laws of America to allow it. Already many Christians have been jailed for actions our forefathers vowed to protect.
“America was once God-fearing.
“It became God-less.
“And now it is anti-God.
“Christians are the only minority that can legally be discriminated against and persecuted. In fact, laws encourage our harassment.
“Every three minutes and the pace is quickening around the world. Many countries today legally proscribe the death penalty for converting to Christianity.”
The two men were in the aisle again. For yet another believer the three minutes were up.
Several of my missionary friends have been murdered by Jesus-haters. Think about the courage that led them to lands where death awaited not only them but also anyone they led to Christ.
“As you enjoy this beautiful sanctuary and padded pews, honestly ask yourself if you could openly declare your faith in Christ knowing it would mean your death. Before you answer too glibly, remember the last time you stayed silent about Jesus because you didn’t want to be embarrassed.
“Or probe your own heart to see if you really could look another person on the eye and lead them to Christ knowing it would mean their death. Are you convinced enough yourself to invite another?
“I hear the heavy footfall of the two men again coming down the aisle.
“What if they are coming for you?”
Every three minutes…