"I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." Psalm 119:11 (NIV)
According to Pew Research in 2019, although Christianity is still considered the world's largest religion, eighty percent of the governments interfered with their citizens worship in some way or another. In some countries, like North Korea and Afghanistan, religion is proclaimed as "free" but the practicing of Christianity is highly regulated and dangerous.
Open Doors USA lists the following ten countries as the most dangerous for Christians in 2022: Afghanistan, North Korea, Somalia, Libya, Yemen, Eritrea, Nigeria, Pakistan, Iran and India.
Voice of the Martyrs indicates the thirteen countries where the Word of God can only be transferred covertly: Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Mauritania, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Yemen. I would add China to this list as well.
I had a dream last night that I could not find my Bible. Now, as many people do, I have several but no matter where I looked, there wasn't one to be found. Not in my home. Not in the library and not in a store. There were books that explained what the Bible said, but no Bible to compare the truth of what was being told.
The world we live in is becoming more and more "liberal". No longer is God's Word considered the ultimate truth. Churches are getting emptier and the streets are becoming more crowded. Crime and violence are on the upswing and Christians are chided for their beliefs in a "fairy tale". The name of our Lord is heard more in public as a curse word than something to be revered.
So, I ask you, do you have God's Word hidden in your heart for the days ahead?
Jesus said that we would face persecution. I believe it will become more difficult to publicly proclaim our faith as the years go by. Could the United States ever see the day when it will be illegal to publish and distribute Bibles? I don't know and I hope not but it is a possibility.
This is why we have to be involved in politics. We have to be vocal with our votes. As lawmakers are being elected we have to remember that laws touch every area of our lives. If we "sit out" of the process then we are willingly accepting whatever decisions are made. Whatever we can do to stand up for Christ, we need to do.
This world was never intended to last forever. The days are growing more limited with each rising of the sun. We were tasked with sharing the Gospel that others might be saved. How much longer do we have to do so?
Something to think about.