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Much of the world’s attention has been focused on Afghanistan and the tenuous situation there. Americans, Christians, and those who have assisted the U.S. continue to need our prayers as the days drag on and as the crisis deepens. Pray for preservation of life, liberty, and property.
As I’ve watched various newscasts of this dangerous predicament, I’ve tried to put myself in the place of those desperate to leave the country and escape to safety. Imagine the fear and anxiety of wondering when and even if that might occur, how to travel to the airport, and if your family will survive threats, hunger, and other challenges until you are rescued. May we continue to pray for wisdom for our leaders and theirs as well as for safety for all involved.
This situation is not unlike that of many persecuted Christians around the world. Jesus’ followers in China, North Korea, and several other nations continue to endure torture, imprisonment, and even death because of their commitment to the Savior. Will these situations ever decrease to a point where all are safe?
Such a scenario is not likely in a world mired in sin. As some humans persist in muscling their ways to control wealth and power, others will continue to be abused, persecuted and killed. How very different from God’s Kingdom of true mercy, grace, and justice as well as provision for all who abide there.
For now, Christians on this earth are trapped in enemy-held territory. Most of humanity is dominated by sinful desires and actions and even those who follow Jesus struggle with temptation and evil. The Devil has marked Christians for elimination just as the Taliban has done with some western sympathizers in Afghanistan.
The comforting truth is that for those who have surrendered to Jesus’ Lordship and authority, help is not only on the way, but much has already arrived to sustain us until we’re rescued. God’s Holy Spirit is with us to encourage, comfort, and help us in our daily lives and to provide guidance during our siege.
Best of all, we know that we will be eventually liberated by the One to whose Kingdom we belong. Although we are also citizens of various earthly nations, true citizenship for Christians is in heaven and our Head-of-state loves and cares for each of His people much more than any earthly leader ever could.
In addition, our Heavenly Commander-in-Chief possesses the perfect knowledge and infinite power to extract each of us from the dangers of this world. He can transport us safely to His secure territory within His eternal borders where no enemy can ever attack.
One of the challenges for U.S. rescue teams in Afghanistan is identifying and locating everyone who wants to and qualifies to be rescued. Thankfully, God knows exactly who each of His children are and precisely where we are located. He is fully able to withstand enemy attacks, extract us from danger and escort us safely into His eternal protection.
Although not all are citizens of heaven, all can be. The borders of that everlasting city are open to anyone who will enter through the narrow gate. Jesus said He was not only the door to endless life but the only way by which anyone can ever immigrate into God’s Kingdom. If you have not received your heavenly citizenship, do so today by asking God to forgive you through Jesus’ blood and enter into His divine empire and secure protection.
If you already hold heavenly citizenship but are currently stationed on earth, take heart! God has not forgotten you nor is He unaware of your situation. Remain in constant contact with Him through prayer and look forward to when He will remove you from earth’s battlefield and transport you to glory.
In the meantime, keep praying for the people of Afghanistan and all those around the world who are suffering and persecuted.
George Bowers is the senior pastor of Antioch Church of the Brethren and has authored 16 books including six volumes of his original poetry in Valley Verses. They are available at Four Star Printing and Shenandoah Stuff. He can be reached through www.georgebowersministries.com or at [email protected]
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