BY PASTOR PAUL RIKA
(Int'l Director Of Holiness Revival Movement Worldwide)
FRIDAY JULY 26, 2019
Matthew 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Success in the Christian life is living the Christian life you have started and continuing to the end of your life even in the face of persecution. Let me share the life story of Polycarp to bring this point home. Polycarp was a martyr of the Christian faith who was the Bishop of the church in Smyrna, a city in Asia Minor (now Turkey) that was devoted to Roman worship.
The Roman Empire hated the early church for various reasons, especially their refusal to sacrifice to idols. The Christians were made to deny their faith or get killed. Polycarp was an old man of at least 86 years of age who had been a disciple of apostle John.
History had it that Polycarp had a vision he was going to be burnt alive but that did not discourage him or make him to compromise his faith. When eventually his adversaries closed in on him, he was unperturbed for he looked beyond the immediate to his glorious end.
He was even said to have served food to the soldiers that came to arrest him while he made a solemn request for an hour to pray uninterrupted before his death. As he prayed, so full of the grace of God, he could not stop for two hours. The men that were with him were amazed, so much that many of them regretted coming to arrest such a godly and vulnerable old man.
At the stadium where he was to be killed, a final attempt was made to make him deny Jesus but he stood his ground to the end. The Proconsul was quoted to have told him. “I have wild animals here; I will throw you to them if you don't deny Jesus.” Polycarp replied “Call them, it is unthinkable for me to repent from what is good and turn to what is evil. I will be glad though to be changed from evil to righteousness.”
The Proconsul told him, “If you despise the animals, I will have you burned.” Polycarp again replied, “You threaten me with fire which burns for an hour, and is then extinguished; but you know nothing of the fire of the coming judgment and eternal punishment, reserved for the ungodly.Why are you waiting? Bring on whatever you want.”
Praise the Lord! That is the lifestyle of a true believer – faithful to the end! Are you ready to defy the king's order like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego even at the risk of your life? Are you ready to resist persecutions from husband, parents, church etc. to preserve your purity? That is true Christianity!
Thought for the day:
The faith you profess by mouth will be tested by fire of persecution.
Song for the day:
I will never, never end my journey halfway until I reach my goal.
Bible reading for the day:
Psalm 47-49; Acts 26
PASTOR PAUL RIKA