REFUSING TO COMPROMISE


STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM

REFUSING TO COMPROMISE
======================
Do not be afraid of those who kill the
body but cannot kill the soul. Rather,
be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28

When do you compromise and when
do you refuse to? On the one hand, Jesus
instructed us to make friends with
our enemy before any court case can
develop; and on the other, he teaches us
to be true to the principles of the
kingdom of God.

The history of
Christian persecution is filled with inspiring stories
featuring people of
principle—those individuals who are immortalized for
refusing to compromise
their beliefs. John Bunyan was one of those.

In 1660, England’s
experiment as a republic came to an abrupt end with the
return to monarchist
rule under Charles II. With this change, religious
freedom also ended and
Anglicanism was once again designated as the official
state religion. It
became illegal to conduct church services outside of the
Church of England
and unlicensed individuals were forbidden from addressing a
religious
gathering.

With these new laws, John Bunyan was arrested for preaching
without a license.
His growing popularity, though, prompted the judge to seek
some sort of a
compromise. Promising Bunyan immediate release if he only
promised not to
preach again, the judge’s leniency was met with the reply,
“If you release me
today, I shall preach tomorrow!”

Three times in his
life Bunyan was arrested, convicted and jailed for
preaching without a
license. In the end, he spent over twelve years in prison.
At any time during
those years he could have secured his freedom by simply
promising not to
preach. But Bunyan knew God’s calling on his life and so he
adamantly refused
to compromise his convictions.

Those prison years were certainly not
wasted. It was during this time that
Bunyan wrote the book Pilgrim’s
Progress. Its immediate success and ongoing
popularity has made it a
Christian classic, the second most read book in
English literature next to
the Bible.

Today Christians around the world still languish in prison
because they will
not compromise their faith and give in to government
suggestions for release.
Christians in Laos are accused of following an
“American” religion and would
be released from prison and left in peace if
they would sign a document
recanting their commitment to Christ. Most
refuse.

Christians in “shipping container” prisons in Eritrea would be
released if
they also signed such a document but prefer to suffer
indefinitely for the
cause of Christ than deny Him.

Compromise is not
always bad, but when it comes to issues of faith, we are
expected to stand
for Christ and His kingdom principles.

RESPONSE: Today I will stand
strong and true to my convictions and faith in
Jesus and His kingdom
principles.

PRAYER: Pray for those Christians in prison today mentioned
above, that they
will not give in to Satan’s temptations to deny their faith.

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